It's another only on Saturday schedule, but unlike the last couple of weeks, not everyone is in action, because next week won't be. It's also "double header" weekend, with 2 networks doing double headers. The "good" one is entirely based here in Oregon, with 2 of the 3 games in the country matching ranked teams, at least according to BCS rankings. It's also the first time EVER that both Oregon teams have been ranked by some poll AND both hosted ranked opponents on the same day. <Insert I-5 traffic alert here.>
The day and the Pac-12 Channel doubleheader gets started when Utah (4-3, 1-3) visits USC (4-3, 1-2) at 1 PM, in a rematch of the first ever Pac-12 conference game 2 years ago. It's also the only day game for what has become the "Night Game" Conference.
The Utes lost quarterback Travis Wilson to a hand injury in the first half, and though Adam Schulz rallied Utah to take a 1 point lead in the 3rd quarter, on a 55 yard touchdown throw to Sean Fitzgerald, Arizona pulled away to a 35-24 win in Tucson.
A big part of the reason for that was the 236 yards KaDeem Carey ran for on 40 carries to reestablish himself as the nation's leading rusher for the first time since finishing last season in that position.
Wilson's status for this week is questionable, and even if he does play, if his hand acts up, Schulz could see action again.
The Trojans lost for the first time in South Bend since 2001, and for the first time under interim coach Ed Orgeron, dropping a 14-10 decision that saw no scoring in the entire second half.
USC knocked Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, who had had a pair of first half touchdown throws, out of the game early in the third quarter with a neck sprain, but couldn't generate consistent offense against the Irish.
Cody Kessler threw for 201 yards, but for no points, and with 1 interception. Silas Redd in his second game back after injury ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, which was the highlight of the Trojans' night.
USC is also a banged up bunch going into this one. Marqise Lee, in his first game back after an injured knee, did not play in the second half, and is
questionable for out of the Utes game. The Trojans' leading rusher Tre Madden sat out the game with an injured hamstring, and Justin Davis, who left the Notre Dame game with an ankle injury, is out for the season, after surgery this week.
This is the game that's probably going to be the best game that few will see and fewer are talking about. Both teams are banged up at key positions, but both teams can really help themselves with a win in what should be a competitive slug-out of an contest.
The Wildcats got a 1-2 punch in support of Carey from B.J. Denker, who completed 18 of 30 passes, for 168 yards and a touchdown, but also ran 13 times for 51 yards, and 2 more scores.
And the 'Cats' defense chipped in as well, with a pair of interceptions of Wilson, including a 14 yard pick-6 by Marquis Flowers on the second play of the second quarter.
The Buffs pulled away from FCS Charleston Southern for a 43-10 win, with Sefo Liufau making his first career start at quarterback. Liafau threw for just 2 yards shy of 200, and a touchdown without an interception, and Michael Adkins II had a big game, running for 137 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The win in the make-up game for the flooded out Fresno St. game will count towards bowl eligibility, but if Colorado can't come up with another win here, its unlikely to matter.
The ESPN Oregon Trail Special actually begins at 6 AM (which is also in the dark), when Gameday airs from Eugene. The ESPN east coast evening doubleheader begins at 4 PM, when #12 (#12 in the BCS) UCLA (5-1, 2-1) takes on #2 (#3 in the BCS) Oregon (7-0, 4-0).
The Bruins were throttled by Stanford, being shut out in the first half for the first time in the Jim Mora era, and the Cardinal became the first team to score on UCLA in the 3rd quarter this season, with a pair of touchdowns that provided the difference in a 24-10 win.
UCLA was held to just 74 yards rushing, and 266 yards total. Brett Hundley was picked off twice and sacked 4 times, and when Stanford held onto the ball for almost a full quarter of the game more, the opportunities for the Bruins to score were well limited.
Meanwhile, the UCLA defense was run over for nearly 200 yards rushing, 171 by Tyler Gaffney, who had 2 of the Cardinal's 3 touchdowns as well.
Jordan James, the Bruins leading rusher, missed the Stanford game, and is a question mark at best for this week.
The Ducks gave up a conference record number of pass completions, on an FBS record number of pass attempts, and a conference record of 557 yards passing, and still won in a blowout. Oregon downed Washington St. 62-38, but had a 62-24 lead until there was less than 4 minutes left, and as Duck defensive coordinator Nick Alioti pointed out on his way to getting a $5,000 fine for complaining about Mike Leach passing too much for too long, the Oregon scout team had long since taken the field.
Trouble is the Cougs' Connor Halliday also threw 4 interceptions, including a pick-6 by Terrance Mitchell, and Oregon's Marcus Mariota was having a big night as well. Mariota romped for a 57 yard touchdown to start the scoring, and also threw for 336 yards and 4 more scores.
And a 221 yard passing deficit didn't matter when Oregon was running for 383 yards, as Byron Marshall ran for 192 yards and 3 scores, including from 26 and 30 yards out, and Thomas Tyner was adding 99 more. His second touchdown came from 66 yards out, and was critical, coming immediately after Washington St. had scored twice in 35 seconds to pull within 27-21 in the second quarter, the latter after Xavier Cooper scooped up one of Mariota's 2 fumbles, and took it to the end zone. It was about the only thing Oregon did wrong.
And if that wasn't enough for the Bruins to worry about, the Ducks get DeAnthony Thomas back this week. Thomas missed the last month making sure his sprained knee is ready to go full speed.
The Cardinal's Tyler Gaffney had a career best night, running for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns, on his seemingly endless 36 carries that hammered the UCLA defense into submission, as Stanford bounced back from an offensively unimpressive effort the week before in defeat at Utah.
Kevin Hogan added a more typical solid performance for Stanford as well, completing 18 of 25 passes for 227 yards and a score, and running for 33 more.
But it was the ability of the Cardinal defense to bottle up not just Hundley, but the entire Bruin offense, that was the story of the game.
Fortunately for Oregon St., a defense's ability to stop a rushing attack, or contain a mobile quarterback, is of little relevance.
The Beavers blasted the Bears 49-17, as Sean Mannion carved up the California secondary, completing 35 of 45 passes for 481 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Coupled with his 493 yards the week before at Washington St., Mannion's 974 yards are the most ever in any 2 consecutive games by any quarterback in the history of the conference in any of its half dozen incarnations, breaking a record that stood for 17 seasons.
Brandin Cooks caught a baker's dozen of those balls, for 232 yards and a touchdown, to remain the leader in the nation on catches, yards, and touchdowns. Cooks contributed a fly-sweep score as well for good measure.
The only game not in a broadcast double header, and the latest game of the night, or ever in Husky Stadium (new or old) history starts after 8 PM when California (1-6, 0-4) visits Washington (4-3, 1-3), a time set by Fox Sports 1, also known as the UFC Channel (which is why Fox wants some programming that will actually be tuned into by someone on a Saturday night).
This game matches teams from 2 of the 3 largest markets on the west coast, but unfortunately for Fox, also 2 teams that were obliterated last week.
The Bears were nearly shut out until late in the 3rd quarter, managing only a field goal until after Jared Goff was pulled in favor of Zach Kline. Goff did throw for 220 yards, but no scores, and both he and Kline were picked off by the Oregon St. secondary.
With only 75 rushing yards of support, neither Cal quarterback had a chance to keep up without any defensive help.
The Huskies melted down in Tempe, figuratively and literally, and got torched 53-24 by Arizona St. The Sun Devils answered an early Bishop Sankey touchdown with 29 consecutive points in 18 minutes, and never looked back.
Taylor Kelly threw for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for another 84 yards and 2 more scores, and Marion Grice ran all over the Washington defense, for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also added a scoring catch.
Meanwhile the Sun Devil defense was stifling the Husky offense, holding Sankey, who came into the game as the nation's leading rusher, to just 22 yards, and only that early touchdown.
Keith Price didn't fare any better, struggling with a thumb injury that could keep him out against California, and completing only 16 of 39 passes, only 41%, and for only 217 yards. 5 sacks almost single-handedly wiped out Washington's minuscule net rushing yards as well.
The arrival of the hapless, and defenseless, Bears couldn't come at a better time for the Huskies, who have dropped 3 in a row.
Price seemed to have recovered from the battering the Sun Devils gave him, and will start against the Bears, but California coach Sonny Dykes said he won't decide until Friday whether to start Goff or Kline.
Washington will honor former head Coach Don James, who passed away on Sunday, at the game.
Arizona St. (5-2, 3-1) and Washington St. (4-4, 2-3) have the weekend off, as the Sun Devils and the Cougars prepare for their Halloween night showdown in Pullman next week.
The break comes at a good time for the Cougs, who have been hammered in their last 2 outings against the Oregon schools.
The Sun Devils will want to use the time to figure out how to take their show on the road. Arizona St. has been spectacular at home, winning 4 of 5 in blowout fashion, but have lost in disappointing fashion in their only 2 trips away from Tempe, and their next 2 games, and 3 of the next 4, are all on the road.
Here's the weekend schedule, adjusted for east coast bias time:
|GAME||NETWORK||LINE (O/U)||TIME (ET)|
|Ball State at Akron||AKR +9.5 (54)||12:00 PM|
|Northwestern at Iowa||IOWA -3.5 (52.5)||12:00 PM|
|#19 Oklahoma State at Iowa State||ISU +12.5 (56)||12:00 PM|
|Wake Forest at #7 Miami||UM -23.5 (54.5)||12:00 PM|
|#24 Nebraska at Minnesota||MIN +10 (52)||12:00 PM|
|Houston at Rutgers||RUT -6.5 (64.5)||12:00 PM|
|#20 Louisville at USF||USF +20.5 (46.5)||12:00 PM|
|Connecticut at #23 UCF||UCF -24.5 (52.5)||12:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech at Virginia||UVA +10.5 (48.5)||12:30 PM|
|Pittsburgh at Navy||NAVY +6 (52)||1:00 PM|
|Miami (OH) at Ohio||OU -25 (50.5)||2:00 PM|
|Toledo at Bowling Green||BGSU -4 (57.5)||2:30 PM|
|Western Michigan at Massachussetts||UMASS -3.5 (46)||3:00 PM|
|Temple at SMU||SMU -14 (62)||3:00 PM|
|Tennessee at #1 Alabama||BAMA -28 (51.5)||3:30 PM|
|NC State at #2 Florida State||
|FSU -32 (58)||3:30 PM|
|Michigan State at Illinois||
|ILL +9.5 (49)||3:30 PM|
|Buffalo at Kent State||KSU -1 (50)||3:30 PM|
|#9 Clemson at Maryland||UMD +16.5 (59.5)||3:30 PM|
|Boston College at North Carolina||UNC -6.5 (58.5)||3:30 PM|
|Eastern Michigan at #18 Northern Illinois||NIU -31.5 (65.5)||3:30 PM|
|#10 Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma||OU -6.5 (59)||3:30 PM|
|UTEP at Rice||RICE -18 (59)||3:30 PM|
|Tulsa at Tulane||TULANE +3 (48.5)||3:30 PM|
|Duke at #14 Virginia Tech||VT -13.5 (47.5)||3:30 PM|
|West Virginia at Kansas State||KSU -11.5 (52.5)||3:45 PM|
|Utah at USC||USC -6 (52.5)||4:00 PM|
|Troy at Western Kentucky||WKU -10 (62)||4:00 PM|
|Notre Dame at Air Force||ND +20 (57.5)||5:00 PM|
|UAB at UTSA||UTSA -8 (59.5)||5:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech at FIU||FIU Live / CUSA Live ($)||FIU +5.5 (50)||6:00 PM|
|UNLV at Nevada||NEV -6.5 (68)||6:05 PM|
|#8 Baylor at Kansas||KU +35 (64.5)||7:00 PM|
|Furman at LSU||TigerVision (PPV)||LSU -46.5 (56.5)||7:00 PM|
|#21 South Carolina at #5 Missouri||MIZ -3 (52.5)||7:00 PM|
|#12 UCLA at #3 Oregon||UO -23.5 (72.5)||7:00 PM|
|Wyoming at San Jose State||SJSU -8.5 (71.5)||7:00 PM|
|North Texas at Southern Miss||USM +11.5 (50)||7:00 PM|
|South Alabama at Texas State||TSU +1.5 (50.5)||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State at Louisiana-Monroe||ULM -14 (51.5)||7:00 PM|
|Florida Atlantic at #11 Auburn||AUB -23.5 (51)||7:30 PM|
|Idaho at Ole Miss||MISS -41 (57.5)||7:30 PM|
|Texas at TCU||TCU -2 (51.5)||7:30 PM|
|Arizona at Colorado||CU +13 (56)||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian at New Mexico State||NMSU -6 (66)||8:00 PM|
|Penn State at #4 Ohio State||OSU -16 (55.5)||8:00 PM|
|#6 Stanford at #25 Oregon State||OSU +4.5 (56)||10:30 PM|
|#17 Fresno State at San Diego State||SDSU +7 (62)||10:30 PM|
|California at Washington||UW -28 (67)||11:00 PM|
|Colorado State at Hawaii||UH +2.5 (54.5)||11:59 PM|