12 Pac Review: USC and Oregon still headed for a showdown, but couple of challengers for Pac title make statements

Colorado is the worst team in the Pac 12, and it's not even close.

South:

1. USC 42 at Syracuse 29 - It took a while for USC to pull away in this one, but that is probably to be expected given the weather possibilities during this game. New York was under a severe weather warning all day, and while the rain didn't come in the first half, the second half was delayed as thunderstorms had rolled in. None of that really slowed down USC's biggest playmakers as Matt Barkley threw for 187 yards and 6 touchdowns, Robert Woods caught 10 for 93 yards and had a long rush of 76 yards. Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal pounded away for a combined 170 yards on 26 carries.

2. Arizona 59 vs Oklahoma St 38 - While last week might have been a game of missed opportunities, Arizona made the most of what Oklahoma St gave them late Saturday night as they turned 4 OSU turnovers into 21 points for Arizona. Rich Rod has found something special in QB Matt Scott as a dual threat to run his spread offense as he went 28 for 41 for 320 yards passing and added another 55 on the ground. This game was on late on the west coast, so that may work against Arizona in the polls, but don't be surprised if the Wildats sneak into the top 25 with all the upsets this weekend.

3. Ucla 36 vs Nebraska 30 - Another team that made a strong case for inclusion in the top 25 polls was Ucla as they upset #16 Nebraska. Of all the coaching hires in the Pac 12 this year, the one that really flew under the radar, but may have just been the best fit was Noel Mizzone as offensive coordinator for Ucla. Mizzone has taken the talents of Johnathan Franklin and the emergence of Brett Hundley and fit it perfectly into his quick hitting offense. You put either one of those guys in space on defensive backs and it has a very good chance to go for 6.

4. ASU 45 vs Illinois 14 - Now before you say, "bah, it's just Illinois" let me remind you, this is a team ASU struggled with and ultimately lost to last year. But that was a game that ASU racked up 91 yards in penalties on their way to leading the nation in average penalty yards per game last year. This year? ASU only had one 5 yard penalty and has only 35 total yards in penalties in 2 games. Let me also say, what a big difference these coaching hires have made in the south division.

5. Utah 20 at Utah St 27 OT - This game started out bad for Utah as they gave up 2 touchdowns to USU early. But things went from bad to worse when Jordan Wynn went out in the second quarter another shoulder injury. Utah fought back and took the game to overtime, where a questionable offensive pass interference call wiped away a tying score by Utah and forced them into a long yardage situation. Still, this is a pretty disappointing loss for a team with a very easy schedule and was considered a challenger to USC in the South.

6. Colorado 28 vs Sacramento State 30 - The Buffs are a bad team with bad coaching. This is not going to end well for you.

North:

1. Oregon 42 vs Fresno St 25 - Not really the execution and results many people wanted to see when your starters played the entire game. Oregon is fighting an injury bug early in the season and the very vanilla offense that Kelly and the coaches are calling isn't helping their productivity too much. You have to hope that the team is working on getting healthy and sharping their game plans as a lot of teams that looked relatively easy on the schedule this year are starting to put it together. All in all, it was good to see Kenjon Barner get career best numbers with 34 carries and 201 yards rushing, and De'Anthony Thomas reminded everyone again why he's a threat to take it to the house every time the ball comes his way.

2. Stanford 50 vs Duke 13 - While the final score may be impressive, it is very deceiving. This is not the same Stanford team as the last couple of years, and that shows in the stats. Again, Stanford wasn't great on third down going only 5 for 12, against a seriously over matched Duke team. Stanford also only ran for 87 total yards on 25 carries. Finally, 2 of Stanford's scores came on a punt return and pick six. Stanford needs to refine a lot of what they are doing if they don't want to get blown out against USC next week.

3. Oregon State 10 vs Wisconsin 7 - Ok seriously, what the hell? Oregon State destroyed #13 Wisconsin on both sides of the line. The Badgers only rushed for 35 total yards on 23 carries. Oregon St wasn't much better on the ground, but they once again trusted the arm of Sean Mannion who went 29 for 47 for 276 yards and 1 TD.

4. washington 3 at LSU 41 - The good news is washington led in this game 3-0. The bad news is they didn't score again, and LSU rattled off 41 straight. The really bad news, Uw suffered some more injuries to an already depleted offensive line. LSU smothered Uw's rushing attack, and Keith Price scrambled for his life most of the night going only 17 for 36 for 157 yards and 1 INT.

5. Cal 50 vs Southern Utah 31 - Good to see that Tedford and Cal remembered that returning 1000 yard rusher, Iso Sofele, is still on their team. Sofele carried the ball 19 times for 104 yards. It was the usual suspects for Cal again as Keenan Allen scored twice, one coming from a 69 yard punt return, and Zach Maynard not being on double secret probation was able to start and went 17 for 23 for 229 yards and 1 TD. Cal still has a lot of work to do on defense though as FCS Southern Utah was able to rack up 292 yards passing, and kept the game close going into the 4th quarter.

6. Washington St 24 vs Eastern Washington 20 - The Pirate got his first win as the Cougs head coach, but it didn't come easy. In fact after an amazing 60 yard FG by Andrew Furney to end the half, to go up 24-14, WSU wouldn't score again. Just think if Furney hadn't made that FG, WSU could have easily lost this game. While the offense continues to struggle, the defense isn't helping them out much either giving up 469 yards to an FCS opponent.

Next Week's Games:
WSU at UNLV (Friday)
Cal at Ohio St
Tennesee Tech at Oregon
Portland St at Washington
ASU at Missiouri
USC at Stanford
Colorado at Fresno State
BYU at Utah
South Carolina St at Arizona
Houston at Ucla

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