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The good, the bad and the unknown week four: Washington vs. Colorado deja vu

Washington and USC scored nice road wins to solidified their standing.

NCAA Football: Washington at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Washington’s Colorado statement II - The Huskies and Buffs played in back-to-back conference games and the Huskies turned in a performance that was almost identical to last year’s Pac-12 Championship Game. They started slow, but dominated Colorado on both lines as the game went on and broke the game open with a pick six.

Washington’s OL and Myles Gaskin - The Husky offensive line powered through Colorado’s defense again and Gaskin ran tough with speed for a career high while sucking the life out of Colorado - breaking tackles and getting 2-3 extra yards on every carry.

Bryce Love - Dear God, Love looks BETTER than Christian McCaffrey. UCLA’s defense is a nightmare, but there’s no getting past the numbers that Love put up and his yards per-carry this year. The Pac-12’s leading Heisman candidate right now.

K.J. Costello - The rest of the Pac-12 might be a little worried after former blue chip recruit Costello flashed the ability to be a difference-maker at quarterback for the Cardinal. Stanford has really struggled post-Hogan without a playmaker at quarterback and they could quickly go back to being a championship threat if Costello is truly the answer at QB.

USC’s 4th Quarter...again - The Trojans did what they did against Western Michigan and Stanford again and stepped on the gas in the fourth to pull away from an opponent, this time on the road. This might become USC’s M.O. as the season goes on.

Cal’s toughness - The Bears ended up losing, but a 10-point loss to what is probably the conference’s best team isn’t too bad for where the Bears are as a program right now. Their non-conference success wasn’t a fluke. They are a good team.

Arizona States in the clutch - It wasn’t pretty, but the Sun Devils avoided a horrifying 1-3 start by surprising an Oregon team I think most thought was closer to getting back than they actually are. The Sun Devils and Todd Graham really needed that one and got it by scoring early and getting just enough out of their defense late in the game when Oregon had their chances to win.

Utah & Washington State 4-0 - Neither the Utes or Cougars had headline-worthy wins, but both teams getting to 4-0 is big and both currently hold the #2 spots in the power rankings of their respective divisions in my opinion.

The Bad

Colorado, against Washington, again - The Buffs aren’t any closer to beating the Huskies. Not a huge problem for a program that is still light years from where it was a few years ago, but the Buffs have got their doors blown off in their past three games against power conference opponents and still have a long way before they are a program that can regularly compete against those kinds of teams.

UCLA’s defense - It’s astounding how bad UCLA’s defense has been this year given how much recruiting talent they have brought in the past couple of years. They got obliterated by a one-dimensional Stanford offense which has sputtered against decent competition.

UCLA against Stanford, again - The Bruins lost their 10th-straight to Stanford and it’s not just about the number either. The Bruins have a habit of getting physically dominated by the Cardinal year after year.

Oregon’s defense, still - The Ducks have made progress on defense, but not enough to where they won’t lose a game on the road against a decent offense. Still a ways to go for Jim Leavitt’s unit.

Arizona’s life - The Wildcats had a chance to give themselves a minor shot in the arm Friday against Utah, but couldn’t pull it off. There just isn’t much to get excited about right now in Tucson.

The Unknown

Can Washington and USC avoid traps? USC and Washington look at least like the best teams in the Pac-12 four weeks into the season. Both don’t play incredibly challenging schedules the rest of the regular season, but we know how hard it is to get through the regular season schedule unscathed. Can both, or one of these teams run the table and stay in the driver’s seat for a Playoff spot?

Can Washington State challenge USC? Speaking of traps. The Trojans have to play a hot Cougar team in Pullman on Friday night. The Cougars are 4-0 and rolling( their miracle win over Boise State doesn’t look as strong anymore) and will be ready for the Trojans. Is this the game where USC steps up and proves they are elite with a strong road win over a ranked opponent? Or are the Cougars ready for an all-time great win in Pullman?

Has Stanford found a quarterback? Ryan Burns isn’t the answer. Keller Chryst is solid, but just doesn’t look like a huge difference maker. K.J. Costello looked like he might be that guy....can he repeat his outstanding performance against UCLA against better defenses?

Can Cal keep it up? The Bears have been more than impressive this year thus far with an early-season schedule that is one of the toughest in the nation. Their moral victory against USC Saturday was nice, but challenges they should expect to win in-conference start stacking up this week in Eugene. Can the Bears go at Oregon at get a win that confirms they are a good team and not just an improved team?

How much better is Oregon? The Ducks are clearly better on defense, but how much better? And will it be enough for them to win enough games in the Pac-12 to get to a bowl this year?

Tyler Huntley? The Utes looked like a different team on offense this year with Huntley at QB, but he went down with an injury that looks like it will keep him out for at least a little while and Utah will have to go back to Troy Williams for now. Can Utah keep things going on offense without Huntley (and Joe Williams and 2016’s OL)? Or, will they struggle until they get him back?