EL PASO, Texas – Plenty of great football has been played during the 2018 college football season and last week was no different. While we still don’t know where teams will land in the postseason, including who will be at the Hyundai Sun Bowl, week seven has the potential to showcase some great games from teams who could end up in El Paso come December 31.
Washington stayed strong with a 31-24 victory over a UCLA team searching for its first win of the season. Running back Bryce Love was held out due to injury in Stanford’s upset loss to Utah 40-21. Washington St. keeps scoreboards lit up, this time winning 56-37 at Oregon State and Colorado kept its undefeated season intact with a 28-21 win against Arizona State.
Here’s some key matchups in another big week for Pac-12 football.
Arizona at Utah (Friday)
Utah rushed for 222 yards and forced four turnovers in its upset victory over then No. 14 Stanford, moving its record to 3-2 (1-2 Pac-12). The Utes had suffered two consecutive losses before defeating the Cardinal, earning their first conference win this season. It was the Utes best offensive performance against an FBS opponent this season, posting 421 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Utes rank seventh in the country in total yards allowed and bring that into Friday’s matchup with Arizona. The Wildcats moved to 3-3 (2-1 Pac-12) with a 24-17 victory over California last week. Arizona was outgained by California offensively, but it forced four Golden Bear turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon
High-powered offense meets a stout defense this week between Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) and Washington (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12). The Ducks average 46 points a game, good for 12th in the nation. The Ducks’ lowest point total came in a 38-31 defeat to Stanford. The Huskies allow just 14 points a game, ranked third nationally. The most points they’ve given up all season came this past week in a 31-24 victory over UCLA.
No. 19 Colorado at USC
USC enters this game at 3-2 (2-1 Pac-12) and coming off its bye week. The Trojans are averaging 41 points at home and are 2-0 this season in Los Angeles. They welcome in the No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) this week. The Buffaloes are coming off a 28-21 victory against Arizona State, wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was responsible for all four of the Buffaloes touchdowns in the win. Two came from receptions and two came on rushing plays. Shenault is the third-ranked receiver in the country with 703 yards gained through the air.
Other Pac-12 Games
UCLA (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12) @ California (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12)
Bye Week: Stanford, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona State
Notre Dame continued to impress, this time defeating Virginia Tech 45-23. NC State is off to its best start since 2002 and improved to 5-0 with a 28-23 victory against Boston College. Pittsburgh rebounded after a loss to UCF by defeating Syracuse 44-37. Miami needed all four quarters to complete its 28-27 comeback against rival Florida State.
No slowing down in ACC play. Here’s what’s coming up this week.
Duke at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech enters the game at 3-3 (1-2 ACC) after a convincing 66-31 victory over Louisville. The Yellow Jackets rushed for, a season-high, 542 yards and eight touchdowns. This marks the second straight game that the Yellow Jackets have scored over 60 points, defeating Bowling Green 63-17 the previous week. Duke stands at 4-1 (0-1 ACC), and is coming off its bye week. The Blue Devils dropped their last game to Virginia Tech 31-14 and will look to rebound after having two weeks to prepare for the Yellow Jackets’ running attack. Duke is allowing just 123 rushing yards and 349 total offensive yards a game.
Louisville at Boston College
Boston College dropped to 4-2 (1-1 ACC) after a 28-23 loss to No. 23 NC State. The Eagles fell behind 21-3 at halftime and made a push that fell just short, outscoring the Wolfpack 21-7 in the second half. The Eagles were without running back AJ Dillon due to an injury suffered against Temple. Dillion is currently the ninth-ranked running back in the country with 652 rushing yards,. His status is unknown for Saturday’s game. Louisville slipped to 2-4 after a 66-31 defeat against Georgia Tech. While the score was lopsided, the Cardinals gained 483 yards of offense, their highest output this season. It was the second time this season, and the second straight game, that they’ve gained over 400 yards on offense.
Virginia Tech at North Carolina
North Carolina (1-3, 1-1 ACC) comes into its matchup with Virginia Tech off a bye week. The Tar Heels are currently ranked 10th in total defense in the nation. They dropped their last game to then No. 16 Miami 47-10. This will mark only the second home game of the season for North Carolina after the UCF game was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. Virginia Tech travels to Chapel Hill at 3-2 (2-0 ACC). The Hokies lost to No. 6 Notre Dame 45-23 last week, a game where they outgained the Fighting Irish 441 yards to 438. The Hokies, lost the turnover battle, one turnover leading directly to a touchdown. They also struggled against the big plays as three of Notre Dame’s touchdowns came from 30 yards or further. The Hokies’ defense will look to rebound against the Tar Heels.
Other ACC Games
No. 16 Miami (5-1, 2-0 ACC) @ Virginia (3-2, 1-1 ACC)
Pittsburgh (3-3, 2-1 ACC) @ No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0)
Bye Week: Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse
Visit www.sunbowl.org for a chance to win tickets to the 2018 Hyundai Sun Bowl. A team from the ACC/Notre Dame will take on a team from the Pac-12 on Dec. 31, 2018 at noon in El Paso, Texas.
By Michael Lujan on behalf of the Hyundai Sun Bowl