Pac-12 links: Utah quarterback Travis Wilson struggling

– Once a rising star, Utah’s sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson doesn’t look the same these days.

– A strong column from the Arizona Daily Star’s Greg Hansen, on the Wildcats’ loss to UCLA.

– After a stint at Louisiana-Monroe, Arizona State defensive back Robert Nelson is living the dream in Tempe.

– Does the Pac-12 need an injury report? Seattle Times columnist Bud Withers says yes, citing the status of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Continue reading

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What to watch: No. 11 UCLA vs. Cal

As a first-year head coach last season, Jim Mora got a bit of a wake-up call when UCLA fell flat in a 43-17 loss at Cal — a performance for which he blames himself.

Mora still got his team to nine wins in a resurgent season. Sonny Dykes’ Berkeley debut won’t come close to that. Done in by both injuries and a relative inability to play defense, the Bears have become one of the worst teams in the Pac-12. Here’s how the two teams stack up for their 7:30 p.m. Saturday kickoff at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA offense vs. Cal defense

UCLA is averaging 48 points per game (fifth in the country), 561.8 yards (fourth) and a 58.33 percent third-down conversion rate (third). Cal is allowing 524.0 yards per game (123rd) and 45.0 points (124th). Continue reading

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At a glance: No. 11 UCLA vs. Cal

No. 11 UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) vs. Cal (1-4, 0-2)
Location:
Rose Bowl, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 (Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jeannine Edwards)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: Cal upset No. 25 UCLA, 43-17, in what was the Bruins’ worst outing of 2012. The Bears picked off Brett Hundley four times and sacked him five times.
2012 records: Bruins (9-5, 6-3); Bears (3-9, 2-7)

Key storylines: UCLA won’t likely peek forward to next weekend’s Stanford trip. No, most of the team is still seething over last year’s 43-17 upset loss to Cal.

“You can tell on all their faces,” said true freshman linebacker Myles Jack. “They have a bitter feeling about that game. Coach Mora, he’s still sour about that game. I’m just feeding off that energy.”

Jack and the rest of the team shouldn’t have much trouble exacting revenge. The Bruins are a better squad than they were last year, and the Bears are significantly worse.

Led by first-year head coach Sonny Dykes, Cal is limping through its rebuilding season. Continue reading

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