Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 17 Arizona State at No. 13 Utah. A showdown that could go a long way in determining the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) are coming off an impressive win, outlasting Washington State 38-34 in Tempe. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels led the comeback, orchestrating a late drive and capping it with a 17-yard scramble into the end zone. The Utes (5-1, 2-1) bounced back from a loss at Southern California by crushing Washington State and Oregon State by a combined score of 90-20. Utah RB Zack Moss returned from a shoulder injury last week against the Beavers, running for 121 yards and two TDs. This should be a physical, entertaining game.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington. This could tighten up the Pac-12 North race. The Ducks (5-1) lead the division at 3-0, with the Huskies and Stanford, which played UCLA on Thursday night, at 2-2. Oregon has been rolling since a season-opening loss to Auburn, racking up five straight wins behind quarterback Justin Hebert and a newly balanced offense. Washington moved into this week’s AP Top 25 after pulling away from Arizona for a 51-27 win. The Ducks have won five straight and have held five straight opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1958.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Oregon has allowed 25 points the past five games, a first in the Pac-12 since USC allowed 13 points in a five-game span in 2008. … Utah QB Tyler Huntley has gone 131 attempts without an interception and is one of four starting FBS quarterbacks to have not thrown a pick this season. … Oregon State is second nationally with 12 interceptions. … Washington’s Peyton Henry (11 for 11), Washington State’s Blake Mazza (9-9) and USC’s Chase McGrath (6-6) are among the nine FBS kickers who meet the minimum requirements who have yet to miss a field goal this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk. A queasy stomach did little to slow the Sun Devils senior against Washington State. He caught seven passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns against the Cougars to earn Pac-12 offensive player of the week honors. Aiyuk has 31 catches for 651 yards and five TDs this season.
UPSET WATCH: Arizona at USC. The Trojans are a 9.5-point favorite in Saturday’s game, but the Wildcats (4-2, 2-1) could certainly make a game of it with their explosive offense. Arizona’s 34-point loss to Washington wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed – the Huskies pulled away late – and USC (3-3, 2-1) has lost two straight after a setback to No. 8 Notre Dame. The Trojans have won six straight in the series and haven’t lost to Arizona at home since 2009.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.