A game in the Rockies that could help clear up the South Division and a marquee nonconference matchup headline this week in the Pac-12.
Here’s what to look for:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Arizona State at Colorado. The Pac-12 South Division picture should become a little clearer after Saturday’s game in Boulder. The winner will have a chance to stay in the race with Utah, the loser will have an uphill climb. The Sun Devils (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) were just outside the AP Top 25 this week after knocking off UCLA last week. Arizona State’s defense knocked around Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen and its secondary, the weak link most of the season, held up fairly well in the 23-20 victory. Colorado (4-2, 2-1) moved into the rankings last week for the first time in 11 years, but lost to Southern California 21-17 despite forcing four turnovers. Arizona State is 7-0 all-time in the series, averaging 47.8 points per game the last five meetings.
BEST MATCHUP: Stanford at Notre Dame. Both teams have had their share of struggles this season, but this is still a matchup of marquee teams that were highly ranked early in the season. The Cardinal (3-2) won last year’s game 38-36 at home, though the Irish ran for nearly 300 yards and held Christian McCaffrey to 94 yards rushing. Stanford has been blown out its past two games while Notre Dame struggled out of the gate. But no matter the deficiencies, these teams figure to put on a show.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez kicked three field goals last week to break the NCAA record with 89 for his career. … No. 5 Washington, which has a bye week, is 6-0 for the first time since 1992. Oregon and California also are off this week.
IMPACT PLAYER: USC QB Sam Darnold. He threw for 358 yards and 3 TDs against Colorado last week, becoming the first Trojans freshman to eclipse 300 yards in consecutive games since Todd Marinovich in 1989.
Compiled by AP College Football Writer John Marshall
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org
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