Pac-12 This Week: Colorado looks to get back on track at Arizona State

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Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams warms up before an NCAA college football game against Colorado Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Things to watch in the Pac-12 in Week 6:

GAME OF THE WEEK

Colorado (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) at Arizona State (1-4, 0-2). Either way, one of these teams will snap their losing streak in conference games. The Buffaloes have an eight-game losing streak in the Pac-12 where opponents have scored at least 42 points in each game. Colorado trailed USC by 27 points during the second half before its¬†rally fell short in a 48-41 loss¬†to the Trojans. The Sun Devils extended their losing streak to six in conference games and eight against Football Bowl Subdivision Opponents with¬†last Saturday’s 24-21 loss at California. Their last FBS win came last season at Colorado when Trenton Bourguet set a school record for most passing yards in a first career start with 435 along with three touchdowns. Buffaloes QB Shedeur Sanders is second in the nation in passing yards per game (356.2) and tied for fourth with 15 touchdowns.

BEST MATCHUP

No. 13 Washington State (4-0, 1-0) at UCLA (3-1, 0-1). This is their first meeting since the¬†Bruins’ wild 67-63 comeback victory¬†in 2019. Both teams were off last week. Washington State’s Cameron Ward is only the fifth QB since 1996 from a Power Five school to throw for at least 1,300 yards (1.394), 13 touchdowns and no interceptions in his team’s first four games. UCLA’s defense is holding teams to only 11 points per game while opponents have scored only 55.5% of the time on red zone trips.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

It is the first time since 2013 the conference has had at least three teams reach 5-0 (Oregon, USC, Washington). Should Washington State win on Saturday, there would be four 5-0 teams for the first time since 1926. … Arizona WR Jacob Cowing is just 72 receiving yards away from reaching 4,000 for his career. He would be the 1st FBS receiver since Oklahoma State‚Äôs James Washington in 2017 to accomplish that. … USC is looking to start 6-0 for the second consecutive season for the first time since 2005. … No. 7 Washington, No. 8 Oregon, No. 18 Utah and Stanford are off next week.

UPSET WATCH?

No. 15 Oregon State (4-1, 1-1) at California (3-2, 1-1). The Beavers, looking for their first 5-1 start since 2013, are coming off a 21-7 victory over Utah and have held opponents to 336 rushing yards after five games. Sophomore Damien Martinez leads the conference with 497 rushing yards. Cal has won three of the past four games in the series when they have been in Berkeley. Sophomore Jaydn Ott is averaging 118.2 rushing yards per game, which leads the conference. On defense, the Golden Bears have 13 takeaways, which is second in the nation.

PLAYER TO WATCH

USC QB Caleb Williams is putting up better numbers compared to when he won the Heisman Trophy last season. The junior has attempted 18 fewer passes this season but has increased his passing yards (1,402 to 1,603), passing TDs (12 to 21), yards per attempt (8.82 to 11.37) and completion percentage (67.3% to 74.5%). He leads the nation with 24 total touchdowns. Last season against Arizona, Williams completed 31 of 45 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns.

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