EL PASO, Texas – If you’re a fan of upsets in college football then last week was right up your alley. Several teams across the country suffered upset losses, and the Pac-12 and ACC were no different. There are plenty of intriguing potential matchups for the Hyundai Sun Bowl, so here’s a quick look at what was, and what’s coming up this week.
Utah continued to dominate defensively, picking up a 41-10 victory at UCLA. Washington State kept momentum headed in the right direction with a 41-38 win at Stanford. California hosted the Huskies and pulled off the upset, 12-10. After its big win over Washington, Oregon has dropped two straight, including a 44-15 upset loss at Arizona last week. Oregon State continues to play hard despite its record defeating Colorado 41-34 in overtime. Arizona State went into Los Angeles and defeated USC 38-35.
There’s plenty of potential for more upsets and close games this week in the Pac-12, here’s a few that could have Sun Bowl implications.
Arizona at Colorado (Friday)
Colorado (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) travels to Tucson this week, coming off a 41-34 overtime loss to Oregon St. After starting the season with five consecutive wins, Colorado has dropped its last three games. The Buffaloes have struggled in the three losses, averaging 22 points and gaining 354 yards of offense a game. They did gain 536 yards against the Beavers and look to keep the offensive momentum going. Arizona (4-5, 3-3) is coming off a 44-15 upset victory over then No. 19 Oregon. The Wildcats dominated the game from the start, leading 23-8 at halftime and never looked back. They gained 465 yards of offense, including 276 on the ground.
UCLA at Oregon
UCLA (2-6, 2-3) enters this game coming off a 41-10 loss to No. 16 Utah. The Bruins had won their previous two games before losing to the Utes. They were able to gain 127 yards on the ground against a Utah defense that allows only 81 rushing yards a game. Oregon (5-3, 2-3) returns home after a 44-15 loss at Arizona. Offensively, the Ducks started slow and found themselves in a 23-8 hole at halftime that they couldn’t climb out of. Quarterback Justin Herbert and top receiver Dillon Mitchell are in the concussion protocol this week and may not be available against the Bruins.
California at No. 10 Washington State
California (5-3, 2-3) earned a 12-10 upset victory over then No. 15 Washington last week. It was a defensive battle throughout as there was only 492 yards of offense gained and one offensive touchdown between from the two teams. Statistically, the teams were nearly identical, but the Golden Bears won the turnover battle. They forced two interceptions and returned one for their only touchdown of the game, giving them a 12-7 lead. No. 10 Washington St. (7-1, 4-1) defeated then No. 24 Stanford 41-38 in its last game. The Cougars trailed 28-17 at halftime before they rallied to score 17 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning field goal with 19 seconds left in the game. Quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 438 yards in the victory and currently leads the nation with 3,183 passing yards.
Other Pac-12 Games
No. 16 Utah (6-2, 4-2 Pac-12) @ Arizona State (4-4, 2-3)
Stanford (5-3, 3-2) @ Washington (6-3, 4-2)
USC (4-4, 3-3) @ Oregon State (2-6, 1-4)
Georgia Tech attempted just one pass in its 49-28 victory at Virginia Tech. Boston College’s rushing led it to a 27-14 victory over Miami. Clemson didn’t fall for a trap game, defeating Florida State 59-10 on the road. Syracuse picked up a big 51-41 upset win over NC State. Wake Forest put its offense on display in a 56-35 victory at Louisville. Virginia took the top spot in the Coastal Division with a 31-21 win against North Carolina. Pittsburgh and Duke combined for over 1,000 yards, but it was the Panthers that prevailed 54-45 over the Blue Devils. Notre Dame remained undefeated, picking up a 44-22 road victory against Navy.
Clemson has control of the Atlantic Division, but the Coastal is up for grabs. Here’s some of the action that will be coming up this week from the ACC.
Pittsburgh at No. 23 Virginia (Friday)
Pittsburgh (4-4, 3-1 ACC) picked up a 54-45 victory over Duke in its last contest. The Panthers gained 634 yards of offense in the game, including 484 rushing yards, which ranks second in school history. The 54 points and 634 offensive yards were both season-highs for the Panthers. Defensively, they’ll look to tighten up as they allowed 619 yards to the Blue Devils. No. 23 Virginia (6-2, 4-1) defeated North Carolina 31-21 in its last game. Defensively, the Cavaliers have allowed 21 points or less in four of their last five contests. The Cavaliers held the Tar Heels to 337 yards of total offense on the day. North Carolina had gained 500 yards or more in its two previous contests.
Duke at Miami
Duke (5-3, 1-3) comes off a 54-45 defeat to Pittsburgh. It was a game that saw the offenses combine for 1,253 total yards. Duke was able to pick apart the Pittsburgh defense through the air, as quarterback Daniel Jones set career-highs with 396 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Blue Devils struggled to stop the Panthers’ running attack, yielding 484 yards on the ground. Miami (5-3, 2-2) comes into this game after losing 27-14 to Boston College last week. The Hurricanes’ defense struggled against the Eagles, surrendering 433 yards including 223 rushing yards. Both were the most allowed by the Miami defense this season.
No. 24 Boston College at Virginia Tech
No. 24 Boston College (6-2, 3-1) is back in the AP Top 25 after defeating Miami 27-14 last week. Running back AJ Dillon made his return to the Eagles after missing two games due to an ankle injury and rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles have averaged 38 points and 445 yards a game this season, including 226 of those yards coming on the ground. Virginia Tech (4-3, 3-1) enters this week coming off a 49-28 loss to Georgia Tech. The Hokies were unable to stop the Yellow Jackets’ running attack, surrendering 465 rushing yards. Defensively, they have allowed an average of 425 yards of offense, 172 rushing yards, a game. The Hokies look to rebound against a Boston College team that they’ve defeated for three consecutive years.
Other ACC Games/Independent Games
Louisville (2-6, 0-5 ACC) @ No. 2 Clemson (8-0, 5-0)
No. 22 Syracuse (6-2, 3-2) @ Wake Forest (4-4, 1-3)
Georgia Tech (4-4, 2-3) @ North Carolina (1-6, 1-4)
Florida State (4-4, 2-4) @ NC State (5-2, 2-2)
No. 3 Notre Dame (8-0) @ Northwestern (5-3)
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.