Another week down in the Pac-12 and another week that teams are trying to create some order to the North and South Divisions of the Pac-12. Let’s take a look at what happened around The Conference of Champions.
Both of these teams were coming off losses. Utah didn’t play well in their loss to USC. Washington State just collapsed in an epic way against UCLA.
Utah Ute quarterback, Tyler Huntley, almost appeared to be floating in the air as he left the field on Saturday night. Huntley made up for his poor play the previous week by going 21-30, 334 yards, threw two touchdowns passes, and ran for another two touchdowns. Huntley was on point for the Utes.
The Utes controlled the game and in the end the Utes earned the 38-13 victory over the Washington State Cougars.
“I feel as confident as I ever have, but everyone around me played well, the offensive line, the receivers, and the defense.” Tyler Huntley explained.
Utah was without standout running back, Zach Moss, but with the next man up mentality that coach Whittingham has stressed, the Utes found a way to run the ball.
Between nine different rushers, Utah ran for 192 yards and averaged 4.7 yards/carry. Utah had 526 yards of offense against the Cougars.
That will get it done in any football game.
Meanwhile, on the Washington State side of the ball, head coach Mike Leach was more than disappointed in his teams play.
“It’s difficult to say how tough Utah is because they had token resistance on both sides of the ball from us. We’re a very soft team.. fat, dumb, happy, and entitled.” Leach said. (espn.com)
How do the Cougars respond to this type of dressing down by their head coach?
That’s a good question.
At the end of the day, this was Utah’s game from the jump. The Utes reminded me why I like them to get to the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Utah has bye this week and will play at Oregon State on October 12.
Washington State also has a bye this week and will play at Arizona State on October 12.
The Sun Devils can be a hard team to read on a weekly basis. Coming off a disappointing loss at home to Colorado the Sun Devils had something to prove to themselves against an undefeated California team on Friday night.
Arizona State put some fight in their game and came away with a 24-17 win over the 15th ranked Golden Bears.
For a team that has a ton of young players it seems that these young players play some of their best football in the toughest of situations.
“We’re just growing. We like playing on the road, we like playing tough teams. We like being the underdog team. People doubt us... If you don’t believe in us, we believe in us.” ASU quarterback, Jayden Daniels said after the win.
Sun Devil running back, Eno Benjamin, showed up in a big way for his team. Benjamin rushed 29 times for 100 yards including three touchdowns.
Arizona State head coach, Herm Edwards, knew that running would be a tough proposition against a tough California defense.
“We knew it was going to be tough sledding but we kept trying to run it. We didn’t give up on it and eventually we punched it in.” Herm Edwards said.
The loss left the Golden Bears with their first loss of the season and it also left them without their starting quarterback, Chase Garbers.
Garbers left the game in the second quarter after he scrambled and ended up injuring his shoulder. Garbers was in a splint in the second half and we still don’t know particulars on how long he will be out.
Backup quarterback, Devon Modster replaced Garbers, but had a difficult time moving the team through the air.
“Honest I think I played terrible. I could have played a lot better, just missing a lot of receivers.” Modster explained.
Modster is right. He could have played much better. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was rather ugly in my opinion.
The Bears took a 17-14 lead on the Sun Devils, but ASU went on a 15 play, 75 yard drive to take a 21-14 lead on Eno Benjamin’s third touchdown. The Devils added a field goal for the final margin.
Arizona State has a bye this week and will welcome the wounded Washington State Cougars for 12:30pm game on Oct 12.
California will visit Oregon next Saturday.
Is it me or does it seem like nobody is talking about Washington? The Huskies are not getting a lot of attention this season. Which is probably just fine with them.
On the other hand, USC has had enough talk to satisfy both of these teams.
The Trojans beat Pac-12 Conference favorite Utah last week. Confidence was high going into Seattle to take on the defending conference champion Huskies.
Washington has a talented secondary and they coaxed USC quarterback, Matt Fink, into three interceptions.
One of those interceptions came at the goal line when Elijah Molden drifted into some open space. Fink did not see him and threw the ball right to Molden. A couple plays later, Husky running back, Salvon Ahmed was off to the races for a 89 yard rushing touchdown. It was a 14 point swing and it put the Huskies in control of the game.
“I thought that was game-changing, that sequence right there. That’s a 14 point swing.” Husky head coach Chris Petersen explained. (espn.com)
“We made enough mistakes to lose the game.” Trojan head coach Clay Helton said. (espn.com)
Yes, you did coach.
The coaching rumors will continue to swirl around Helton as the team goes on the road to play a highly ranked Notre Dame team. This is a tough two week perioid for the Trojans in terms of road games.
Washington will go on the road next week to Stanford.
USC gets Notre Dame next week in South Bend.
Rest of the Pac-12
Stanford used bad special teams play to beat Oregon State 31-28 with only seconds left in the game. Stanford will get Washington next week. Oregon State visits UCLA next week. Can the Beavers get a conference win?
Arizona outlasted an upstart UCLA team to win 20-17 without starting quarterback Khalil Tate. The Wildcats head to Colorado next week.
Oregon and Colorado were on their bye weeks.