EL PASO, Texas – We’ve made it to the final week of the 2018 college football regular season. While many teams know they don’t have a bowl game in their future, many others are still battling for a postseason spot. There’s still plenty of football between this week and championship week to get a clear picture of who will be playing where, but here’s some games that may have an impact on who’s playing at the Hyundai Sun Bowl this December.
No. 7 Washington State put the pressure on early on its way to a 69-28 win over Arizona. No. 16 Washington also used early scoring success to coast to a 42-23 victory against Oregon State. No. 18 Utah allowed just one first-quarter score before shutting the door on a 30-7 win over Colorado. UCLA showed it still has plenty to play for, defeating rival USC 34-27. Oregon outlasted Arizona State 31-29.
The Pac-12 North will be decided this week between Washington and Washington State, and Utah awaits the winner in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Here’s some of the other exciting games that will be going on this weekend.
No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State (Friday)
No. 16 Washington (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) travels to Pullman, Washington this Friday to take on No. 7 Washington State (10-1, 7-1) in the Apple Cup game to determine the winner of the Pac-12 North. The Huskies are coming off a 42-23 victory against Oregon State. The Huskies jumped out to 28-3 first-quarter lead and never looked back on their way to gaining 503 yards of offense. For Washington State, it enters rivalry week coming off a decisive 69-28 victory over Arizona. Quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for a season-high 473 yards and set the single-game school record with seven touchdown passes thrown.
Stanford at UCLA
Stanford (6-4, 4-3) enters this game coming off an impromptu bye week. The Big Game between the Cardinal and California was postponed due to poor air quality from the devastating wildfires in the area. The game was postponed to Dec. 1. The Cardinal are 2-2 in their previous four games and are averaging 32 points and 455 yards offensively in that stretch. UCLA (3-8, 3-5) is coming off a 34-27 victory over rival USC, its first win in the rivalry game since 2014. Running back Joshua Kelley rushed for 289 yards on the day, the most by a Bruins running back against the Trojans. As a team the Bruins posted 314 rushing yards, which is the most since 2014.
Arizona State at Arizona
Arizona State (6-5, 4-4) suffered a hard-fought loss to Oregon, 31-29 last week. The Sun Devils trailed 28-13 at halftime and were unable to complete the comeback, though they outscored the Ducks 16-3 in the second half. Running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 149 yards and is just 121 yards away from setting the school record for rushing yards in a season. Arizona (5-6, 4-4) enters this rivalry week coming off a 69-28 defeat to Washington State. The Wildcats managed to gain 431 yards of offense, but were plagued by four turnovers, and were unable to keep pace with the Cougars, trailing 55-14 by halftime.
Oregon (7-4, 4-4) @ Oregon State (2-9, 1-7)
Colorado (5-6, 2-6) @ California (6-4, 3-4)
No. 3 Notre Dame (11-0) @ USC (5-6, 4-5)
BYU (6-5) @ No. 18 Utah (8-3, 6-3)
Miami found success offensively, defeating Virginia Tech 38-14 and snapping their four-game losing streak. No. 2 Clemson finished the regular season undefeated in conference play, defeating Duke 35-6. No. 19 Syracuse was no match for No. 3 Notre Dame, losing 36-3. Florida State kept its hopes for a bowl game alive after a 22-21 victory over Boston College. Pittsburgh clinched the Coastal Division with a 34-13 win over Wake Forest. Louisville’s woes continued, losing 52-10 to NC State. North Carolina defeated Western Carolina 49-26. It took extra time, but Georgia Tech defeated Virginia 30-27 in overtime.
The ACC Championship game is already set between Clemson and Pittsburgh, but there are still plenty of teams playing for bowl game hopes, or just trying to finish the season off strong. Here’s several games that could provide plenty of excitement this week.
Virginia at Virginia Tech (Friday)
Virginia (7-4, 4-3 ACC) comes into this week having lost to Georgia Tech 30-27 in overtime. Despite the loss, the Cavaliers held the Yellow Jackets to 268 rushing yards, only the fourth time Georgia Tech has been held under 300 yards rushing this season. Virginia’s defense also allowed just one offensive touchdown. Virginia Tech (4-6, 3-4) is coming off a 38-14 loss to Miami, marking its fourth consecutive loss. While they were only outgained by four yards offensively, they turned the ball over three times and were held scoreless in the second half. Virginia Tech has won 14 consecutive games against Virginia and will be looking to bounce back this Friday.
No. 24 Pittsburgh at Miami
No. 24 Pittsburgh (7-4, 6-1) defeated Wake Forest 34-13 last week, winning the Coastal Division and earning its first berth in the ACC Championship game. While the Panthers were held to 154 rushing yards, they average 248 yards on the ground a game, second just to Georgia Tech in the ACC. Defensively, the Panthers held the Demon Deacons to 285 yards of offense and allowed just three second-half points. Miami (6-5, 3-4) snapped its four-game losing streak, defeating Virginia Tech 38-14. The Hurricanes’ offense found a rhythm and posted their highest point total since putting up 47 against North Carolina in September. The Hurricanes still own the third-ranked defense, allowing just 275 yards a game and are only surrendering 133 rushing yards a game.
No. 19 Syracuse at Boston College
No. 12 Syracuse (8-3, 5-2) enters this week coming off a 36-3 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Orange. Quarterback Eric Dungey left in the first quarter with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. His status is still unknown for Saturday’s game. Syracuse struggled offensively, gaining just 234 yards on the day, down from its average of 460 yards a game. Boston College (7-4, 4-3) lost its second straight game, 22-21 to Florida State, surrendering the game-winning touchdown with just 1:49 left to play. Sophomore running back A.J. Dillon rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown, putting his season total at 1,052 rushing yards. He is the first Boston College rusher to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in school history.
Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3) @ No. 5 Georgia (10-1)
No. 13 Florida (8-3) @ Florida State (5-6, 3-5)
NC State (7-3, 4-3) @ North Carolina (2-8, 1-6)
Wake Forest (5-6, 2-5) @ Duke (7-4, 3-4)
South Carolina (6-4) @ No. 2 Clemson (11-0, 8-0)
No. 17 Kentucky (8-3) @ Louisville (2-9, 0-8)
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
Sun Bowl Association
4150 Pinnacle Street
El Paso, Texas 79902