UCLA Travels to Oregon in Showdown Between top-10 Teams
Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 9 UCLA (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) at No. 10 Oregon (5-1, 3-0), Saturday. The winner moves into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12. With so much at stake, ESPN College GameDay is making the trek to Oregon for the first time since 2018. Both teams should be well-rested as they enter off their bye week. The Ducks ride a five-game win streak into the game, while the Bruins are one of nine remaining unblemished teams in the nation. The last matchup between teams ranked in the top 10 at Autzen Stadium was when No. 3 Oregon beat No. 7 Michigan State on Sept. 6, 2014. Oregon has won 22 straight at home and is one away from matching the school record.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Washington (5-2, 2-2) at California (3-3, 1-2), Saturday. Former California standout running backs Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett will be inducted into the California athletics hall of fame during the 101st meeting between the Golden Bears and the Huskies. Washington holds a 55-41-4 advantage over the Bears, including wins in 10 of the last 14 games. Washington and Cal first met in 1904, with the teams finishing tied at 6-apiece in a contest held in Seattle. Washington is coming off a 49-39 win over Arizona — a game in which Michael Penix Jr. shattered school records for yards passing (516), completions (36) and total offense (529). The Bears are trying to bounce back from a 20-13 overtime loss at Colorado.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Oregon averages a league-leading 6.22 yards per carry. ... The Ducks are scoring 49.8 points per game over their five-game win streak. The only team with a higher average in that time frame is Ohio State (54.4). ... The Ducks have won three straight over the Bruins. ... California has won six in a row at home dating to last season. ... The Bears have forced at least one takeaway in 19 straight games. ... Washington has eclipsed last season’s 12-game season totals for points and touchdowns ... The Huskies lead the nation in first downs. ... Oregon State (5-2, 2-2) can become bowl eligible for a second straight season with a home win over Colorado (1-5, 1-2). The Beavers fell 37-34 in two overtimes at Colorado last season. The series with Colorado is tied at six apiece. ... Oregon State has been successful on 70 fourth-down attempts under coach Jonathan Smith since 2018. It’s the most in the conference. ... The combined record of the six teams the Buffaloes have faced is 27-11. ... Interim coach Mike Sanford won his first game at Colorado after taking over for Karl Dorrell. The win snapped the Buffaloes' six-game skid dating to last season.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Quarterback Bo Nix, Oregon. The Auburn transfer has thrown for 8,777 yards and 51 touchdowns in his career. He’s also rushed for 1,200 yards and 26 scores. Nix is one of three active QBs in the Pac-12 with more than 8,500 yards passing in his career, along with UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson (9,051) and Washington State’s Cameron Ward (8,870).
Arizona State (2-4, 1-2) at Stanford (2-4, 0-4) on homecoming. The Cardinal are a 2 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. They beat Notre Dame on the road last weekend to snap a four-game slide. Stanford coach David Shaw (64-36) is one win away from matching USC’s Howard Jones (65-23-12) for fifth-most Pac-12 victories. The Sun Devils had a bye week after a 45-38 win over Washington.