It's the lightest week of the season, with 4 teams with byes. And with 2 weeknight games, there are only 2 games on Saturday involving Pac-12 teams, the fewest for a regular week in the conference in years. Nationally, its a light schedule as well, which means this might be the weekend to get fall chores completed before beginning the stretch run.
#25 Arizona St. (5-2, 3-1) visits Washington St. (4-4, 2-3) for a Halloween Night affair at 7:30 PM to get the extended weekend started, and ESPN will be on hand. Both teams took a break last weekend, after being on the opposite ends of blowouts the weekend before.
The Sun Devils scorched then 20th ranked Washington 53-24, as Taylor Kelly threw for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 84 more, and another 2 scores, and Marion Grice ran for 1528 yards and 2 tds, and caught 4 passes for 37 yards and another touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Arizona St. defense absolutely throttled the Huskies, holding Bishop Sankey, who entered that game as the nation's leading rusher, to just 22 yards, and hammered Keith Price into a 16 of 39 night passing.
The Cougars took their turn being blown out by Oregon, losing 62-38, and it was only that close because Connor Halliday threw 2 of his 4 touchdown passes in the last 4 minutes of the game.
Halliday set records with 89 passes, and 557 yards on his 58 completions, but also threw 4 interceptions. And the Washington St. defense was obliterated, giving up 719 yards. And it was a balanced obliteration, as the Ducks ran for 383 and threw for 336.
On paper, this looks like a devilish situation for the Cougs, but Arizona St. is another animal away from home, having lost the only 2 times they have left Tempe.
USC (5-3, 2-2) visits Oregon St. (6-2, 4-1) Friday night at 6 PM to start of November, and ESPN2 will have the coverage of the "Orange Out".
The Trojans won a field goal kicking contest against Utah 19-3. Only 3 points were posted in the second half. Andre Heidari had the best day of his career, making 4 of them, 3 in the decisive 2nd. quarter, for USC.
Cody Kessler did complete 21 of 32 passes, for 230 yards and a touchdown, but his sacks gave back half of USC's rushing yards, as injuries in both the back field and on the offensive line seriously limited the Trojan offense. An injury to right tackle Kevin Graf forced a 3 way switch (something Oregon St. fans can identify with from earlier in the season).
The USC defense, which has been stellar when not playing teams from Arizona, will have to carry the day though if the Trojans are to break a 3 game losing streak in Reser Stadium, where USC hasn't won since 2004.
The Beavers fought to the finish, but fell 20-12 to Stanford when Sean Mannion, who had completed 41 of 53 passes, couldn't connect on any of his last 4 into the end zone at the end of the game. Mannion still leads the nation in passing and touchdown tosses, but will be looking to find the end zone more than once, and Brandin Cooks for more than the 80 yards (which was still the game high by a bunch) he recorded on his 9 receptions.
His offensive line, which allowed Mannion to be sacked 8 times by the Cardinal, will have to have a better night though, since the Trojans have recorded even more of them, including 6 against Utah.
Oregon St.'s defense had their best game of the year though, holding Stanford to 273 yards, and only 88 in the air, as Stanford's Kevin Hogan was only 8 of 18 for the night. However, Tyler Gaffney had a big night, running for 145 yards and a career best 3 touchdowns to carry the Cardinal to the win.
It could certainly be another low scoring affair.
The Beavers will be debuting their new "All-Orange" look in the post-Halloween "Dad's night" event, and hope to get TE Connor Hamlett back after a 2 week absence. They will be without WR Kevin Cummings, though, who had wrist surgery this week. Oregon St. could really use Hamlett, with TE Caleb Smith doubtful and probably limited under the best of circumstances, with a strained back suffered against Stanford.
The Trojans are unsure of the extent of the services they receive from Marqise Lee, among others, even though Lee has been upgraded to "probable", but disruptive LB Morgan Breslin and TE Randall Telfer will both be spectators.
Arizona (5-2, 2-2) visits California (1-7, 0-5) at 12:30 PM Saturday, for the first daylight football of the week, but there won't be much light on this one, with the Pac-12 Channel handling the coverage.
The Wildcats ran over Colorado, literally as well as figuratively, rolling up 670 yards, 405 on the ground, on their way to a 44-20 win on the road in Boulder. B.J. Denker established himself as a member of the fraternity of dangerous Pac-12 quarterbacks, running for a game high 192 yards, as well as completing 21 of 32 passes for another 265 yards. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week as a result.
Ka'Deem carried his share of the load as well, racking up 119 yards on 23 carries, and also 4 touchdowns, for the 'Cats.
Arizona can become bowl eligible with another road win, which would be a good thing to get checked off with UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona St. all still to come.
The Bears were blown out again, losing 41-17 at Washington, and it wasn't that close.
The Huskies had a double digit lead less than 12 minutes into the game, and expanded that to 41-10 with over 10 minutes left in the game. Keith Price threw for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns despite losing Kasen Williams, as Jaydon Mickens stepped up, with 6 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Bishop Sankey bounced back from a disastrous game the week before at Arizona St. with 241 yards and 2 touchdowns, one from 59 yards out, on 27 carries, for the bulk of the 262 yards the Huskies ran for against the beat up Bear defense.
Jared Goff did throw for 336 yards, and without an interception, but all that only produced 1 touchdown, and the freshman completed less than 60% of his throws.
And he had no run support; though the Bears ran for 131 total yards, 73 of the 90 Khalfani Muhammad ran for came on 1 long scoring romp with 5 minutes left in the already decided contest.
The Buffs continued the Sefo Liufau experiment, and it didn't go so well, as the Colorado freshman completed only 17 of 32 passes, for just 212 yards, though he did run for 33 yards.
Colorado did run for 137 yards, and the Buffs did take a 3 point second quarter lead, and were still within 7 points midway in the 3rd quarter. But in both of those situations, the Buffs defense couldn't hold up, allowing 17-0 runs against them.
The Bruins went toe to toe with Oregon, holding to a 14-14 halftime tie when the Ducks missed a field goal right before the break. The Ducks went on to blow the game open in the second half, with 28 unanswered points.
Oregon ran for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, 3 in their second half outburst, led by Byron Marshall, who ran for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns. Thomas Tyner added 77 more, and Marcus Mariota threw for 230 yards.
Despite being without Jordan James, UCLA did run for 219 yards against the Ducks, led by Paul Perkins, who had 93. But Brett Hundley was kept in check by the Oregon defense. Hundley ran for 72 yards, but completed only 13 of 19 throws, for just 64 yards. Hundley also was intercepted twice, against 1 touchdown toss.
James (and several other bruised and battered Bruins) may be able to return this week, but whether they do, or see more than tune up time, may depend on how well UCLA is able to handle a Colorado team that's struggling, especially on defense. The Bruins will still be favored to lock up a post season berth in any event.
#2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) and #6 (#5 in the BCS) Stanford (7-1, 5-1) have the week off to prepare for next Thursday's showdown down on "The Farm" in Palo Alto that will doubtless decide the Pac-12 North Division.
The game will be the "Conference Game Of The Year" ESPN has been eagerly awaiting, and admittedly one most of the country, never mind the conference, will want to watch.
The Utes will be hoping to get a battered Travis Wilson, who had to leave the game at USC, healthy, while the Huskies will be revamping their offense after Williams had surgery this week for the foot injury he suffered against Cal, which probably ends his season.
Here's the Saturday national schedule, with times adjusted for Eastern Bias Time:
|TIME||ROAD TEAM||HOME TEAM||CHANNEL|
|Noon ET||Army, 3-5||at||Air Force, 1-7||ESPNU|
|Noon ET||Virginia Tech, 6-2||at||Boston College, 3-4||ABC or ESPN2|
|Noon ET||No. 24 Wisconsin, 5-2||at||Iowa, 5-3||ABC or ESPN2|
|Noon ET||Southern Miss, 0-7||at||Marshall, 4-3||CBSSN|
|Noon ET||Illinois, 3-4||at||Penn State, 4-3||ESPN|
|Noon ET||No. 4 Ohio State, 8-0||at||Purdue, 1-6||Big Ten Network|
|Noon ET||Temple, 1-7||at||Rutgers, 4-3||SNY, MASN, Altitude|
|Noon ET||No. 17 Northern Illinois, 8-0||at||UMass, 1-7||ESPN Regional, ESPN3.com|
|12:21 p.m. ET||Mississippi State, 4-3||at||No. 14 South Carolina, 6-2||SEC Network, MSG|
|12:30 p.m. ET||North Carolina, 2-5||at||NC State, 3-4||ACC Network|
|12:30 p.m. ET||Wake Forest, 4-4||at||Syracuse, 3-4||Regional Sports Networks|
|1 p.m. ET||Western Kentucky, 4-4||at||Georgia State, 0-8||CSS, ESPN3.com, Sun Belt Network|
|1 p.m. ET||Middle Tennessee, 4-4||at||UAB, 2-5||FOX College Sports|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Kent State, 2-7||at||Akron, 2-7||ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Arizona, 5-2||at||California, 1-7||Pac-12 Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Georgia, 4-3||vs.||Florida, 4-3||CBS|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Minnesota, 6-2||at||Indiana, 3-4||Big Ten Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Iowa State, 1-6||at||Kansas State, 3-4||Fox Sports 1|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Northwestern, 4-4||at||Nebraska, 5-2||Big Ten Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Navy, 4-3||at||No. 25 Notre Dame, 6-2||NBC|
|3:30 p.m. ET||West Virginia, 3-5||at||TCU, 3-5||ESPNU|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Kansas, 2-5||at||Texas, 5-2||Longhorn Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||UTSA, 3-5||at||Tulsa, 2-5||CSS|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 8 Clemson, 7-1||at||Virginia, 2-6||ESPN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 21 Michigan, 6-1||at||No. 22 Michigan State, 7-1||ABC|
|4 p.m. ET||San Jose State, 4-3||at||UNLV, 5-3||MWCConnection.com, Mountain West Network|
|4 p.m. ET||Hawaii, 0-7||at||Utah State, 4-4||CBSSN|
|5 p.m. ET||Tulane, 6-2||at||FAU, 2-6||ESPN 106.3|
|5 p.m. ET||Texas State, 5-3||at||Idaho, 1-7||Altitude|
|5 p.m. ET||New Mexico State, 1-7||at||UL Lafayette, 5-2||ESPN3.com|
|6 p.m. ET||No. 11 Auburn, 7-1||at||Arkansas, 3-5||ESPN2|
|6 p.m. ET||East Carolina, 5-2||at||FIU, 1-6||WITN|
|7 p.m. ET||Pittsburgh, 4-3||at||Georgia Tech, 5-3||ESPNU|
|7 p.m. ET||Tennessee, 4-4||at||No. 9 Missouri, 7-1||ESPN|
|7 p.m. ET||No. 18 Oklahoma State, 6-1||at||No. 15 Texas Tech, 7-1||FOX|
|7 p.m. ET||Eastern Michigan, 1-7||at||Toledo, 5-3||ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Alabama State, 6-2||at||Kentucky, 1-6||CSS, ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Arkansas State, 3-4||at||South Alabama, 3-4||ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Colorado, 3-4||at||No. 20 UCLA, 5-2||Fox Sports 1|
|8 p.m. ET||Boise State, 5-3||at||Colorado State, 4-4||CBSSN|
|8 p.m. ET||No. 7 Miami, 7-0||at||No. 3 Florida State, 7-0||ABC|
|8 p.m. ET||New Mexico, 2-5||at||San Diego State, 3-4||FSN, ROOT|
|9 p.m. ET||UTEP, 1-6||at||No. 12 Texas A&M, 6-2||ESPN2|
|10:30 p.m. ET||Nevada, 3-5||at||No. 16 Fresno State, 7-0||ESPNU|