College football: Play it forward

Myles Jack, Javorius Allen
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack recovers a fumble by USC running back Javorius Allen in last season’s rivalry game. If turnovers don’t help decide this season’s contest, penalties just might.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1) USC’s cross-town rivalry visit to UCLA on Saturday is not just a game with important implications. It is also a “Flag Day” celebration featuring two of the nation’s most penalized teams. The Trojans rank No. 123 nationally with 92 penalties, while the Bruins are 106th with 78.

2) Easy prediction: Arizona at Utah won’t be decided until the final gun. The Wildcats have had two games decided on last-second field goals and another on a Hail Mary pass. The Utes are 2-1 in overtime and have had three other games decided by six total points.

3) Arkansas tries to extend its SEC winning streak to two games this week when it hosts Mississippi. The Razorbacks snapped a 17-game conference losing streak with a 17-0 home shutout over a Louisiana State team that clearly hadn’t recovered from its overtime loss to Alabama.


4) Boston College at Florida State is worth a mention only because the Eagles have a history of making history in the state around Thanksgiving (Doug Flutie v. Miami, 1984). Also note: Florida State’s 14-point win last year at BC was its closest contest in the regular season.

5) Missouri, despite losing at home to Indiana, which is now 0-6 in the Big Ten, controls its destiny in the SEC East. A win at Tennessee this week will leave the Tigers one home victory against Arkansas from clinching the division title.

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