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No. 8 Oregon at No. 7 Washington is a juicy Week 7 matchup with high-flying offenses, Heisman hype

Go west, college football fans, if you’re looking for the best games in Week 7. Pac-12 teams are involved in three of the four Top 25 matchups Saturday.

No. 8 Oregon plays the first of three straight games against ranked opponents when it visits No. 7 Washington. The Ducks and Huskies meet for the 103rd time, but first when both are in the top 10. It’s the Pac-12’s game of the year so far.

No. 18 UCLA at No. 15 Oregon State is a nice Pac-12 undercard. The Bruins’ defense has held four straight opponents under 260 yards. DJ Uiagalelei leads a balanced Beavers offense piling up 450 yards per game.

No. 10 Southern California, coming off its close call against Arizona, travels to South Bend to face a 21st-ranked Notre Dame team looking to rebound from a lackluster loss to Louisville.

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No. 25 Miami at No. 12 North Carolina is the only other game pitting Top 25 teams. The Hurricanes will try to bounce back from their a play-calling gaffe that cost them last week’s game against Georgia Tech. They will face a red-hot Drake Maye, who has thrown for over 400 yards in two of his last three games.

BEST GAME

No. 8 Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) at No. 7 Washington (5-0, 2-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

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Pity the defenses: These are the top two offenses in the country, and they combine to average more than 1,100 yards and 97 points per game. The game has potential College Football Playoff implications. Washington’s 37-34 win last year was the Huskies’ first in Eugene since 2016.

HEISMAN WATCH

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix are the main attractions in Seattle.

Penix is the national passing leader, and it’s not close. He’s throwing for nearly 400 yards per game. Nix is completing 80.4% of his passes and on track to break the FBS season record of 77.4% by Alabama’s Mac Jones in 2020.

The two have combined for 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season. As far as the actual Heisman Trophy race, Penix is ahead of 2022 winner Caleb Williams of Southern California according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

6 — Points needed by Texas State in its seventh game, against Louisiana-Monroe, to match its 2022 total of 253 in 12 games.

10 — Air Force’s win streak entering its Mountain West showdown with Wyoming, the Falcons’ longest since 1998-99.

13-5 — Mike Elko’s record at Duke, the best 18-game start for a coach in program history.

17 — Second-half points allowed by Michigan and Penn State (each).

21 — Wisconsin’s third-down conversions on 35 attempts in its last two games, a 60% success rate that’s best among Power Five teams in conference play.

UNDER THE RADAR

Tulane (4-1, 1-0 AAC) at Memphis (4-1, 1-0), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

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It’s a key game early in the AAC schedule, and the winner will stay in first place and check a box in the competition for the Group of Five slot in the New Year’s Six bowls.

The Green Wave are stout defensively. They’re giving up AAC lows of 17.4 points and 84 yards rushing per game and have league-best averages of 3.4 sacks and 1.4 interceptions.

Memphis is scoring a league-best 36.6 points per game, Seth Hennigan is completing just under 70% of his passes for 275.2 yards per game, and Roc Taylor is coming off two straight 100-yard receiving games.

HOT SEAT

Louisiana-Monroe’s Terry Bowden is 10-19 in three seasons and coming off a 55-7 home loss to South Alabama. Now the Warhawks (2-3, 0-2 Sun Belt) face back-to-back road games against Texas State and Georgia Southern.

ULM is averaging just 18.2 points and 325 yards per game, worst in the conference, and it ranks near the bottom in the major defensive categories.

Bowden is under contract through 2024 and would be owed just under $200,000 if ULM fired him after the season.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll