Pac-12 Football: The Good, The Bad & The Unknown Week Four: Cardinal and Sun Devils Confuse

Stephen Lam

It was a tale of two halves in Palo Alto on Saturday, clouding the image of both teams.

It was what is probably the worst week of college football on the schedule in 2013, and the Pac-12 helped that cause by having the conference's lone in-conference game be the only Pac-12 game between two BCS conference teams. However, that doesn't mean a bit wasn't learned over the course of the mostly-boring games. With all of the horrifically boring FCS games and patsy games now over, it's time to get down to the meat of the Pac-12 schedule and finally start truly learning about teams.

But for now, let's take a look at what we learned in Week four.

The Good

Stanford (In the first half)

For 30 minutes, the Cardinal made a major statement. Punishing a team that was fresh off a victory over a ranked Wisconsin team, the Cardinal held a 29-0 lead and had essentially ended what was expected to be an early conference showdown before it even got started. The Cardinal wouldn't give an inch on defense, were efficient on offense and looked like, for the first time in a long time, they were truly going to dominate an opponent.

Utah

The Utes swept their entirely in-state non-conference slate, wrapping it up with an impressive win in the Holy War at BYU. Their defense truly frustrated BYU quarterback Taysom Hill and forced him to pass as much as possible, while Travis Wilson continued to look like the most improved player in the Pac-12 and their underrated collection of running backs and receivers made plays.

Pac-12 teams against cupcakes

UCLA, Washington and Washington State all faced utterly horrible teams that they should have blown out and they did, in impressive fashion. The Washington schools actually defeated the Idaho schools (Idaho & Idaho State) 108-0.

The Bad

Arizona State (In the first half)

Maybe the Sun Devils had a bad hangover from their miraculous and controversial win over Wisconsin last week, because they got smacked out of the gate against the Cardinal. By coming out of the gate so slowly against a very good team, the Sun Devils simply dug themselves a hole that was too deep to climb out of.

USC's offense

Just when you thought that USC's offense had risen from the dead, it went back to the grave as the Trojans struggled to move the ball against the Aggies and had a hard time punching it in once in the red zone. The Aggies are a strong team, but what might be most concerning is that the Trojans, who had previously been running the ball well, managed just a little more than 100 yards on the ground and only 3 yards per-carry.

Pac -12 referee (Again)

Maybe they were just on high alert due to the controversy of last week's Arizona State/Wisconsin debacle, but Pac-12 refs continued to litter the field with perpetual laundry. I think Jay Stricherz' idea of pornography would be watching referees perpetually calling personal foul penalties on light hits.

The Unknown

Stanford (In the second half)

It seems almost as if the Cardinal can't stand to not have teams in the game with them. Just when you thought they were going to put a whipping on a good Pac-12 team and show why they should be neck-and-neck with Oregon for national respect, they couldn't stop Arizona State on offense and it was a game. What is most concerning, is that Stanford is loaded with talent and experience on defense, but haven't looked particularly intimidating when their opponents have the ball in 2013.

Arizona State (In the second half)

So which Arizona State is the real Arizona State? The one that got clobbered by the Cardinal, or the one that bombed them through the air and almost made it a one possession game? I don't think we will know until next week when they host USC.

Oregon State

The Beavers are known for starting out very slowly and gradually improving, and while a comeback win at San Diego State after wins over Hawaii and Utah might point to that again, the Beavers were very lucky to win in San Diego, and the Aztecs are horrible this year.

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