Pac-12 Conference play is here and I couldn’t be happier. Now, the fun begins as the teams battle for position, bowl position, division titles, and who appears in the Pac-12 Championship game.
Lets take a look around the Pac-12 and see what materialized.
This was undoubtedly the most shocking game of the weekend and season so far. The Cougars came in nationally ranked, with momentum after winning on the road the previous week, and were looking to add misery to the UCLA season.
Misery was added in this game, but on the Washington State side of the field. Despite throwing for a record nine touchdowns passes by Cougar quarterback, Anthony Gordon, Washington State could not finish off the Bruins.
Keep in mind, the Bruins were down by 32 points with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Usually a team by that many points starts to pack it in for the day. Especially a young team like UCLA.
Bruin quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, passed for 507 yards and five touchdowns as UCLA stunned the Cougars with a furious comeback for a 67-63 in Pullman, Washington.
Washington State lead 35-17 at halftime and extended that lead to 49-17 in the third quarter.
However, UCLA came back with the help of six turnovers by the Washington State offense. The Bruins had not scored more than 14 points all season until this outburst on Saturday night. With all of the turnovers by the Cougars, UCLA was able to go on a run of seven touchdowns in their last eight possessions.
“Our guys got frantic and panicked. We collapsed in every phase of the game.” Washington State head coach, Mike Leach said after the game. (espn.go.com)
It will be interesting to see how the Cougars react to a loss like this. This is about as bad as it could have got for Washington State. Losses like this could lead to a downward spiral that kills the season for the Cougars.
UCLA plays at Arizona on Saturday.
Washington State plays at Utah on Saturday.
The Sun Devil defense came into this showdown with the Buffaloes feeling pretty good. In the previous three games Arizona State allowed a combined 21 points.
Colorado had other plans. Despite losing two of their best players in the first quarter, the Buffaloes came out and scored two quick touchdowns to put doubt into the minds of the ASU defense.
Colorado quarterback, Steven Montez, was 23-30 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t seem fazed by losing players in the first quarter.
“We were really confident in ourselves, no matter if we are 1, 2, or 3s.” Montez said.
This was the first road win against a ranked opponent since 2002 against UCLA.
Arizona State could not stop Colorado when it counted on Saturday night.
It did appear late in the game that the Sun Devils would get one more chance to win the game, but ASU hit the holder on a field goal attempt by the Buffaloes.
Game over and Colorado walked out of Sun Devil Stadium with a hard fought 34-31 win.
The Arizona State defense walked out of the stadium with a piece of humble pie.
Sun Devil head coach, Herm Edwards, was impressed with Colorado.
“You have to give them credit, they have a really good offense. It was a scoring game, going into this, we knew we had to put points on the board. We gave them a couple to many.” Edwards mentioned.
Arizona State plays at California next Saturday.
Colorado gets their bye week then they play Arizona at home Oct 5.
This was the game in the Pac-12 that everybody was talking about before all that mess up at Washington State.
Utah came into the game ranked number 10. USC came into the game licking their wounds from losing on the road at BYU. Whispers of Clay Helton job security were making their rounds around Los Angeles. Kedon Slovis had his confidence shaken by throwing three interceptions at BYU.
Both teams had a ton to prove and big hits were expected to be flying in the L.A. Coliseum.
Hits were flying, but penalty flags were flying as well. It almost seemed like a flag was being thrown every other down.
The other thing that was being thrown was the football by USC quarterback, Matt Fink. Fink came into the game after starter Kedon Slovis went down with a possible concussion on the second play of the game.
Fink also decided to stay at USC and not transfer after he was listed as third on the depth chart. Matt Fink didn’t want to turn away from his dream of playing for the Trojans. Head coach Clay Helton is sure glad Fink decided to stay as well.
“In a world where everybody goes different places, this one stayed for his family, waiting for his moment, waiting for his memory. And what a memory it was. When his number was called, he made the most of it tonight.” Helton said.
Matt Fink was 21-30 with three touchdown passes. Fink also used Michael Pittman Jr. as his favorite target on Friday night. Pittman caught 10 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown.
“Mostly we had no answer for their receiving corps. Michael Pittman did a number on us.” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. (espn.com)
Utah came into this game as a team people thought had an outside chance at making the College Football Playoff. The thought of a possible playoff berth is gone now.
The Utes struggled once their running back, Zach Moss, went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
Utah quarterback, Tyler Hundley, passed for 210 yards and rushed for another 60 yards. However, Hundley and the Utes could not overcome the 16 penalties for 120 yards. The penalties stifled drives and frustrated their coaches and fans all evening.
The Utes still have never won in the L.A. Coliseum after dropping a 30-23 loss to USC.
Utah will play Washington State at home next Saturday.
USC continues their tough part of their schedule with a date at Washington next Saturday.
Rest of the Pac-12
Oregon took care of business down on The Farm and beat Stanford 21-6. The Ducks are now ranked 13th. Washington rattled the cage of BYU by beating them 45-19 on the road. The Dawgs are now ranked 17th. California went into SEC country and beat Ole Miss 28-20. With the win, the Bears are now ranked 15th and are the only undefeated team in the Pac-12. Arizona and Oregon State had their bye weeks.