Play It Forward Sept. 14-20: Time for USC, UCLA to supersize

The BYU fan’s eye view of Tanner Mangum’s latest prayer answered, versus Boise State on Saturday.

THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 3:
NO. 6 USC vs. STANFORD
Details/TV: At the Coliseum, 5 p.m., Channel 7
NO. 10 UCLA vs. NO. 19 BYU
Details/TV: At the Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., FS1:
You’d think USC and UCLA might do a better job coordinating their home-game kickoffs, so college football fans in L.A. could attempt to coordinate  schedules and take in both of these intriguing matchups – if not in person, at least in their living rooms without having to keep hitting the “last” button on the remote.
But here is what we have:
Start with a tweet from the fellow who professes to be ThePlayoffGuru:

Son of a gun. The first reference is to BYU’s latest quarterback, true freshman Tanner Mangum, who has thrown a couple of prayers up and had them competed to give the Cougars a 2-0 start. (Some may refer to those as a “Hail Mary.” We’ve heard it referred to better as a “Hook and Latter-Day Saint” play). The phrase #MangumStyle is more a Twitter thing than the Guru’s labeling of it. The 6-foot-3, 210 pounder from Idaho bailed on Boise State and decided to back up the oft-injured Taysom Hill, and it’s already paid off. His 167.1 passer efficiency rating is 24th in the nation. The other truer 13th grader in this scenario, Josh Rosen, ranks 55th with a 142.1 rating, but he’s also navigated a couple of victories. Albeit without the same dramatic flair. UCLA may have won seven of the 10 previous meetings against BYU, but with a 59-0 loss at Provo, Utah in 2008, their last meeting, these two kid QBs may not have even been born yet.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC's  J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal's last offensive possession in 2014.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC’s J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal’s last offensive possession in 2014.

Since we’re on this QB rating thing, USC senior Cody Kessler is second in the nation with a 215.3 – seven TDs, no picks, 79 percent completion rate. Sure, against Arkansas State and Idaho, but …  Stanford senior Kevin Hogan is 68th (135.3), and the currently unranked Cardinal is a questionable 1-1 after a season opening loss to Northwestern followed by a presentable 31-7 win over Central Florida. Hogan’s first TD pass of the year was a 53-yard flea flicker to Michael Rector in Week 2, and he finished with a career-high 341 yards. Kessler comes off a career-best 410 yards throwing. We know this USC-Stanford rivalry has also been dramatic in recent years. Unranked USC edged No. 5 Stanford, 20-17, in 2013 under then-coach Ed Orgeron. Last season, in the Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Andre Heidari’s 53-yard field goal with 2:30 left allowed No. 14 USC to pull off the win against No. 13 Stanford for new coach Steve Sarkisian (with an assist on the sidelines from AD Pat Haden). Kessler completed 15 of 22 passes for 135 yards and Hogan was 22 of 30 passing for 285 yards. But neither one threw a TD pass.
Other top games this week in college football:
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 4)
Auburn at LSU (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2)
Cal at Texas (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11)
Ole Miss at Alabama (Saturday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN)

ALSO THIS WEEK:

After Corey Seager makes his Dodger Stadium debut when the Dodgers face Colorado (Monday-Wednesday), there’s a dicey three-game set with Pittsburgh at Chavez Ravine (Friday-Sunday) … The Sparks start the WNBA playoffs against Western Conference leader Minnesota (Friday, 6 p.m.), then host Game 2 at Staples Center (Sunday, noon) … The NFL finishes off Week 1 with a doubleheader on ESPN (Philadelphia-Atlanta and Minnesota-San Francisco) …  More at this link.

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