EL PASO, Texas – The 2018 college football season has already been an interesting and exciting one, with teams starting to separate themselves from one another. It is still hard to determine who will visit El Paso for the Hyundai Sun Bowl but there are plenty of games to follow out of the ACC and Pac-12 this week.
With conference play in full swing only one Pac-12 team remains undefeated after week five, the Colorado Buffaloes. Washington continue to look like a playoff contender, dominating then No. 20 BYU 35-7. Oregon rebounded nicely after its loss to Stanford with a 42-24 victory against then No. 24 California. USC got back over .500 with a 24-20 win at Arizona.
Here’s some notable games for week six.
Arizona State at No. 21 Colorado
Colorado is 4-0 for the first time since 1998 and found itself in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2016. The Buffaloes average 284 yards passing and 205 yards rushing per game. The Sun Devils enter the game at 3-2 and earned head coach Herm Edwards his first Pac-12 win by defeating Oregon St. 52-24 last week. Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 312 yards against the Beavers, setting a new school record for rushing yards in a game.
California at Arizona
Arizona enters the game at 2-3 after its comeback fell short against USC, losing 24-20. The Wildcats average 217 rushing yards per game but were held to just 98 yards against the Trojans. After falling behind 24-0 the Wildcats scored 20 unanswered points, but they’ll look to get off to a quicker start this week. California comes in off its first loss, losing to No. 18 Oregon 42-24. The Golden Bears suffered from five turnovers against the Ducks.
Utah at No. 14 Stanford
Stanford suffered its first loss of the season in a 38-17 loss to No. 6 Notre Dame, dropping its record to 4-1. Running back Bryce Love managed 73 yards rushing on 17 carries and one score. The Utes enter the contest at 2-2 after losing 28-24 to Washington St. In a game of contrasting styles, the Utes rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns, while the Cougars threw for 445 yards and three scores. Utah still claims the No. 3 defense in the country and will take it on the road for the second straight week.
Other Pac-12 Games:
No. 10 Washington (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) @ UCLA (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12)
Washington State (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) @ Oregon State (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12)
Clemson survived a scare at home, defeating Syracuse 27-23, avoiding back-to-back losses to the Orange. NC State joins the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 after defeating Virginia 35-21, moving to 4-0. Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech all rebounded and earned victories after suffering defeats a week ago.
Here’s some games to keep an eye on this week.
Georgia Tech at Louisville
Both teams enter Friday’s contest at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in ACC play. Louisville comes in off a 28-24 loss to Florida State. The Cardinals led the game 24-21 until Florida State scored on a 58-yard pass with 1:13 remaining in the game. Quarterback Jawon Pass connected for 306 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Seminoles. Georgia Tech snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-17 victory over Bowling Green. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 372 yards against Bowling Green and now average 339 rushing yards a game, good for No. 2 in the nation.
Syracuse at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh returns home this week after losing 45-14 on the road to No. 12 Central Florida, dropping them to 2-3 on the season. In their two wins, the Panthers have kept opponents under 20 points, but have allowed 38 points or more in their losses. Syracuse (4-1, 1-1 in ACC) enters this week’s game coming off its first loss of the season, a 27-23 defeat to No. 3 Clemson. Leading 23-13 in the fourth quarter, the Orange were unable to hold off the Tigers and will look to rebound in their second straight conference road game.
Boston College at No. 23 NC State
After a 4-0 start, NC State finds itself in the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. The Wolfpack picked up their first conference win last week with a 35-21 victory over Virginia. Running back Ricky Person Jr., who was injured in the first game of the season, returned and rushed for 108 yards on 14 carries. Boston College rebounded after its first loss by defeating Temple 45-35, improving to 4-1 on the season. Running back AJ Dillon has 652 rushing yards this season, good for No. 3 in the country. Dillon left the game against Temple with an ankle injury and his status for Saturday’s game is still unknown.
No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 24 Virginia Tech
After being upset two weeks ago by Old Dominion, Virginia Tech responded, defeating then No. 22 Duke 31-14 on the road. The Hokies defense, which allowed 632 yards to Old Dominion, allowed just 327 total yards to Duke. Quarterback Ryan Willis, replacing injured Josh Jackson, threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns in his first start for the Hokies. Notre Dame remained unbeaten with a 38-17 victory over No. 14 Stanford. The Fighting Irish put up 550 total yards of offense against the Cardinal while allowing just 229 yards defensively. Defensive lineman Jerry Tillery tallied four sacks against the Cardinal, bringing his sack total to seven on the season, tied for the best in the nation.
Other ACC Games:
Florida State (3-2, 1-2 ACC) @ No. 17 Miami (4-1, 1-0 ACC)
No. 4 Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) @ Wake Forest (3-2, 0-1 ACC)
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