clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pac-12 The Good, The Bad & The Unknown week three: USC's stumbles out gate

Stanford's offense comes alive and USC falls apart.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Kevin Hogan & Stanford's offense - Hogan had the best game of his career and Stanford scored 40 points against a Pac-12 team for just the fourth time since Andrew Luck left Palo Alto. It was probably the best Stanford offensive performance since they had Luck at QB. Hogan was the catalyst of the success as he hit on passes like never before, regularly ran for big gains in huge moments when Stanford needed it and avoided the usual mind-bending horrible interception or two he throws in big games.

Stanford in general - I will admit that I had the shovel ready to bury Stanford going into this game and was shocked when they not only won, but won not in their usual 17-14 fashion. This game for Stanford reminded me a lot of Oregon's win at UCLA last year when everyone was ready to bury them and they bounced back with a hugely impressive win.

Cal's luck - Just when the Bears were in the midst of confirming why I didn't trust them, they caught a huge break against Texas. While their near epic collapse still gives me reason to wait on their bandwagon, it was the kind of break sometimes teams need to get to take that next step. I have a little more trust in the Bears heading into Pac-12 play.

Colorado's resolve - I was also getting the shovel and dirt ready for the Buffs when they fell behind 14-0 to Colorado State, but was impressed when they rallied to keep the hopes of a better season alive. An overtime win over a Mountain West program might not seem like much, but this was a huge win for Colorado's morale, Mike MacIntyre and any faint bowl hopes they might have.

Washington & Jake Browning - Like most people, I was leaning towards  Utah State at least making this a very good game, so I was impressed when the Huskies controlled the game which was not nearly as close as the 14-point spread suggests. Also, Browning looked like he could live up to the freshman hype as he put together a hell of a game against one of the best mid-major defenses in the country.

Paul Perkins & Devontae Booker - Booker and Perkins are going to carry their teams' offenses a lot this season and they are both going to do a good job of it.

The Bad

USC in general - Saturday was a demoralizing, demoralizing loss for the USC. The Trojans had everything set up for them to start their run back to prominence with a nice home win, but their defense got shredded by an enigmatic Stanford bunch that put up 6 against Northwestern and 31 against UCF (UCF might be the worst major program in the nation) and their offense failed to control a depleted Stanford front on the ground and had to dink and dunk in the passing game. USC is dead on arrival.

Steve Sarkisian - I know it is hard to make harsh judgments three weeks into the season, but I just don't seeing it working with Sark right now. His team looked sloppy and  he looked out-coached in a game he really, really needed to win. He has a thin margin for error at USC.

Josh Rosen - Rosen looked like a true freshman against a nothing special BYU defense. Was that just the off game every true freshman is going to have? Or was Rosen performance against a bad Virginia team just overvalued?

Oregon's pass defense - The Ducks are lucky they have a very soft start to their Pac-12 schedule in regards to teams that can pass the ball, because their pass defense is atrocious. Georgia State's Nick Arbuckle hung 300 plus and three touchdowns on them in Eugene. The Ducks are going to have a hard time competing for the Playoffs if they can't shore up their pass defense.

The Unknown

Where from here, USC? All of the excitement for the 2015 USC season deflated from The Coliseum Saturday night, especially since LA and USC fans are extremely fickle with their attention. Will the Trojans and Sark be able to get off the canvas and salvage a highly-anticipated season? Or will they venture back to the Kiffenland of indifference and disappointment?

Stanford? Just when you were ready to write them off, Stanford had their best performance in years. But was that just a fluke one-off from a team that is ready to start going away? Or was that Northwestern loss a fluke and Stanford is still a Pac-12 title contender?

Cody Kessler? Kessler is a good quarterback, but he once again didn't look dynamic enough in a big game to take USC back to being a Pac-12 title contender. Is Kessler ever going to be that guy? Or is he going to be USC's Kevin Hogan who puts up bigger numbers?

Arizona schools? Arizona State has sleepwalked through the first three games and Arizona hasn't played anyone, I don't know what to think of the desert schools going into Pac-12 play.

Vernon Adams? Oregon wisely sat Adams against Georgia State, but will the slight QB be able to handle the punishment of the full Pac-12 season if he is already sitting after just two weeks of the season?

The Pac-12? I don't know what the hell to think after that crazy week.