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Pac-12 The Good, The Bad & The Unknown week seven: Ducks good, UCLA bad

Oregon beat up UCLA in a Playoff knock out game.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Oregon - It was just one week, but for one week, it appeared that the Ducks were back. Running the ball, protecting Marcus Mariota, holding onto the ball while creating turnovers and hitting on blitzes just when they need them, the Ducks looked a lot different than their first two Pac-12 games. They now look like the conference's only hope for a Playoff bid.

Oregon's staff - On offense, the Ducks looked smooth with a focus on the run and a little bit more of a free reign for Mariota to use his legs. It appeared as if the staff did a great job of picking up on UCLA's struggles against the run and exploited it to its full extent. On defense, the Ducks looked more like they did under Nick Allioti, attacking and making big plays on third down with well-timed blitzes that continually took the air out of the UCLA offense.

Jake Fisher - I have always wondered why this guy doesn't get as many accolades as he should. The Oregon offensive line looked like a completely different unit with their senior tackle reinserted and his physicality and nasty gave the Ducks the edge they have been sorely lacking up front.

Stanford's defense - What very well could be the nation's best unit showed it again Friday night, putting the shackles on the red-hot Connor Halliday. This defense could end up carrying Stanford to the Pac-12 crown.

Washington's defense - The Huskies are starting to look a bit like a lesser Stanford with the way their defense has played thus far in Pac-12 play. Like Stanford, they shut down a red-hot quarterback in Jared Goff and made up for their questionable offense by creating turnovers and giving them short fields.

Javorious Allen - USC's offense is becoming the Buck Allen show. Allen is carrying the Trojan offense on his back and becoming Sarkisian's Chris Polk/Bishop Sankey in LA.

The Bad

UCLA - The Bruins simply looked like a team that was lost and didn't belong on the field with a fully-functioning Oregon team for most of the game Saturday. The offense looked far from explosive and Brett Hundley had two back breaking turnovers and the defense couldn't do anything to stop Oregon's previously questionable running game. This is especially concerning considering this was supposed to be Mora's money year at Westwood with Hundley back for his junior season. They now face an uphill battle to win the South.

UCLA's poise - Mora vs. Ulbrich has already been discussed ad naseum at this point, but on top of this, the Bruins really looked undisciplined against the Ducks and it cost them dearly. Their late rally could have been to tie up or take the lead in the game if they had avoided getting stupid chippy penalties that extended Oregon drives and held themselves back.

USC's ability to close - So okay, the Trojans held on against Arizona, but dear lord, they almost blew another one late despite having a comfortable lead for much of the game. Sarkisian needs to find a way for his team to step on the gas once they have a team on the ropes.

Pac-12 refs - These guys didn't have any glaring mistakes, but what I saw in Oregon vs. UCLA and Cal vs. Washington was still very bad.

Washington State's bowl chances - It is really unfortunate that the Cougars dropped their opening two non-conference games because it is making it really hard on them to get back to a bowl when they should based on how well they are playing.

The Unknown

Is Oregon back? The Ducks did look like their old selves in vanquishing UCLA in the Rose Bowl, but they did let the Bruins back in a bit late in a very unOregonlike move and got a lot of help from a self destructing Bruin team. Are the Ducks truly back and ready to run the table in the conference and go the College Football Playoff or was Saturday simply an isolated encouraging performance?

Can UCLA bounce back? I knew whoever lost Oregon vs. UCLA would be in a tough spot, but I never thought it would be this bad with how disastrous Saturday was for the Bruins. Still, the Bruins are right in the thick of the South race and have more talent than anyone in the division, but they need to pull things back together quickly. Can they?

Who is the leader in the South? The South is good, but an unpredictable mess. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends if a four-way tie. Can anyone push themselves out of the pack?

How will Stanford and Washington's defenses match-up against Oregon? Stanford and Washington look like the only teams in the Pac-12 that can play defense and the only thing standing between Oregon and a Pac-12 championship. Both have looked very impressive and shut down high-flying passing offenses this week, but will they be able to slow Oregon when they meet up in the next few weeks? The fate of the conference this season likely lies within the answer of that question.