BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 10 Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12, No. 9 CFP) at No. 22 Oregon State (8-3, 5-3, No. 21 CFP), Saturday.
A win and the Oregon Ducks qualify for a fourth straight appearance in the Pac-12 championship game. That would mean a showdown with No. 5 USC, a team Oregon hasn’t faced this season. First things first: rival Oregon State. This marks the 126th all-time meeting between the Beavers and the Ducks, with Oregon leading 67-48-10. The Beavers have a 10-1 overall record at Reser Stadium dating to 2021.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
No. 13 Notre Dame (8-3, No. 15 CFP) at No. 5 Southern California (10-1, 8-1, No. 6 CFP), Saturday
The Trojans can bolster their resume as they try to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. They're a 5 1/2-point favorite over the Fighting Irish, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The Trojans have already secured their place in the Pac-12 title game on Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. USC has a 3-7 mark over its last 10 games against Notre Dame. USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Caleb Williams has thrown 33 touchdown passes and run for seven more.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix has 25 touchdown passes, along with 14 rushing scores and one receiving. ... The Beavers have won eight games in a season for the first time since 2012. ... No. 14 Utah (8-3, 6-2, No. 14 CFP) has captured nine of the last 11 games against Colorado (1-10, 1-7) since both schools entered the Pac-12 in 2011. ... Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is second in Huskies history for a single-season with 3,869 yards passing. ... USC has five straight games with 40 or more points, the most since the Trojans had seven in a row in 2003. ... Stanford (3-8, 1-8) is 2-0 all-time against BYU (6-5) heading into Saturday's game at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal and Cougars had announced an eight-game series, but it was reduced to two games with BYU set to join the Big 12 Conference in 2023. ... Arizona (4-7, 2-6) hosts Arizona State (3-8, 2-6) on Friday in the 96th meeting of the Territorial Cup. The Wildcats lead the series 49-45-1, but haven’t won since 2016. ... Chip Kelly returns to the place where he earned his first win as UCLA coach when the 17th-ranked Bruins (8-3, 5-3, No. 18 CFP) travel to Cal (4-7, 2-6) on Friday. Kelly and the Bruins beat the Bears 37-7 in 2018. It was Kelly's sixth game with the team.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Oregon defensive back Bennett Williams. The senior from California had two interceptions and 14 tackles in a 20-17 win over Utah last weekend. Williams was named the league's defensive player of the week.
No. 12 Washington (9-2, 6-2, No. 13 CFP) at Washington State (7-4, 4-4), Saturday.
The Huskies have won five straight over the Cougars heading into the 114th edition of the Apple Cup ( Washington leads 74-33-6 ). Washington still has an outside shot at making the Pac-12 title game, but needs a combination of results to secure a spot. Coach Kalen DeBoer has guided the Huskies to nine wins this season, which is more than any first-year coach in program history. His reward was a recent contract extension through the 2028 season. Washington State is chasing its first eight-win season since 2018. The Huskies are a 1 1/2-point favorite.
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