The Pac-12 is known for eating it’s own. This season is looking like that will be true in the 2019 season. Let’s take a look at what happened this past Saturday in The Conference of Champions.
California came into Autzen Stadium licking it’s wounds. Starting quarterback, Chase Garbers, was out with an injured shoulder. Second string quarterback, Devon Modster, was making his first start. The Golden Bears were also missing some offensive linemen as well, so getting the Oregon defense on it’s heels was going to a tall order.
In the first half, California held the Duck offense scoreless. California’s defense also caused the Ducks to turn the ball over three times which caused more than a few Duck fans to feel a little uneasy.
Modster threw for 190 yards and a touchdown against the Oregon defense which hadn’t given up a touchdown since the Auburn game.
“I thought our guys battled really hard, competed extremely hard, really in every phase. It wasn’t for lack of effort.” California head coach Justin Wilcox said.
The injury to Golden Bear center, Michael Saffell, and replaced by freshman Matthew Cindric hurt California on the line. Saffell has plenty of experience and is great communicator among the offensive line.
Oregon was coming off an bye week, but it was still surprising to see the Ducks come out so sloppy on the offensive side of the ball. The Ducks had outscored their opponents 84-15 in the first halves of games in their first four games of the 2019 season.
“It wasn’t our brand of football,” Justin Herbert said.
Herbert was 20-33, for 214 yards, and most importantly a win. The win pushes the Ducks to 4-1, with a 2-0 conference record.
Oregon will play host to Colorado next Friday night.
California has a bye week and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Golden Bears. Once they are off the bye week California will host Oregon State on October 19.
The Beavers came to Los Angeles looking to break a six game losing streak to the Bruins. The last time Oregon State beat the Bruins was in 2012 at The Rose Bowl Stadium.
The losing streak is over. In a big way.
When the clock read zeros across it the Beavers walked out of the stadium with an impressive 48-31 victory. Their first conference win of the season.
The man of the hour for Oregon State was quarterback, Jake Luton.
Luton threw for 18-26, 285 yards, and five touchdowns. Luton also rushed for a touchdown as well, so he was responsible for a total of six touchdowns on Saturday night.
“To put a complete four quarters together is big. It was really good and a lot of fun.” Jake Luton mentioned after the game. (espn.go.com)
Three of those five touchdown passes went to one of the best receivers in the conference, Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins is making a name for himself with his play. He has size and great hands and it’s obvious he has a connection with his quarterback.
Oregon State jumped all over the down Bruins from the start. The Beavers sprinted out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
After two years at their respective programs, Jonathan Smith and Chip Kelly have the exact same win-loss records at 4-14. Who would have thought that? It was Coach Kelly’s first loss to the Beavers ever.
Oregon State head coach was pumped up after the game.
“The quarterback was lights out. I did think the offensive line protected him well, but he was playing with great confidence and was very accurate with the ball.” Smith said. (espn.go.com).
Oregon State heads back home next Saturday against Utah.
UCLA has a bye week before taking on Stanford on October 17.
This was by far the surprise of the weekend. Washington was looking to keep pace with Oregon in the North Division. Stanford had other plans.
Stanford running back, Cam Scarlett, was a big part of the surprising 23-13 Cardinal win over the 15th ranked Washington Huskies.
Scarlett ran for 157 yards on 33 carries and scored a touchdown, but provided some great blocking. That’s what got Stanford head coach David Shaw all excited when talking about his running back.
“That was the biggest challenge we gave Cam this year, was that he needs to be a great pass protector. I can’t say enough about where Cam Scarlett is right now. Just playing such great football.” Shaw explained as he lauded the job Scarlett did in pass blocking on Saturday night.
Davis Mills had another solid outing before getting injured himself. Mills has been the Cardinal quarterback since starter, K.J. Costello went down with an injury.
Washington loses a game that they were expected to win. It also makes the thought of the conference title game a long shot.
“They played more physical than we did and they did a better job. We have to get better in the passing game. We need touchdowns. Field goals are not going to do against this team.” Husky head coach Chris Petersen said.
Stanford dominated this game by playing physical in a very deliberate offense game plan. The Cardinal beat the Huskies in nearly offensive category and owned a 18 minute time advantage in time of possession.
Washington plays at Arizona next Saturday and then comes back to Seattle in a big game against their rival Oregon.
Stanford will play at home against a down UCLA Bruin team on Oct 17.
Khalil Tate made his mark playing against Colorado two years ago. Tate left another mark on Folsom Field on Saturday afternoon.
Tate was 31-41 for 404 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats left the field as the only undefeated team in the Pac-12 South Division.
The most interesting thing about Tate on Saturday afternoon was that he only ran the ball four times. One of the runs he made was at the end of the game. Tate ran the ball for seven yards and it allowed Arizona to run out the clock in a 35-30 win.
Colorado was hit with the injury bug. They were missing two receivers, a nose tackle, a cornerback, a safety, and a defensive end. One of those receivers that was missing was star Laviska Shenault with a core muscle injury.
“Next man up is not a cliché, it’s what is required. There’s really no excuse and no explanation.” Colorado head coach Mel Tucker said. (espn.go.com)
Another part of this victory for the Arizona Wildcats is how clean of a game they played. The Wildcats were not whistled for their penalty until the end of the third quarter.
When you take a look at the Wildcats right now, they are 4-1. A very quiet 4-1 if you ask me.
Arizona will host the Washington Huskies on Oct 12.
Colorado has short week and has to play at Oregon on Friday night.
Other Pac-12 teams
Washington State was on a bye, but will visit Arizona State, who was also on a bye, on Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm.
USC will travel to Notre Dame on Saturday.