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This Week in the ACC and Pac-12 (WEEK FIVE) September 26, 2018

This Week in the ACC and Pac-12 (WEEK FIVE)

EL PASO, Texas – Four weeks into the 2018 college football season has already passed by and college football fans have been treated to many exciting games. Last week brought plenty of excitement and surprises throughout college football and this week should not be any different, especially for Pac-12 and ACC teams. Not to be left out, Notre Dame has the small task of hosting Stanford this week, a team that went to overtime against Oregon before winning 38-31.

Pac-12
Pac-12 opponents Oregon and Stanford lived up to the hype as the Cardinal needed overtime to seal a 38-31 victory over the Ducks. USC showed that it wasn’t done in 2018, picking up a 39-36 victory over Washington State and Washington avoided an upset against Arizona State picking up the 27-20 victory.

Here’s what we can look forward to in week five.

No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame
This game has huge implications as the winner will take a big step toward a spot in the College Football Playoff, while the loser will most likely be eliminated from the CFP conversation. Currently, Notre Dame (4-0) holds the advantage with an 18-13 series record. However, Stanford has won the last 3 straight games including a 17-10 win in Notre Dame on October 15, 2016.

Stanford (4-0) was tested last weekend at Oregon. The Cardinal football team struggled for the first half of the game but, in the second half, the defense came alive and the Stanford offense started moving the ball. In the end, Stanford got a hard-fought overtime win that should have them ready well for this weekend’s matchup against the Fighting Irish.

UCLA at Colorado
Both teams open conference play on Friday and are coming off bye weeks. Colorado stands at 3-0 and is averaging 41 points per game and allowing just 18.3. UCLA (0-3) has struggled out of the gate, playing Cincinnati, at Oklahoma, and Fresno St. The Bruins will look to turn things around in conference play.

Utah at Washington State
Both teams enter this contest coming off their first loss of the season. Utah (2-1) dropped its first game in a contest with No. 11 Washington, 21-7. Despite the loss, Utah still boasts the nation’s top defensive unit, allowing just 614 yards through three games. Washington State (3-1) lost its first game of 2018 to USC, 39-36. The Cougars average 401.8 passing yards per game and will test the Utes defensive backs.

No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 California
Oregon (3-1) lost its first game of the season in an overtime struggle with No. 7 Stanford, 38-31. Now the Ducks travel to face a California defense that’s allowed 907 yards through three games, good for sixth in the nation. The Bears (3-0) open conference play against the Ducks and come into the game off a bye week. They move into the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 for the first time since 2015.

USC at Arizona
Both teams enter this contest at 2-2. USC looked like it was about to lose a hold of its season with two straight losses before picking up an impressive 39-36 victory over Washington State. After being held to negative-5-yards rushing against Texas, the Trojans ran for 113 yards against the Cougars. Arizona lost its first two games of 2018 before winning back-to-back games over Southern Utah and Oregon State. The Wildcats rushed for 442 yards against the Beavers.

Other Pac-12 Games:
Saturday
No. 20 BYU (3-1) @ No. 11 Washington (3-1)
Oregon St. (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona State (2-2, 0-1)

ACC
The ACC had a little bit of everything in week four. Clemson began conference play with a 49-21 win over Georgia Tech, and found its full-time starter in freshman Trevor Lawrence. Boston College and Virginia Tech suffered upset losses and will look to rebound this week. Syracuse stayed undefeated with a 51-21 victory over Connecticut, setting up an undefeated matchup with Clemson.

Here’s some of the games to keep an eye on this week in the ACC.

Virginia at NC State
NC State (3-0) opens conference play when it welcomes Virginia to Raleigh on Saturday. Quarterback Ryan Finley has found success through the air this season and is averaging 352 passing yards per game. Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) comes off an impressive victory over conference opponent Louisville, 27-3. Quarterback Bryce Perkins threw for 197 yards and rushed for another 78 in the convincing win.

Florida State at Louisville
Both teams enter the contest at 2-2 on the season. Florida State (2-2, 0-2) may have course-corrected its season with a 37-19 victory over NIU. The Seminoles had their best offensive output against an FBS team, gaining 352 passing and 121 rushing yards on route to their highest score of the 2018 season. Louisville struggled in its conference opener at Virginia, falling 27-3, but now it turns its attention to its conference home opener. Both teams will look to get their offenses on track in this game.

Virginia Tech at No. 22 Duke
Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0) suffered its first loss of 2018, losing 49-35 to Old Dominion. The Hokies lost quarterback Josh Jackson to a broken fibula in their game. Redshirt junior Ryan Willis replaced Jackson and threw for 131 yards and ran for 23 more. Willis will get the start against the Blue Devils. No. 22 Duke enters conference play with a 4-0 record after a 55-13 win over NC Central, and in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2015. Duke has its share of quarterback issues as starter Quentin Harris threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns before leaving with an injury. Harris was starting in place of original starter Daniel Jones. Harris is expected to start against the Hokies.

Other ACC Games:
Thursday
North Carolina (1-2, 1-0) @ No. 16 Miami (3-1)

Saturday
Syracuse (4-0, 1-0) @ No. 3 Clemson (4-0, 1-0)
Temple (2-2) @ Boston College (3-1)
Bowling Green (1-3) @ Georgia Tech (1-3)
Pittsburgh (2-2) @ No. 13 UCF (3-0)
Rice (1-3) @ Wake Forest (2-2)

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

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