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Vilardo: Week 3 Pac-12 Football Notes and Milestones

Posted on September 16, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

The Pac-12 is coming off a Week 2 that saw Oregon go to Columbus and end the Buckeyes 23-game home win streak, which was the third-longest active home winning streak in the country.

Obviously, a tough place to win at and a great result for the Pac-12 and the Ducks. And Oregon got it done with a dominant offensive performance.

The Ducks averaged 7.1 yards per carry as CJ Verdell went for 161 of UO’s 269 on the ground. Time will tell if this is an Ohio State team that is on par with the Buckeyes teams of the past few seasons—especially defensively—but big win either way.

Oregon’s CJ Verdell had a big day against Ohio State last weekend. | Jay Laprete/Associated Press

The win for Oregon was their first road win over a top-three opponent in the regular season since 2011, and just the fifth in school history.

The last time Oregon defeated a nonconference opponent in the regular season ranked as high was in 2003 when the Ducks beat No. 3 Michigan.

Oregon’s win over No. 3 Ohio State was the highest ranked nonconference win for a Pac-12 team since the Ducks defeated Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl.

The last time a Pac-12 school collected a regular season win over an opponent in the top-3 in the nation was also the Oregon win in 2003 over the Wolverines.

Prior to that it was the 2000 season when UCLA had a pair of wins over teams ranked No. 3 in Alabama and Michigan.

This win was the ninth regular-season win for a Pac-12 team over a nonconference opponent ranked in the Top 10 since the start of the 2008 season, and the 29th time a Conference team as knocked off an out-of-conference ranked opponent during that span.

Coupled with the UCLA win over LSU, this marks the 13th time since 2005 season that the Pac-12 has had at least two victories over ranked nonconference opponents in the regular season.

Pac-12The Pac-12 has seen at least one regular-season win over a ranked nonconference opponent every year since 1988 (except for 2020 and the lack of nonconference regular season games).

In fact, going back to the 1968 season, the first under the name Pac-8, the Conference has had at least one nonconference win over a ranked opponent in the regular season every season but 1987 and 1973.

The most regular-season wins over ranked nonconference opponents came in 2000 and 1992, when the Conference of Champions collected five wins.

In the Pac-12 Era, the Conference has now collected 22 regular-season wins over ranked nonconference opponents with Arizona State owning the most during that time:

Arizona 1
*The 21 victories have come over: Notre Dame (5), Michigan State (3), BYU (3), Nebraska (2), Wisconsin (2), Boise State, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma St, LSU, Nebraska, and Ohio State.

Stanford continues with the second of three nonconference games against Power 5 conference opponents and a schedule that will be entirely Power 5 opponents. This week it is a trip to Nashville for a primetime matchup with Vanderbilt of the SEC.

It will serve as the regular-season rubber match for the Conferences following wins by UCLA and Texas A&M.

Colorado will host Minnesota this weekend as the Pac-12 and Big Ten are meeting for the fourth time this season, and the Buffs will try to even the Conference at 2-2.

The Pac-12 of course got the Ducks’ win over Ohio State, while the Big Ten got wins from Michigan and Purdue over Washington and Oregon State.

The two Power 5 opponents for Pac-12 schools this week continues a common theme for the Conference this season as these two games will be the eighth and ninth games for Pac-12 teams against Power 5 opponents this season when Stanford and USC each play Notre Dame it will give the Conference 11.

When you throw in the conference schedule for each team along with those 11 games, the Pac-12 will see 82.6% of their games between two teams from a Power 5 conference, the second most of any of the Power 5 conferences.

In the Pac-12 Era, the Conference is 54-49 overall in regular-season games against other Power 5 conferences and Notre Dame. The Pac-12 has fared the best during that time vs. ACC opponents as the Pac-12 is 9-1 vs. the ACC since 2011.

Here is the break down vs conference and by Pac-12 members during the Pac-12 Era:

Conf OppOverall RecordWin %
Big Ten22-18.550
Big 129-9.500
Notre Dame9-11.450
Total regular-season nonconference vs. Power 5 and how the 12 members have done in regular-season nonconference games against other Power 5 teams in the Pac-12 Era:

SchoolOverall RecordWin %
ASU 7-5.583
Another familiar theme this season is BYU as an opponent. The Cougars will host Arizona State this weekend following games against Utah and Arizona to open the year.

BYU also appear on the schedules of Washington State and USC later in the season.


Southern California will get a chance to even their conference record with back-to-back early season conference games as they travel to Washington State, albeit with a different head coach in charge on the sidelines as Donte Williams takes the helm as interim coach.

For what it’s worth, Clay Helton had a 2-6 mark in regular-season nonconference games vs P5 teams and Notre Dame. No matter who the coach has been, the Trojans have had success over the years against the Cougars, winning 81.3% of their meetings.

Washington State has won 19 of their last 23 games in Pullman, including a 30-27 win over USC the last time the Trojans visited in 2017.

Here’s look at a few Pac-12 numbers nationally:

• Zach Charbonet currently leads the nation with five runs of at least 20 yards, and is second nationally with two runs covering at least 40 yards from scrimmage. On the season he is averaging 13.17 yards per carry.

• On the other side of the ball for the Bruins, Mitchell Agude has forced seven fumbles in his career for UCLA—fifth-most in the nation among active players. He leads the nation this season with four.

• Kedon Slovis is averaging 295.1 yards passing per game in his career, the second-highest total of any active player in the nation.

• Staying with career passing yardage leaders, Charlie Brewer has thrown for 10,080 yards in his career, the second-most of any active player in the nation.

• Oregon is forcing 2.5 fumbles per game, tied for the fourth-most in the nation this season.

• Arizona has converted on just 19.35% of third down conversions; that is 129th in the nation.

• Kyu Blu Kelly of Stanford and Oregon State’s Rejzohn Wright are tied for second in the nation with 2.5 passes defended per game.

• Travell Harris is averaging 35.33 yards per kickoff return for Washington State this season, the seventh-most in the nation.

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