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Utah, Oregon Trending Towards Pac-12 Title Game Matchup

(Photo courtesy of Kristin Murphy, Deseret News and Abbie Parr, Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 conference is starting to take shape and it is starting to look like the Utah Utes will be in contention in the Pac-12 South Division along with the Arizona State Sun Devils, who will play the Utes on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Oregon is clearly in the driver seat in the North Division and will have a two-game lead over the second place team in the North with a win on Saturday against Washington.

The USC Trojans still control their destiny, but their difficult schedule isn’t in their favor.

Here’s the KSL Sports Pac-12 Power Rankings after the seventh week of the season:

NORTH

1. No. 12 Oregon Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12)

Result: Beat Colorado 45-3 at home on Friday.

Recap: Colorado scored their only three points in the first quarter before Oregon rattled off 38 straight points. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw two touchdown passes on 261 yards. Running back C.J. Verdell racked up 171 yards on the ground on just 14 carries. Cyprus Habibi-Likio had just 47 rushing yards but ran into the end zone three times. The Ducks’ defense held Colorado to 299 yards of total offense. They are in complete control of the North Division in the Pac-12.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: at No. 25 Washington (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on ABC.

2. No. 25 Washington Huskies (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Defeated Arizona 51-27 on the road.

Recap: The Huskies struggled in the first half, trailing 17-13. Then, they blew the doors off in the second half, outscoring Arizona 38-10. Quarterback Jacob Eason passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Sean McGrew piled up 106 rushing yards on 13 carries, while Salvon Ahmed ran the ball 23 times for 95 yards and 3 touchdowns. Former Orem High School star Puka Nacua led the team in receiving yards with 97 on 3 catches.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: vs. No. 12 Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12), Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on ABC.

3. California Golden Bears (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12)

Result: Bye Week

Recap: Cal had a bye this past week and will be back in action against Oregon State at home on Saturday.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: vs. Oregon State (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

4. Stanford Cardinal (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Bye Week

Recap: The Cardinal had a bye this past week and will host UCLA on Thursday night.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: vs. UCLA (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12), Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

5. Washington State Cougars (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 18 Arizona State 38-34 on the road.

Recap: Washington State jumped out to a 17-7 lead before the Sun Devils tied the game before halftime. It was neck-and-neck in the second half with one touchdown being the largest lead. The Cougars broke a tie at 31 with a field goal with 2:30 left before Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels ran in a 17-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left to get the Sun Devils the win. Quarterback Anthony Gordon completed 44 of his 64 pass attempts for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Easop Winston had 14 receptions for 118 yards and one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next up: vs. Colorado (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

6. Oregon State Beavers (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 15 Utah 52-7 at home.

Recap: Oregon State was completely shut down in the first half as Utah dropped 35 points in the first two quarters. The Beavers scored their only touchdown with 56 seconds remaining in the game. Quarterback Jake Luton had 131 passing yards and one interception. Running back Artavis Pierce was limited to just 21 yards on 10 carries and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins had 8 receptions for 77 yards.

Previous Ranking: 6

Next up: at California (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

SOUTH

1. No. 13 Utah Utes (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12)

Result: Beat Oregon State 52-7 on the road.

Recap: The Utes jumped out of the gates scoring 21 points in the first quarter that turned into a 35-0 lead at halftime. Quarterback Tyler Huntley posted another fantastic performance, completing 14 of his 17 pass attempts for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Zack Moss racked up 121 yards and two touchdown on just five carries.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: vs. No. 17 Arizona State (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), Saturday at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

2. No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12)

Result: Defeated Washington State 38-34 at home.

Recap: Washington State broke a tie at 31 with a field goal with 2:30 left before Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels ran in a 17-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left to get the Sun Devils the win. Daniels finished with 363 passing yards and four total touchdowns, three passing and one rushing. Running back Eno Benjamin ran the ball 19 times for 137 yards and one touchdown, while wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk hauled in seven receptions for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: at No. 13 Utah (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), Saturday at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

3. USC Trojans (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 9 Notre Dame 30-27 on the road.

Recap: The Trojans struggled in the first half in South Bend, trailing 17-3 at halftime. They bounced back in the second half to outscore Notre Dame 24-13, but their comeback came up short. Quarterback Kedon Slovis returned to the lineup after missing three games with a concussion. He threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown caught 8 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Arizona (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

4. Arizona Wildcats (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to Washington 51-27 at home.

Recap: Arizona had a good performance in the first half, holding a 17-13 lead but Washington took over in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 38-10. Quarterback Khalil Tate threw for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Running back J.J. Taylor compiled 89 rushing yards and one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: at USC (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

5. Colorado Buffaloes (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 13 Oregon 45-3 on the road.

Recap: Colorado scored their only field goal after Oregon scored a touchdown, but the Ducks rattled off 38 straight points to hand the Buffaloes their second consecutive loss. Quarterback Steven Montez struggled throwing the ball, finishing with 131 yards and four interceptions. Running back Alex Fontenot had 71 yards rushing on 15 carries, while wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. hauled in four catches for 70 yards.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next up: at Washington State (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12), Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

6. UCLA Bruins (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12)

Result: Bye Week

Recap: The Bruins had a bye this past week and will look to snap a two game losing streak on Thursday against Stanford.

Previous Ranking: 6

Next up: at Stanford (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12), Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

The full Pac-12 power rankings without divisions:

  1. Oregon
  2. Utah
  3. Arizona State
  4. Washington
  5. California
  6. USC
  7. Arizona
  8. Stanford
  9. Colorado
  10. Washington State
  11. Oregon State
  12. UCLA