Pac-12 After Dark pulls No. 10 Washington into Utah
Here are some things to watch in Week 3 of the Pac-12 Conference football season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: So it’s kind of a tossup this week. Pac-12 After Dark sends No. 10 Washington into Utah, while No. 22 USC visits Texas. Both Top 25 teams need to prove they belong there. The Trojans (1-1) are hoping to rebound from last week’s 17-3 loss at Stanford that dropped them in the polls. It was the fewest points USC had scored in more than two decades. Washington (1-1) had a somewhat lackluster performance last week against FCS-level North Dakota and will have to get its offense going against the Utes (2-0), who could establish themselves as the team to beat in the Pac-12 South with a win.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: J.T. Daniels went 16 of 34 for 215 yards against Stanford, but also had two late interceptions, lost a fumble and got sacked four times. Still, it was against the Cardinal, who are now ranked in the Top 10. The experience could benefit him in facing the Longhorns (1-1), who are coming off a 28-21 victory over Tulsa. Texas has just one sack and 10 tackles for loss in its first two games. One thing to watch: Daniels bruised his throwing hand in the loss to the Cardinal but he says it won’t keep him out of the game.
NUMBERS GAME: Cardinal running back Bryce Love ran for 136 yards in Stanford’s win over the Trojans, but he’ll sit out of this week’s game against UC Davis with an unspecified injury. … Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has 10 total touchdowns through two games, nine via pass and one on the run. With Herbert in the game, the Ducks average 43.3 points per game. … Arizona State receiver N’Keal Harry has a catch in all 27 games with the Sun Devils, tied for the eighth-longest active streak in FBS. He has a TD catch in his last four games. … Seven Pac-12 teams are 2-0, joining 53 other FBS teams. … Washington quarterback Jake Browning has 81 career touchdown passes, becoming the 12th Pac-12 player to throw 80 or more. … The Bruins are off to a 0-2 start for the first time since 2010.
UPSET WATCH: Oregon State heads to Nevada with its confidence boosted by a 48-25 victory last week against Southern Utah that broke an 11-game losing streak dating back to last season. Add to that the performance by freshman running back Jermar Jefferson, who rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns. Jefferson is averaging 142.5 yards a game, second in the nation. Nevada is a just 3-point favorite, but a Beavers upset in this one could show that new head coach Jonathan Smith has his team on the right track.
IMPACT PERFORMER: Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, who caught 10 passes for 177 yards, including the game-winning touchdown in Colorado’s 33-28 victory over Nebraska. Shenault has 21 total catches this season for 388 yards, for the most receiving yards in back-to-back games in school history. His average of 10.5 catches per game leads the FBS. The Buffaloes (2-0) host New Hampshire (0-2) this weekend.