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The good, the bad and the unknown week 10: USC pulls away in the South

Trojans make a statement in the South and the Cougars make a statement in the North.

NCAA Football: Arizona at Southern California Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

USC taking the South - Nice to see the Trojans didn’t pack it in just because they can’t make the Playoff. They basically took care of the South with a solid win over Arizona and can still finish in the Top 5 if they win out.

USC’s run game - A big reason why the Trojans are turning the corner is because they are committing to the run the way they should. With the talent they have on the offensive line and at running back, they can plow just about any team in the Pac-12 other than Washington so they might as well do it.

The Cougars at home - The Cougars finished undefeated at home and scored probably the two biggest conference wins any team has gained thus far this season by knocking off Stanford and USC in Pullman. It was a magical year in Pullman.

Washington State’s defense - The Cougar defense that got shredded by Arizona bounced right back and shut down Bryce Love much more than anyone else has this year. Great effort at home, and it got the Cougars the win and keeps them in a great spot to win the North.

Luke Falk - It has been an up and down year for the senior, but this was his signature game so far for 2017. He was prolific and smooth and guided the Cougars to another huge win.

Washington’s defense - The Huskies snuffed out Oregon’s offense and held them to 3 points just a week after it looked like they may have come back to life against a good Utah defense. This defense continues to drive the team and look like it might be the best in the nation.

Dante Pettis - I can’t believe the Ducks punted line drives to this guy and let him break the national punt return touchdown record.

Utah back to life - College football is a week-to-week struggle of thinking you are dead one week and then being fine again. Utah looked fine again, bashing UCLA in Salt Lake City and setting themselves up to have a decent shot at getting back to a bowl game.

Tyler Huntley - Huntley looked the player he was before his injury - he had over 320 combined passing/rushing yards and four touchdowns without a pick. Utah’s future is bright if he can get back to this level of play against all levels of opponents.

Arizona State - Speaking of bounce backs, the Sun Devils set themselves up to have a great shot at a bowl game by getting a nice win over Colorado in Tempe. Manny Wilkins continued to progress, Demario Richard was prolific and their run defense held the Buffs to less than three per-carry.

Cal taking care of business - Let’s keep the better shot at a bowl game now train rolling with Cal who won a game they should have won against a much-improved Beaver team. The Bears getting one more win and getting to a bowl would be a huge accomplishment for Justin Wilcox in year one and this was a win they HAD to have.

The Bad

Stanford’s offense (now featuring Bryce Love!) - Maybe it was the snow in Pullman, maybe Bryce Love is fighting through a really bad injury, but either way, Stanford’s offense was bad against a defense that got obliterated a week before by Khalil Tate and Arizona (though what defense hasn’t been…). K.J. Costello was less than 50 percent on passes for just over 100 with a pick, and Love averaged less than five-per carry. The rest of the month is going to be very tough for the Cardinal if they can’t generate more offense against Washington, Cal and Notre Dame.

Oregon without Herbert - We knew Oregon was going to be bad without Justin Herbert, but it looked like they may have turned a corner against Utah. Well, it looks like that turn was just a bend that ran into Vita Vea and company and three points. The plans seems to be to have Herbert get some more healing in the bye week and return for Arizona in Eugene. The Ducks are at risk at not making a bowl if it’s not the way it goes though.

Everything UCLA - The Jim Mora era seems to be burning down at UCLA. The Bruins looks hopeless without Josh Rosen and they weren’t setting the world on fire with him. It seems only a matter of time now before a change is made.

The Unknown?

Can Stanford rebound? The Cardinal took a tough loss in Pullman, but they are right back in the thick of the North race if they can beat Washington in Palo Alto on Friday night. They didn’t look like a team capable of that Saturday, but can they have a six-day turnaround and get back to being dangerous on offense enough to take down the Huskies?

How injured is Bryce Love? I thought Stanford may have had Love out against Oregon State just as an extra precaution, but his injury status seems a lot more potentially legit after having his worst game of the season against Washington State. Did the Cougars just do a great job of slowing Love, or is he seriously banged up and affected?

Apple Cup Championship again? It looks like we are sizing up for another huge Apple Cup which decides the North again as long as UW and WSU keep winning. Will we see the Northwest rivalry take on epic proportions again?

Can Washington make a Playoff run? The table is setting for the Huskies to possibly make it into the Playoff again as long as they win out, but that’s a big if. Can the Huskies get it rolling again? And will a spot even be open if they do?

How many teams will make bowls? Washington, USC, Washington State, Stanford and Arizona have tickets punched to bowls already but Oregon, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah all can still mathematically make them as well. Could we have 11 Pac-12 teams in bowl games?