@ Arizona 24
I had predicted this game to be a blowout and, to Arizona’s credit, it was anything but that. Arizona’s success was a team effort but it is not unfair to say that their demise falls on the shoulders of their quarterback: Brandon Dawkins. With the score 20-17 in Utah’s favor with two minutes left in the third, Dawkins throws an interception that the Utes take back for a touchdown. The Wildcats forced a punt with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to give the offense one more chance to win the game. Three plays later, Dawkins threw another interception to let Utah clinch victory. Both Arizona and Utah get a week off to plan for their next opponents: Colorado and Stanford, respectively.
@ Arizona State 37
Most of you know that I’m an Oregon fan at the core. I will try to write this without coming off too biased.
From the jump, Arizona State was in control. I fully suspected that ASU’s rushing game would be the issue but Manny Wilkins sure showed me. Running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage were kept in check but Oregon’s defense gave up multiple big plays to wide receivers K’Neal Harry and Jalen Harvey. On Oregon’s defense, Jalen Jelks stood out with three sacks and eight tackles. Star freshman CB Thomas Graham had eight tackles himself. On paper, QB Justin Herbert had quite a game with 280 yards and three touchdowns but multiple throws in the fourth quarter were poorly executed largely due to ASU’s pressure. Royce Freeman had a pedestrian game largely due to a lack of carries. I don’t quite know why they stopped feeding him despite his 5.4 yard average per carry.
Arizona State goes to Palo Alto to take on a rejuvinated Stanford while Oregon hosts Cal. Both games should be interesting given the chaotic nature of the conference right now.
In the first half, Cal looked every bit the darling that they had been the first three games of the season. Despite two turnovers (an interception and a fumble), the score was tied at 13 going into halftime. Unfortunately, USC remembered that they outclass Cal at every position on the field and pulled away. Cal started the third with a missed field goal, a turnover on downs, a lost fumble, and three interceptions. Their last possession of the game was a touchdown but the game was all but lost at that point. USC was able to wind out the clock to secure the win. Sam Darnold, Stephen Carr, and company were suppressed all game but sheer quality of talent willed them to win.
Cal goes to Oregon and USC travels to Pullman for what is sure to be an interesting game between the #5 and #16 teams in the nation.
@ Colorado 10
In truth, this 2016 Pac-12 Championship rematch was Washington’s first competitive opponent. The Huskies could not get much going in the first quarter mostly due to them only having one complete drive, ending in an interception. They had a drive that spanned the end of the first quarter that ended in a missed field goal. Despite these missteps, the Huskies started rolling and didn’t stop. Jake Browning did not look himself going 11/21 with only 160 yards, but Myles Gaskin was a machine running for over 200 yards. My questions remain about Browning related to his performance during and after the USC game last season but the Huskies as a whole appear to be picking up where they left off.
Colorado travels to UCLA to take on a team that has as many question marks as they do where Washington heads to Corvallis to take on Oregon State. I fuly expect a nasty blowout.
In “Josh Rosen can’t do everything for this damn team”, Part II, Rosen threw sixty attempts and UCLA’s defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed. It’s truly telling that DB Jaleel Wadood led UCLA in tackles. Generally, if you have a safety leading in tackles your defense has incredible man-up tackling or a defensive line/linebacker problem. Justing by the score, I’ll side with the latter.
Stanford seems to have woken up from that sleepwalking routine they were oulling the last couple weeks. Bryce Love did Bruce Love things by scampering for 260 yards, but Cameron Scarlett vultured three of his touchdowns. Keller Chryst got knocked out of the game giving way to KJ Costello. He seemed very capable and I suspect he will seize the starting role sooner than later given Chryst’s questionable decision making.
UCLA hosts Colorado and Stanford hosts Arizona State.
Washington State 45
WSU beat a bad team. The only thing I have to say about it is that the Cougs did a great job not looking ahead to #5 USC coming into town this week. Should be a good battle on the Palouse.