Ranking the top 10 sports events Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 you won’t want to miss:
NO. 1: COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5:
USC at WASHINGTON STATE
Details/TV: At Pullman, Wash., Friday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
A short week. A 13-game win streak on the line. A crazy flight to the outskirts of Spokane with an overnight stay in Moscow, Idaho, before the ultimate backpack expedition into the Palouse. The unbeaten Cougars will be playing their fifth consecutive home game. And a Mike Leach-coached team always prepared to do something crazy.
Bring plenty of beef jerky and warm apple cider. It could be a night to remember or quickly forget for the Trojans in their march toward a national championship season.
The two 4-0 and Top 25-ranked schools — USC at No. 5, WSU at No. 16 — haven’t had to meet since a 2014 visit in Pullman. En route to a 44-17 win on a rainy, foggy afternoon, the Trojans knocked senior QB Connor Halliday out of the game in the first quarter – he was the nation’s passing yardage leader at the time. In came freshman walk-on Luke Falk as his replacement and he threw for 368 yards and two scores.
In a 52-23 Cougars’ win over Oregon State recently, Falk earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors with a 37-of-49 passing performance for 396 yards and tied a school single-game record with six TDs. He then threw for 478 and five more TDs in Saturday’s win over Nevada. That gives him 103 for his career, third most in conference history, passing Matt Leinart and two behind Marcus Mariotta. His 12,266 career passing yards are now third best, with No. 2 Matt Barkley likely to be passed by in this game.
NO. 2: COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5:
UCLA vs. COLORADO
Details/TV: At the Rose Bowl, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
When these two teams met last year in Boulder, Colorado, on a Nov. 3 Thursday night, Bruins QB Josh Rosen had to come out again with a shoulder injury and the Buffaloes registered a 20-10 win, despite putting up eight personal-foul penalties. The game had a combined 25 penalties for 224 yards, two blocked kicks, five turnovers and a punt return for a Colorado TD, adding up to the Bruins’ fourth consecutive loss at that point, and Rosen was done for the rest of that season.
Also this week in College Football Week 5:
Thursday: Texas at Iowa State, 5 p.m., ESPN
Friday: Miami at Duke, 4 p.m., ESPN; Nebraska at Illinois, 5 p.m., FS1; BYU at Utah State, 5 p.m., CBSSN
Saturday: Clemson at Virginia Tech, 5 p.m., Channel 7; Mississippi at Alabama, 6 p.m., ESPN;…