- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

So much for the hype and anticipation surrounding the Oregon-UCLA matchup in Week 7 of the Pac-12 schedule. Last week’s craziness in the conference left California on top in the North and Arizona leading the South. Still, it’s the one watch with only four conference games on the docket:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 12 Oregon at No. 18 UCLA. This was supposed to be the first showdown to start shaking out the most viable Pac-12 contender for the College Football Playoff. Thank Arizona and Utah for blowing up those plans with their upset wins last week over the Ducks and Bruins, respectively. The winner can remain in the running for one of those playoff positions, while the loser will be saddled with two conference losses before the middle of October. Much of the attention will be on QBs Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley. Mariota threw for three touchdowns, but was sacked and fumbled on the Ducks’ final possession in Arizona’s 31-24 upset. Hundley was overwhelmed by Utah’s defensive line and was sacked 10 times in the Utes’ win.

BEST MATCHUP: Stanford’s secondary vs. Washington State QB Connor Halliday. Even after giving up 17 points to Notre Dame, the Cardinal have the best scoring defense in the country and are second in yards passing allowed per game - they’ve yet to give up a pass play of more than 29 yards. That’ll be severely tested by Halliday after his record-setting 734-yard passing performance last Saturday night in the Cougars’ 60-59 loss to California. Halliday had touchdown passes of 90 and 86 yards on his way to the best passing game ever by an FBS quarterback. The Cougars are now in desperate need of a win to keep bowl aspirations alive.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Four teams have byes this week: Utah, Arizona State, Colorado and Oregon State. … Since the AP Top 25 expanded in 1989, Arizona entering the poll this week at No. 10 was the biggest leap ever for an unranked team. … Five FBS quarterbacks have thrown 100 passes this season without an interception. Four are in the Pac-12: Mariota, USC’s Cody Kessler, Utah’s Travis Wilson and Washington’s Cyler Miles.

IMPACT PLAYER: California QB Jared Goff. The surprising leaders of the Pac-12 North could be 3-0 in conference play if not for Arizona’s Hail Mary on the final play three weeks ago in Tucson. Goff is a big reason for the fast start in Berkeley. Goff’s production has progressively increased the past three weeks. He threw for 380 yards against Arizona; 458 yards versus Colorado; and 527 and five touchdowns in the win over Washington State. Goff has already thrown for 22 touchdowns, four more than all of last season, and could add to the total facing Washington’s young secondary this week.

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Complied by AP Sports Writer Tim Booth.

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