Pac-12 Week 4 viewer's guide: League play in full swing

UCLA preparing for tough challenge in Stanford's McCaffrey (1:18)

Members of UCLA, including coach Jim Mora, describe the challenges the Bruins will face against Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey in their matchup this weekend. (1:18)

Week 4 is upon us and Pac-12 play is in full swing (with the exception of Washington State, which is home on a bye, and Oregon State, which gets Chris Petersen's old team). Here's what to watch (all times PT):


No. 24 Utah vs. USC, 6 p.m., FS1

This week USC coach Clay Helton announced that redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold would start against Utah. It'll be an uphill battle for Darnold in his first start for the Trojans, as he faces a blitz-heavy team. This season Utah has sent a blitz on 43 percent of its opponents' dropbacks, which keeps with the nickname of "Sack Lake City" (the Utes have 15 already this season). Utah will be looking to get out to its second consecutive 4-0 start in as many seasons, and USC will be looking to extend its recent reign over Utah in this series. The Trojans have won 10 of the last 12 matchups.


Oregon State vs. Boise State, 12:30 p.m., FS1

Oregon State is the only team playing out of conference this weekend. Last weekend against Idaho State, the Beavers showed major strides on both sides of the ball. Oregon State has forced six turnovers already in only two games. Last season, the Beavers had only 12 for the season. Oregon State has scored 31 points off its opponents' turnovers (13th-best in FBS).

Oregon vs. Colorado, 2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

The Ducks will be without wide receiver Devon Allen and left tackle Tyrell Crosby this weekend, as the two suffered season-ending injuries against Nebraska last week. It will be interesting to watch how those injuries impact the Ducks' offense. Quarterback Dakota Prukop is one of only nine Power 5 quarterbacks to have not thrown an interception this season. Another one of those nine? Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau. Last weekend, Liufau threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan, a defense that had given up only 222 passing yards and no touchdowns in its first two games.

UCLA vs. No. 7 Stanford, 5 p.m., ABC/WatchESPN

No team has used an individual player this season as much as Stanford has used Christian McCaffrey. He currently accounts for 62 percent of Stanford's offensive touches among non-quarterbacks, which is more than 15 percentage points higher than any other FBS player. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Josh Rosen probably will see a bit of a drop-off when it comes to quarterback pressure from the first few weeks of the season. So far this season Stanford has blitzed opposing quarterbacks on only 10 dropbacks this season, the fifth-least in Power 5 conferences.

Arizona State vs. California, 7 p.m., ESPN2/WatchESPN

Sun Devils fans probably haven't forgotten the 21-point comeback the Golden Bears accomplished last season. Cal scored five passing touchdowns in that game and it could be a similar story this season. The Bears enter this game averaging 580.3 yards per game (third-best in FBS) while Arizona State's pass defense ranks worst in FBS, allowing 379.3 passing yards per game this season. But, on the other side of the ball, the Sun Devils' run game, which has 13 rushing touchdowns this season (third-best in FBS) will face Cal's rush defense, which has given up 296.3 rushing yards per game (third-worst in FBS).

Arizona vs. No. 9 Washington, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

The Washington defense has shown it can do a lot up front without sending a lot. The Huskies have tallied 11 sacks already this season, which is 10th-best in the Power 5. All 11 sacks have come when Washington sends four or fewer pass rushers, which is tied for the most in the Power 5 with Illinois. Meanwhile, Arizona has been blitz-heavy this season, sending five or more pass rushers on 39 percent of opponent dropbacks. Washington QB Jake Browning has fared well against the blitz so far this season, completing 14 of 15 passes, so this should be a very good test for him.