Washington State getting it done - Saturday’s game at Arizona State was the kind of game teams that just quite ready for prime time find a way to lose. It’s also the kind of game that teams who are ready to show they are for real and win a conference find a way to win. We found out which of those teams the Cougars are.
Luke Falk - Falk might have had his best game of the season, and he did it banged up. The Cougars are incredibly tough to beat when their quarterback is playing the way he did against Arizona State.
Washington getting it done - The Huskies had a shorter task than the Cougars (Oregon State at home), but did what they needed to do to blow by the Beavers without really stepping on the gas and staying healthy and rested before they head to Utah.
Colorado’s defense - How about this. The Buffs went to Stanford and pulled out a win on the strength of their defense. This was a coming full circle win for the Buffs as they did something no one thought possible going into the season to clinch at the very, very least a bowl bid and to keep themselves in the driver’s seat for the North with Utah.
Phillip Lindsay - Forget about Freeman and McCaffrey, Colorado might have the Pac-12’s best running back. Another huge day for Lindsay in a game where they really needed him.
Joe Williams and Utah’s line - The Utes ran over a UCLA front which had been very good all season in a way I didn’t think was possible on their way to 52 points. You are almost never going to see a stat line these days where a team puts up 52 points without passing for even 200 yards or a touchdowns. Hats off to Utah’s running back who came out of retirement, and their offensive line.
Royce Freeman and Christian McCaffrey - The preseason Heisman favorites from the Pac-12 were grounded again. Freeman had just 10 yards on 15 carries against Cal and McCaffrey ran for less than 100 on 21 carries against Colorado. Both backs are banged up, but their stat lines are still astounding.
Stanford’s offense - The Cardinal lost a lot of talent and experience from their offense including Kevin Hogan, but their struggles on offense are still inexcusable. They have scored less than 30 points in their last three Pac-12 games and have never scored more than 27 points this season.
UCLA’s defense - The one strength which was carrying UCLA this season fell apart as the Bruins got shredded for 52 points by one of the conference’s most-limited offenses, at home. 2016 could get really ugly for the Bruins if their defense can’t get off the turf.
Colorado’s kicking - The Buffs would have won more comfortably Saturday had they not gone ¼ kicking field goals. That could bite them later in the season.
Cal & Oregon’s defenses - These two units made some nice plays in some key moments, but overall, they simply could not stop each other on a Friday night with some bad defense that made things pretty easy on the opposing offenses.
Luke Falk’s health? The health of the Cougars’ quarterback could be the most-watched story the rest of the season as he was banged up again, but made it through the game.
Time for Stanford to panic? Everyone keeps saying this is just a hiccup for Stanford, but I don’t know. Stanford is really lacking young talent on offense and doesn’t appear to have a quarterback solution in their back pocket. They are legitimately in danger of not making a bowl game.
Mark Helfrich? The Ducks didn’t quit, but they also didn’t win. How much longer can Helfrich hang on?
Jim Mora? I have tuned out the questions about Jim Mora at UCLA, but it’s time to at least start to listen. The Bruins are crumbling without Josh Rosen and weren’t on fire with him.
Josh Rosen? The Bruins are drowning without their star quarterback. Can they get him back after the bye week for a huge game at Colorado?
UCLA’s defense? UCLA’s defense was holding the team together, but the glue came off on Saturday. Can they put it back together and play well enough to get to a bowl game?
Washington at Utah? Is Washington just a good team posing as elite because of a soft early schedule? Is Utah the South favorite with an outside Playoff shot or just a team who has caught a lot of teams at the right time and won close games? I think we answer a lot of questions on Saturday in Salt Lake City.