Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. It’s incredibly frustrating that such a dominant fourth quarter was ended with a missed field goal as time expired but Oregon should have never been in that situation. Almost every fear fans had about Oregon and our young cornerbacks, struggling receivers, and interior run defense all played a big part in this loss. It’s Sunday now, let us look to the future. Oregon is in the drivers seat for the PAC-12 title game and a win over Oregon State makes that a reality. A win over whatever PAC-12 South team manages to now vomit over themselves next week will send us to Pasadena. I hear Pasadena is nice this time of year. The Rose Bowl should never be a bummer, and the fact that the Ducks backup plan was the Rose Bowl shows how far the program has come. 12 PAC Review after the Jump
1. Oregon 35, USC 38
This game has already been talked about a lot but the three turnovers (I’m counting one of the receivers drop as a turnover) when in scoring position put the Ducks in the situation where they needed to have one of the most explosive quarters ever. Oregon gained more total yards than USC, rushed for over 200 yards, and Thomas completed 25 of his 35 passes. Sometimes these games just come down to a single play and Oregon didn’t convert it.
2. Stanford 31, Cal 28
Stanford retains the Stanford Axe, the trophy given out to the winner of The Big Game (not to be confused with the game, which is an Ivy league classic featuring Harvard against Yale). The Cardinal only rushed for 149 yards but held Cal to 81 yards rushing. Maybe Stanford was experiencing a bit of hangover after last week but a win is a win when it comes to making a bowl game.
3. Washington 21, Oregon State 38
At least we’re not Washington right? Washington was using Nick "Yes, that Montana" Montana for the first three quarters before putting Keith Price in the game in the fourth quarter. This is a really embarrassing lost for a Husky team as Oregon State has looked lifeless a couple times this season. The defense really let the team down, allowing Oregon State to total 484 yards of offense.
Cal has been really inconsistent this year (not just this year I guess as being inconsistent is a staple of all their October/November games) but with the rivalry game the Golden Bears kept this game close through the fourth quarter. Maynard only had to throw the ball thirty times, which is about his limit before mistakes start happening and Sofele carried the rock 22 times, which is probably the formula for a Cal win.
5. Oregon State
Oregon State, I didn’t know you had it in you. In picking the lesser of two evils I hoped the Beavers would pull it out, just because I hate the Huskies SO much. Mannion went 26/37 for 339 yards and two touchdowns. The ground game was present in Corvallis as the Beavers ran for 145 yards and outgained the Huskies 484-315. Is Oregon State peaking at the right time to take on the Ducks in Autzen? Possibly so, which is going to make this weekend all the better.
6. Washington State 27, Utah 30
At least they covered right? Washington State is going to miss out on a bowl game but there is no denying that they are headed in the right direction with some great wins this season, most notably over Sparky in the snow last weekend. When you turn the ball over 5 times, you’re probably not going to win. The Cougars only amassed 62 yards rushing and Halliday looked mortal today, going 21/48 for 290 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
USC did a great job of exposing Oregon’s weaknesses and the player of the game for them was Marqise Lee who finished with eight receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown. He went up and caught balls in double coverage and was basically un-guardable for most of the game. The Trojan offensive line pounded the ball on first down leading to manageable second and third downs for their offense.
2. UCLA 45, Colorado 6
This was a classic case of one team having all the strengths to match the other team’s weaknesses. For example, UCLA is really good playing at home, Colorado is historically awful playing on the road. The most shocking statistic from this game is that Kevin Prince threw the ball 19 times, completed 15 of those passes for 225 yards(!) and 4 touchdowns(!ZOMG). UCLA did what it likes to do, which is run the football 44 times for 328 yards, averaging 7.5 yards a carry. The Bruins also benefited from being +2 in the turnover margin.
3. Arizona State 27, Arizona 31
Almost as big of a derpfest as the Washington-Oregon State game, although only one team was derping here, but they derped enough for both teams. The Sun Devils outgained the Wildcats by 50 yards but only managed to rush for 61 yards on 23 carries. Brock Osweiller, who happens to be 6-8 (just making sure you knew, this stat flies under the radar sometimes), threw the ball 65 times! 65 times! It would take Darron Thomas three games to reach that amount! The three turnovers were the difference as almost every indicator of a win is equal for both teams.
If there’s one team that could handle a snow game (and it was dumping in Pullman) it would be Utah. The Cougars took the Utes to overtime but the Utah kicker is just too good, nailing three field goals on the day (/begins to sob deeply*). Utah got 186 yards on the ground on 50 carries, good for 3.7 yards a carry. Utah, UCLA, and Arizona State are now in some weird twilight zone for the PAC-12 South birth to the championship game. Someone who isn’t as California Dreaming as hard as I am right now can figure it out.
I thought this team was like Padme Amidala in Star Wars episode 3 because they had just lost the will to live. Really, they could play well if they wanted to, but they just didn’t care anymore. I was wrong in this rivalry game and the Wildcats showed up to beat Arizona State. You know two air raid offenses face each other when the leading rusher for the game has 16 carries for 44 yards.
What can a team do? The Buffs struggle on the road, struggle with stopping the run, and neither of those things help when you’re at UCLA. Colorado will get better with the new head coach and in three years they could be a dark horse squad to win the south or PAC-12.
Next Week’s Games
Colorado @ Utah
Cal @ Arizona State
OSU @ Oregon
LA-Lafayette @ Arizona
Washington State @ Washington
Notre Dame @ Stanford
UCLA @ USC