Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs after getting a hand off from quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) during an NCAA college football game against University of Washington on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez?AP)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs after getting a hand off from quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) during an NCAA college football game against University of Washington on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez?AP)

Big tests for Cal, Stanford

The Pac-12 South race tightened up with No. 13 Utah’s loss to Southern California last week, providing a glint of hope for teams that seemed to be out of the mix.

No. 8 Stanford is still in control of the Pac-12 North, but faces what has turned into a tough road game with Washington State’s resurgence. A loss by the Cardinal could throw that division into a bit of turmoil.

So, yeah, it’s kind of a big week in the Pac-12. Here’s what to look for:

GAME OF THE WEEK: USC at California. The Trojans kept their Pac-12 South hopes alive — while throwing the division into a jumble — by knocking off Utah at home in their best game of the season. The Bears are looking to get back on track after losses to Utah and UCLA. Cal needs Stanford to stumble to have any chance in the Pac-12 North and certainly can’t afford to lose another conference game. This one will also feature two of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks: USC’s Cody Kessler and Cal’s Jared Goff. USC has won the last 11 meetings.

BEST MATCHUP: Stanford at Washington State. In most seasons, this would likely be another lopsided win by the Cardinal. But with Mike Leach’s Cougars playing well and second in the Pac-12 North, there’s a bit of extra intrigue. It also will be a contrast in styles. Stanford leads the nation in time of possession and likes to grind out drives by getting the ball to Christian McCaffrey, the FBS leader in all-purpose yards with 259.7 per game. The Cougars like to wing the ball all over the field behind quarterback Luke Falk, second in the nation with 415 yards passing per game.
CalCollege SportsfootballStanfordUSCWashington State

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read