UCLA at Oregon is top Pac-12 game in Week 9

Heisman Trophy implications abound across the Pac-12 on Saturday. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota looks to stay ahead of the pack in a marquee matchup with UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, and Bruins signal-caller Brett Hundley will need to deliver a signature showing behind an offensive line that will start three true freshmen to come away with the win.

Over in Corvallis, Ore., the nation's leading passer in Sean Mannion and leading receiver in Brandin Cooks can climb into the race against Stanford.

5. California at Washington, Saturday, 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: After two poor games, the Washington passing offense should get back on track against a Cal defense allowing 44.4 points and 346 yards through the air per game. Both teams could be using first-time starters at quarterback, as UW's Keith Price is dealing with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, while redshirt freshman Zach Kline is competing with struggling incumbent Jared Goff for the job in practice this week.

4. Arizona at Colorado, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: It is a family affair as cousins Paul and Shaquille Richardson face off for the first time. Teammates in high school, Paul ranks second in the conference with 130 rushing yards per game for the Buffaloes, while Shaquille has 26 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions as a starting cornerback for Arizona. When these two teams met last season, Wildcats running back Ka'Deem Carey rushed for a Pac-12 record 366 yards with five touchdowns in a 56-31 win.

3. Utah at USC, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 2.5 stars

The skinny: The Trojans will be lucky to field an offense with 11 scholarship starters, desperately thin at wide receiver, tight end and running back. Expect to see Utah focus on shutting down sophomore Nelson Agholor in the passing game and force someone else to beat them. Utes quarterback Travis Wilson is expected to play, despite a hand injury that forced him out of last week's loss at Arizona.

2. Stanford at Oregon State, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: Everyone knows wide receiver Brandin Cooks (76 receptions for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns this season) is going to be the main target for quarterback Sean Mannion. But Cooks can't get the ball if Mannion is flat on his back. If the Oregon State offensive line, which has allowed just nine sacks in 347 pass attempts, can hold off Stanford linebackers Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy, Cooks can do his damage, keep the Beavers undefeated in conference play and inch that much closer to a potentially titanic Civil War with the rival Ducks.

1. UCLA at Oregon, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: Ducks versatile running back De'Anthony Thomas seems set to return after missing three games with a sprained ankle. With the development of other young running backs on the Oregon roster, expect the Black Mamba to catch more passes than he did earlier this season as the featured rusher. But UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and Myles Jack have the athleticism to cover Thomas, tight ends or even slot receivers in the prolific UO spread offense. Defensive end Tony Washington has 6.5 of UO's 20 sacks this season, with both totals set to rise against a UCLA offensive line that has struggled to protect quarterback Brett Hundley and is now starting three true freshmen at the Pac-12's most feared home-field advantage.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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