Week 4 is not for the faint of heart. Not because of hard-fought, tough-scheduled opponent matchups but rather because, well, it’s the opposite.
There is the matchup between Utah and BYU that is intriguing and certainly the Arizona State @ Stanford game is fun but all in all, this is a dud of a week in terms of top-notch players taking the field.
Especially considering last week saw two big wins for the Pac-12 against other Power-5 conferences.
Still, here we are, previewing our recreated season week in and week out. This week, we start with the 1-1 UCLA Bruins.
New Mexico State (0-3) @ UCLA Bruins (1-1)
The Bruins are fresh off a 1-point loss to Nebraska after Dorian Thompson-Robinson was injured late and couldn’t finish the game. The Bruins are only scoring 28.5 points per game while averaging 351.0 yards of offense per contest, good enough for just 83rd nationally. Their defense has been solid this season through two games and have held opponents to just 262.0 yards of offense per game, the 10th-best rate in the country.
Their defense will have to be counted on here, despite NMSU’s 0-3 record, they are still averaging 362.3 yards including 235.0 (35th) passing yards a game.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB: 21 of 42, 247 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 93.0 passer rating (last)
Joshua Kelley, RB: 37 carries, 191 yards, 1 TD
Demetric Felton, WR: 8 receptions, 71 yards, 0 TD
Josh Woods, LB: 10 total tackles, 6 solo tackles
FCS West (0-3) @ No. 12 Washington (2-0)
The Huskies are looking as dominant as ever, and looking dominant in all facets. They’re currently ranked as the nation’s 22nd-highest-scoring offense, 21st-best in total offense per game and 45th in total defense. They should get some rest early for their starters in this one before conference play begins for them.
Jacob Eason, QB: 25 of 47 for 450 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT, 156.0 passer rating
Salvon Ahmed, RB: 48 carries, 252 yards, 2 TD
Aaron Fuller, WR: 9 receptions, 174 yards, 2 TD
Joe Tryon, Edge: 17 total tackles, 8 solo, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 PBU
Arizona State (2-0) @ No. 23 Stanford (2-0)
The Sun Devils’ 2-0 start shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but what should is the fact that they’re doing it thanks to their freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels. Currently, Arizona State has the nation’s 17th-best passing offense, averaging 271.0 yards per game while Stanford’s passing defense ranks just 101st.
Still, the Cardinal are scoring 41.5 points per game to rank as the country’s 8th-highest-scoring team through three weeks of action and Arizona State will have to keep up, to say the least.
K.J. Costello, QB: 25 of 45 for 342 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 148.7 passer rating
Cameron Scarlett, RB: 37 carries, 226 yards, 4 TD
Connor Wedington, WR: 10 receptions, 196 yards, 0 TD
Andrew Pryts, LB: 14 total tackles, 7 solo, 1 tackle for loss
Jayden Daniels, QB: 36 of 69 for 542 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT, 145.8 passer rating
Eno Benjamin, RB: 25 carries, 162 yards, 0 TD
Tommy Hudson, TE: 10 receptions, 136 yards, 3 TD
Merlin Robertson, LB: 20 total tackles, 8 solo, 7 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 PBU
Oregon State (3-0, 1-0) @ San Diego State (1-1)
Count this as the shock of the season, the Beavers are undefeated entering Week 4 and have beaten a Utah team that was healthy. Jake Luton and Tristan Gebbia have split time because of injuries but Jermar Jefferson has more than shouldered the load. Currently, Oregon State is the country’s 11th-best rushing offense, gaining 227.7 yards per game while their defense has stepped up big time.
The Beavers defense is currently ranked 49th against the run, 12th in total defense and ninth against the pass. San Diego State is known for its rushing ability, however, so don’t put this one to bed early. Stay up for this late one.
Jake Luton, QB: 21 of 48 for 288 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT, 113.3 passer rating
Jermar Jefferson, RB: 71 carries, 382 yards, 3 TD
Isaiah Hodgins, WR: 15 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD
Addison Gumbs, Edge: 26 total tackles, 13 solo, 9 tackles for loss, 4 sacks
Idaho (0-3) @ No. 21 Washington State (2-1, 0-1)
Washington State got back in the win column by downing FCS West a week go thanks to Anthony Gordon’s four passing touchdowns. Still, they’ll need to be a bit more efficient on offense moving forward as they committed three turnovers against the Fusion. They have the nation’s No. 1 passing offense so far this year, averaging 367.3 yards through the air per game and Gordon leads the country in total passing yards.
The Cougars rushing defense has played exceptionally well this season, allowing just 131.0 yards per game, the 35th-best rate so far this year. They should move to 4-1 easily and be in great shape for at the very least a bowl game in Gordon’s first year as a starter.
Anthony Gordon, QB: 74 of 130 for 1,040 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT, 136.3 passer rating
Max Borghi, RB: 19 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD
Dezmon Patmon, WR: 24 receptions, 376 yard, 4 TD
Justus Rogers, LB: 22 total tackles, 10 solo, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 1 FF
Utah (1-2, 0-1) @ BYU (0-2)
This season has not gone to plan for the Utes as they’re sitting at just 1-2 on the year and have lost both games in the final quarter. They need this victory and they need QB Tyler Huntley to play much better if they’re going to want to contend for anything in the conference this season. If anything, they can count on the possibility of offense being easier in this one as BYU’s defense is giving up 435 yards of offense per game, the ninth-most yards on average per game this season in the county.
However, the Utah offense is just averaging 353.7 yards per game, or just 82nd most in the nation. This seems primed for one of those big-time Zack Moss games.
Tyler Huntley, QB: 45 of 93 for 463 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 102.3 passer rating
Zack Moss, RB: 65 carries, 379 yards, 1 TD
Britain Covey, WR: 13 receptions, 141 yards, 0 TD
Mika Tafua, LB: 18 total tackles, 12 solo, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack
New Mexico State @ UCLA — UCLA
FCS West @ Washington — Washington
Arizona State @ Stanford — Arizona State
Oregon State @ San Diego State — Oregon State
Idaho @ Washington State — Washington State
Utah @ BYU — Utah
Herbstreit’s overall picks after Week 3: 23-7
Week 1: 8-2
Week 2: 7-2
Week 3: 8-3
Pac-12 On a Bye: Arizona, USC, Oregon, Colorado, Cal