Oregon & Washington make (minor) statements – The Ducks and Huskies didn’t look ahead to their showdown because they both downed South opponents in impressive fashion. The Ducks absolutely clamped down on Colorado’s solid offensive attack and the Washington offense finally exploded in the second half in Tucson to race past Arizona.
These two teams could easily be the class of the conference and someone is going to have to win in Seattle Saturday and make a (major) statement.
Don’t sleep on USC – Yes, the Trojans lost at Notre Dame, but only by three points, to what is considered a Top 10ish team. I don’t think the Trojans are going to impress anyone nationally this year, but in a down Pac-12, their test of ND showed me that they are still very much a threat to win the South, and maybe even the entire Pac-12.
But, oh yeah, Utah – not to be forgotten are the Utes, who absolutely smashed an Oregon State team that looked to be turning the corner, in Corvallis. The Utes held an offense that seemed like it could put up points on even the best defenses, to just seven points, and their constantly-questioned offense ripped off 52 on the road.
Jayden Daniels is star – Daniels has put together an incredible book of work for a true freshman. He led the Sun Devils to another nailbiter win, scoring a huge win over Washington State in Tempe. I would say Daniels is a “future star,” but honestly, he’s kind of already proven himself.
Washington State in trouble – The Cougars are 0-3 in Pac-12 play and still could be a team that is think is a Top 6 Pac-12 team. I still think they turn things around and make a bowl, but they’re in a troublesome spot where if they don’t start winning the games they should win, it could be an ugly season in Pullman.
Oregon vs. Washington – It’s here, the conference’s two power programs not named USC who hate each other and are desperately trying to win the North face off in Seattle Saturday. I honestly don’t know what to make of this game, or either team really. I could see almost any outcome happening. The key to me seems to be if Washington can pressure Justin Herbert, but also if their frequently-completely inept offense can continue what they did in the second half against Arizona against a much-better (but possibly overrated) Oregon D.
Can Utah shake the Arizona State bug? The Sun Devils have given the Utes fits in recent years and they head to Salt Lake City in a match-up of ranked teams that will be huge in the South championship chase. It certainly feels like Utah should be able to get the win here, and maybe even semi-comfortably, but we’ve been here before with these two teams.