Things to watch in the Pac-12 in Week 5:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 8 Southern California (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) visits Colorado (3-1 0-1) on Saturday in Boulder. The Trojans defeated Arizona State 42-28 last weekend but the Sun Devils closed to within 24-21 in the third quarter and USC had to rally for the victory. As a result of the less-than-impressive road win, the Trojans dropped a few spots in the AP Top 25. Caleb Williams threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more.
Coach Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes were routed 42-6 by Oregon last weekend in Eugene for Colorado's first loss of the season. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders was sacked seven times, exposing a troubling weakness with the Buffs' offensive line. Shedeur Sanders is still considered one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12, averaging just more than 352 passing yards a game. He's also thrown for 11 touchdowns.
Tenth-ranked Utah (4-0, 1-0) at No. 19 Oregon State (3-1, 0-1) on Friday night. The Beavers are coming off a loss, just barely, to Washington State last weekend in Pullman. Oregon State, which stayed in the Top 25, will need to rebound against the Utes to maintain its profile. Utah is coming off a 14-10 victory over UCLA in its conference opener. Last year, the Utes won 42-17 in Salt Lake City. The biggest question surrounding the Utes is whether quarterback Cam Rising makes his season debut after an ACL injury in the Rose Bowl.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Pac-12 has four teams in the top 10 of the AP's rankings — No. 7 Washington, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Utah — for the most in conference history. In all, six Pac-12 teams are ranked. ... Five teams enter Week 5 with perfect 4-0 overall records, also a record for the conference. ... Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward is the first Pac-12 QB since 1996 to throw for 1,300-plus yards with 13 TDs and no interceptions through his team's first four games. ... Utah and Washington State are both 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017. ... Washington has won 11 straight overall dating back to last season. The Huskies have also won 10 straight at home. ... Stanford has lost six straight conference games. ... UCLA and Washington State have byes this weekend.
Pac-12 After Dark heads to Tucson, where No. 7 Washington (4-0, 1-0) faces Arizona (3-1, 1-0) on Saturday night. While Washington is led by dynamic quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and a potent offense, strange things have been known to happen in the desert. Penix threw for a school-record 516 yards last season in a 49-39 win against the Wildcats. But Arizona counterpart Jayden De Laura pulled the Wildcats within 42-37 midway through the fourth quarter. It's uncertain if De Laura can play in this one, however, since he's nursing an ankle injury. Backup Noah Fifita may get a daunting first start.
PLAYER TO (NOT) WATCH
Colorado two-way player Travis Hunter has pushed Sanders to allow him to play Saturday against USC. Hunter suffered a lacerated liver during the Buffaloes' double-overtime victory over Colorado State two weeks ago. His absence was felt in Colorado's loss to the Ducks. Sanders said Hunter texted him to say he wanted to play against the Trojans. Sanders responded that Hunter was not ready to return. "You're going to change the game of football one day when you're healthy and ready," Coach Prime said. "Your future is brighter than mine ever would be and ever was. Relax and get healthy. I love you son."
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