Things to watch in the Pac-12 Conference this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 13 Utah (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12, No. 18 CFP) at No. 5 Washington (9-0, 6-0, No. 5 CFP), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Huskies’ treacherous November stretch returns home and features a matchup with the always dangerous Utes. Washington has struggled defensively the past two weeks but managed to pull out shootout wins against Stanford and Southern California. After the matchup with Utah, the Huskies still have to play Oregon State and the Apple Cup against Washington State before a possible berth in the Pac-12 title game. Utah’s hopes of becoming the first team to win three Pac-12 title games in a row took a big hit with a loss two weeks ago to Oregon, but the Utes are still a threat to play spoiler.
Southern California (7-3, 5-2) at No. 6 Oregon (8-1, 5-1, No. 6 CFP), Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Trojans made a big change this week by firing defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and promoting Shaun Nua and Brian Odom into the interim roles. They will be challenged immediately with a matchup against Bo Nix and the surging Ducks. USC has allowed at least 40 points in five of the last six games and ranks 121st in the country with 34.5 points allowed per game. Oregon leads the nation in scoring at 47.4 points per game and has scored at least 40 points five times this season. If USC can slow down the Ducks at all, Caleb Williams and a high-powered offense that ranks second in the nation with 71 plays of at least 20 yards could make this a competitive game.
Stanford (3-6, 2-5) at No. 12 Oregon State (7-2, 4-2, No. 12 CFP), Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
The Cardinal are showing some progress of late under first-year coach Troy Taylor. They beat Colorado on Oct. 13 and Washington State last week, and also played Washington tight two weeks ago before faltering. Winning on the road as a 21-point underdog against the Beavers would be a tough task but maybe the Cardinal can catch Oregon State looking ahead to season-ending games against Washington and Oregon.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Washington RB Dillon Johnson. The Mississippi State transfer had a career-best game last week to lead the Huskies past USC. He ran 26 times for 256 yards for the fifth most yards in a game in school history. He also ran for four TDs, becoming the first Washington back to do that since Myles Gaskin in 2017. He was the first Pac-12 player in six years to run for at least 250 yards and four TDs in the same game. He also had two carries go for at least 50 yards, including a 52-yard TD.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Washington State has lost five straight games heading into a matchup at California for the Cougars’ longest losing streak since an eight-gamer in 2012. … Washington WR Rome Odunze has at least five catches in 11 straight games dating to last season. … Arizona became the first Pac-12 school since Stanford in 2015 to beat a ranked team in three straight games. The Wildcats (6-3) have their best record since 2017 when they last made a bowl. … Colorado is 1-4 against ranked teams headed into a home game against No. 23 Arizona. … Buffaloes QB Shedeur Sanders needs four TD passes to tie Sefo Liufau’s school record of 28 set in 2014.
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