10 reasons to watch the Pac-12 despite a Utah bye week (10 items)
Following a heartbreaking loss to Oregon State and an emotional fourth-straight victory over BYU, it may seem like a letdown for the Utes to take a break now. However, Utah has a grueling Pac-12 schedule ahead and its bye week will give the team an extra week to prepare.
Unfortunately fans wont be able to watch the Utes; next opponent, UCLA, as it is also on a bye week ― but there are still plenty of other reasons to keep up with Pac-12 play in the coming days. From intriguing games to high-velocity quarterbacks to Pac-12 underdogs with a slight chance, there will be enough action to keep fans entertained.
Here are the 10 best matchups and reasons to watch the Pac-12 this weekend:
Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.
1 of 10. Sean Mannion vs. Colorado's secondary
Sean Mannion, as Utah found out firsthand, is no joke. His prolific passing game ranks him second in the nation in passing yards, averaging 401 yards per game. He has completed 71 percent of his pass attempts and thrown for 15 touchdowns through four games.
Colorado will face another challenge in this game as well. The Buffaloes haven't played a game in 20 days. Two weeks ago, flooding forced Colorado to postpone a contest against Fresno and last week was the Buffaloes' bye week.
2 of 10. Running backs battle: Ka'Deem Carey vs. Bishop Sankey
Arizona heavily relies on the run game while Washington presents a much more balanced attack, so it will be interesting to see the impact these two stars have on Saturday's game.
3 of 10. Pac-12 underdogs vs. ranked — No. 2 Oregon vs. Cal; No. 5 Stanford vs. WSU; No. 16 Washington vs. Arizona
Washington State, a usual Pac-12 doormat, already upset USC and proved it will punish teams for sleeping on a game. Meanwhile, Arizona is 3-0, although the Wildcats haven't played a respectable opponent yet. Both matchups should prove interesting if WSU and Arizona manage to keep the scores close.
4 of 10. Arizona vs. Washington: undefeated matchup
Arizona is 3-0, but hasn't been tested in a close game yet. The Wildcats have beaten all three opponents by a minimum of 25 points. Arizona's first test to see if it can hang in this year's competitive Pac-12 will be Washington.
Washington, on the other hand, beat Boise State 38-6 in week one when the Broncos were ranked No. 19. Then they turned around and beat Big 10 foe Illinois 34-24. Last week, Washington had a break in its tough schedule, and ran circles around Idaho State.
5 of 10. USC vs. ASU: A must-win game
USC already lost to Washington State, cannot seem to figure its offense out and has a restless group of fans that expected to see a ranked team this season. Meanwhile the Sun Devils will need to put together a full game and quarterback Taylor Kelly will need to stand tough against the USC defense.