While we are off this weekend there are some really interesting Pac-12 games we will have to keep track of this Saturday. I don't think we have to spend too much wondering about Cal-Oregon. I am sure I will check-in on Oregon State-Colorado a bit -- because that's what a CFB does. Right? The other three games are the ones worth tracking.
Arizona (3-0) is going to take on #16 Washington (3-0) at the Huskie Stadium at 7 pm (Fox). I think Arizona is basically a paper tiger (on the road) and I don't see them doing much against a Washington team, which is getting a lot of hype (from Sarkisian's media buddies) but not necessarily a proven commodity either. Still this game is worth tracking as we are playing both of these programs this season.
The two games that I really want to check-in on are (courtesy of tWWL):
No. 5 Stanford (3-0, 1-0) vs. Washington State (3-1, 1-0) 10 p.m. ESPN (CenturyLink Field, Seattle): Stanford leads the series 37-25-1, including a 24-17 victory last year. At 61 percent, Stanford is one of three Pac-12 teams with a third-down conversion rate better than 60 percent (UCLA at 68.3 percent, Washington at 65.9 percent). All three Pac-12 teams are among the top five nationally in third-down conversion. Stanford has won 11 straight dating back to last season, which is currently the second longest streak in FBS (Ohio State is at 15). Stanford is returning to CenturyLink Field, where it suffered its lone conference defeat last year, to Washington. Cardinal junior WR Ty Montgomery is third in the Pac-12 in all-purpose yardage (165.7 ypg) and averages 20.7 yards per touch. In the win over Idaho, Washington State junior QB Connor Hallidayrecorded his sixth career 4-touchdown game, tying Ryan Leaf for most all- time in school history. With 346 yards passing, he also posted his third straight 300-yard performance, and eighth career 300-yard performance. Sophomore WR Gabe Marks posted career-highs with 11 receptions and 146 yards in the win over Idaho. His 31 receptions this season are currently tied for fifth among all FBS players. The Cougar defense is allowing just 221.7 yards per game over the last three games. The Cougars have won three in a row for the first time since the 2006 season and are looking to make it four straight for the first time since the winning the final game of the 2004 season and the first three contests of the 2005 season. In last season's surprisingly close game, Stanford sacked Cougars QB Jeff Tuel a record 10 times.
USC (3-1, 0-1) at Arizona State (2-1, 0-1) 10:30 p.m. ESPN2: USC leads the all-time series against Arizona State, 19-10. The Trojans are 12-1 in the series since 2000, with ASU's lone victory coming in 2011, a 43-22 win to end an 11-game losing streak. Prior to this millennium, ASU was 9-7 all-time against USC. The Trojans beat the Sun Devils in Los Angeles last year in a 38-17 rout in the Coliseum. Arizona State RB Marion Grice is ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring (16) and No. 5 in rushing TDs (6). Over the past six games, he has scored 14 TDs (11 rushing, three receiving), scoring once every 7.8 touches in that span. Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly set a new career high with 367 passing yards against Stanford, and is sixth in the nation at 339.7 passing ypg. USC OLB Morgan Breslin leads the Pac-12 in sacks (1.3 per game) and tackles for loss (1.8 per game) -- Breslin missed the opener against Hawaii due to injury. USC has four players on its roster from Arizona (OLB Devon Kennard of Desert Vista HS, C- OG Cyrus Hobbi of Saguaro HS, SNP Peter McBride of Chaparral HS and S John Auran of Brophy College Prep), while the Sun Devils feature 39 Californians.
Stanford-Washington State is going to be interesting. All experts are picking the Cardinal in this game, but I have this weird feeling about Mike Leach's defense. I am not going to be surprised if the Trees' bubble is burst early this season.
As for ASU-Southern Cal everyone is picking the Sun Devils, who got BLOWN UP at the Farm this past weekend. I don't think we can ever bring ourselves up to root for the Trogans BUT - Lane Kiffin is a special coach, who deserves some special love from the Bruin Nation. So please for the love of God ... Fight on Lane.
On a more serious note (wait I was being serious about Lane fighting on!) -- the ASU/Southern Cal game is big because whoever loses that one could be toast for rest of the conference season.