Around the Pac-12: Week 7
Another week is in the books for the Pac-12 conference, with hardly any surprises to offer.
There were four games last weekend, all of which were won by the favorites. First, Arizona State took care of Stanford on Friday night. On Saturday, Washington State topped Oregon State by seven points, Utah dominated USC and UCLA had no problem with winless Arizona.
No. 9 Oregon and No. 18 Arizona State remain the only Pac-12 teams to be ranked (or even receive votes). They look to take care of business this weekend.
Here are the biggest games in the Pac-12:
No. 18 Arizona State duels Utah for first place in the South
First place is on the line in Salt Lake City, as the Utah Utes (3-2, 2-0) will host the No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0).
Although unranked, Utah is far from a pushover. Its two losses have come against ranked teams in BYU and San Diego State, losing by just nine and two points, respectively.
The Utes are coming off a 42-26 win on the road against USC in their best all-around performance this season. The offense was clicking all night, picking up 486 total yards, including a 300-yard passing day for quarterback Cameron Rising. The defense held USC in check prior to relinquishing some garbage time numbers.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils look to continue a three game winning streak and place a stranglehold on the Pac-12 South. With a key victory already against UCLA, a win against Utah would put Arizona State in great position to make the Pac-12 title game barring disaster.
That being said, the Pac-12 is always unpredictable and the 2021 season is even more of an enigma. Utah hopes it can pull a home upset and turn the Pac-12 South on its head.
Battle in the basement: Colorado and Arizona to decide Pac-12’s worst team
Last place is an unfortunately familiar position for the Arizona Wildcats and the Colorado Buffaloes. With an 0-5 start, Arizona looks primed to endure their third straight losing season. Meanwhile, Colorado (1-4, 0-2) has had only one winning season since 2005 and doesn't look like the Buffaloes will get one in 2021.
Nevertheless, someone has to win in Boulder on Saturday. Statistically, the winless Wildcats have the advantage in points per game, yards per game, and yards allowed. Colorado has allowed less points per game and do have home field advantage, for what that’s worth.
This is the best opportunity for both teams to secure another win before the season comes to an end. We’ll find out who on Saturday.
Can USC upset No. 14 Notre Dame?
No matter what USC does, the Trojans always seem to find themselves in the headlines. This time, a historic home loss has the inconsistent Trojans (3-3, 2-3) under scrutiny again. They don’t have much time to dwell on the Utah debacle, as they have a trip to South Bend to face No. 14 Notre Dame.
The Irish have had some close games from unexpected sources this season, including one-score finishes against unranked Toledo and last week’s game against Virginia Tech. USC could very well add to the list, as the Trojans do have plenty of talent.
Expect another fight to the finish for Notre Dame and even more drama for USC.
Interesting stat of the week:
USC’s 42-26 loss to Utah was their first home loss to the Utes since 1916. Back then, Woodrow Wilson was the U.S. President, gas was 15 cents per gallon and the forward pass was made legal in football just 10 years prior.
Sam Woloson is a first-year majoring in journalism, to contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.