College football: Stanford, Utah close to winning Pac-12 divisions
The Pac-12 has a few games that are expected to be mismatches this week. That doesn't make it any less important for the teams at the top.
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No. 9 Stanford can clinch the Pac-12 North with a win over Colorado and a loss by Oregon to California, but No. 13 Utah still needs to keep winning to win the South.
With the season winding toward the finish, here are a few things to look for in the Pac-12 this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Utah at Washington. The Utes (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) are in control of the South Division, a game ahead of No. 22 UCLA and Southern California, while Washington has struggled after a strong start to the season. Still, playing the Huskies in Seattle has not been easy for Utah. Washington is 7-0 all-time against the Utes at home, the last game a 34-15 win in 2012. The Huskies bounced back from consecutive losses by blowing out Arizona last week, so they seem to be back on the right track. Utah rolled over Oregon State last week, but this should be a much tougher test on the road.
BEST MATCHUP: California at Oregon. The Ducks pulled out a 61-55 victory in triple overtime against Arizona State, but struggled defensively. Oregon allowed the Sun Devils to roll up 742 total yards and the Ducks essentially outlasted them with some big plays on offense. This week, they'll be facing one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Jared Goff. The Cal junior has had his share of ups and downs this season, but is still second in the Pac-12 with 317 yards passing per game. Neither team has been particularly good defensively, so don't be surprised if there are more offensive fireworks like last week at Arizona State.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Stanford has outscored Colorado 96-7 the past two meetings and has won four straight in the series. ... UCLA K Ka'imi Fairbairn needs 12 points to tie former Bruin John Lee's Pac-12 record of 390 points, set from 1982-85. ... The Pac-12 had three teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings: Stanford at No. 11, Utah at No. 12, UCLA at No. 23. ... Arizona State's Jordan Simone leads the Pac-12 and is tied for second nationally with 7.4 tackles per game.
IMPACT PLAYER: UCLA running back Paul Perkins. The Bruins junior had his 10th career 100-yard rushing game after running for 118 yards against Colorado last week and had four catches to reach 67 for his career. Perkins is fourth in the Pac-12 with 109 yards rushing per game and has 11 touchdowns rushing and receiving.
This article was compiled by AP College Football Writer John Marshall and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.