Blair Kerkhoff’s around the nation

11/15/2012 5:05 PM

05/16/2014 8:19 PM

Game of the week

Stanford at Oregon

Like everybody else in the Pac-12, the Cardinal hasn’t cracked the code on Oregon. Stanford has brought the league’s best defense into this game in recent years and has gotten run off the field, with the Ducks handing the Cardinal their only regular-season losses in 2010 and 2011. Oregon’s depth is being tested with injuries to the defensive line and secondary. Kevin Hogan played well in his first start as Stanford’s quarterback in last week’s victory over Oregon State. But now he’ll be asked to run an offense that likely will have to match the Ducks’ production to keep it close, and it’s an offense that doesn’t have great speed.

Others to watch

Ohio State at Wisconsin

The Badgers are headed to the Big Ten title game to face either Nebraska or Michigan, but this is an opportunity to get its first quality victory of the season. Wisconsin has lost to the best teams on its schedule, Oregon State, Nebraska and Michigan State. The Buckeyes will look to stop the run, while the Badgers’ defense will key on elusive quarterback Braxton Miller.

USC at UCLA

Winner take all for the South Division and a likely trip to Eugene, Ore., for the Pac-12 championship on Nov. 30. UCLA is ranked higher and owns a better record than the cross-town rival, but Southern California comes by its superior feeling naturally having won five straight and 12 of 13 in the series. Bruins redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, who is having an excellent year, can be a hero if he comes up big in this one.

Wake Forest at Notre Dame

The Demon Deacons played the Irish tough in Winston-Salem last year before losing 24-17. Notre Dame hasn’t been able to shake inferior competition at home this year, but it’s difficult to make a case for Wake, coming off a 37-6 loss to North Carolina State.

On the horizon

Oregon at Oregon State

Ducks’ only chance for league loss?

Florida at Florida State

Seminoles can gain some pride for ACC.

South Carolina and Clemson

See Florida at Florida State.

Notre Dame at Southern California

Last impression for Irish.

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