Pac-12 kicks off conference season with big ranked match-up

The Pac-12 season kicks into full gear this week with 10 of the 12 teams playing each other.

It starts with Friday's game between No. 21 Stanford and Oregon State, followed by some marquee match-ups on Saturday, including a meeting between two top-20 teams.

A rundown of what to look for this week in the Pac-12:

---

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 9 UCLA at No. 16 Arizona. This battle of unbeatens will put the winner in control of the Pac-12 South, though there's still plenty of football left. UCLA has dominated the series since Jim Mora took over as coach, winning all three games against Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats. With Josh Rosen leading the Bruins and Anu Solomon the Wildcats, don't be surprised if it's a wild game filled with big offensive plays. Arizona may get star linebacker Scooby Wright back after he missed the past two games with a knee injury. The Bruins will be without their star linebacker, Myles Jack, who is out for the season after injuring his knee in practice.

BEST MATCHUP: No. 18 Utah at No. 13 Oregon. The Ducks have beaten the Utes six of the past seven times, including a 51-27 victory last season that included a 100-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown after Utah's Kaelin Clay dropped the ball just short of the line as he was headed into the end zone. The key to this game will likely be the health of the two quarterbacks. Utah's Travis Wilson did not play against Fresno State after injuring his shoulder the week before and is questionable for Saturday's game. Oregon's Vernon Adams sat out last week's win over Georgia State to give his broken index finger a chance to heal.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Pac-12 has six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 for the second time this season: No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 Oregon, No. 16 Arizona, No. 18 Utah, No. 19 USC and No. 21 Stanford. ... The conference had 11 scoring plays of at least 50 yards last week, topped by a 98-yard kickoff return by Utah's Cory Butler-Byrd against Fresno State. ... Every team has at least two wins in the first three games, just the third time in conference history (with 1919 and 1921) that's happened.

IMPACT PLAYER: Arizona State RB Demario Richard. The Sun Devils sophomore had a huge game against New Mexico last week, catching four passes for 151 yards while rushing for 104 yards. He's the first FBS player with 100 yards rushing and 150 receiving since North Texas' Lance Dunbar in 2011. Expect USC to keep a close eye on him Saturday.

---

Complied by AP College Football Writer John Marshall.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.