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Bottom 11: Turnover Edition

Who’s second best at stealing the ball from opposing offenses?

USC v Arizona Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images



We all know Oregon has the best fans, atmosphere and mascot, so in this weekly article we rank the other PAC-12 schools. Think of it like a power ranking, but incredibly biased and fueled by pettiness, insecurity, hate and fear.

This week, we’ll focus on who had the most forced turnovers! The Ducks led with five, but who in the PAC had the second most?

Rest assured, the huskies will always be ranked at the bottom of the bottom.

No. 12 - washington huskies (4-1, 2-0)

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: Home against BYU

RESULT: Win, 35-7

Jake Browning had an uncharacteristically accurate performance, throwing for 23 of 25 and committing no turnovers. Meanwhile, the huskie defense continues to be stingy, though they were only able to force one turnover against the low-risk offense of the BYU Cougars.

Ben Burr-Kirven forced and recovered a fumble on the BYU 17-yard line. The turnover provided the huskies with one last scoring opportunity before the half, and three plays later Browning ran it in to make it 21-0 sun dodgers. The three-score deficit proved too tall of a mountain to climb for the Cougars.


No. 11 - OREGON STATE BEAVERS (1-4, 0-2)

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: @ Arizona State

RESULT: Loss, 52-24

The Beavers lost the turnover battle 0-1 against the Sun Devils in Tempe, but the more damning statistic is the 396 yards allowed on the ground by Oregon State. To the Beavers’ credit, their one turnover took place on the last play of their final drive. Still, the game was never really in question, as ASU coasted with at least a two-score lead the entire game.

NEXT UP: Washington State

No. 10 - UCLA BRUINS (0-4, 0-1)

NCAA Football: UCLA at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: @ Colorado

RESULT: Loss, 38-16

The good news for UCLA fans: They committed zero turnovers.

The bad news for UCLA fans: They also forced zero turnovers, and were nearly held scoreless in the second half.

Chip Kelly has become the exact opposite of what he was at Oregon; he now struggles in the second half of games, coaches an undisciplined offense that fails to score with any regularity, and is on a path towards a winless season.

NEXT UP: Washington

No. 9 - STANFORD CARDINAL (4-1, 2-0)

Stanford v Notre Dame Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

OPPONENT: @ Notre Dame

RESULT: Loss, 38-17

A Cardinal win could have given Oregon one of the most quality losses in the land, instead, Duck fans who witnessed the game were shown how to properly defend Stanford’s gigantic receivers.

The Cardinal's offense looked like the offense of the first three quarters of last week’s game, but this time there were no late game heroics by K.J. Costello or Bryce Love. In face, Love left the game with an ankle injury and Costello committed the games only turnover when he threw an interception with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, down by 14.

Next week’s game against Utah could be a good one. Prediction: David Shaw toys around with the Utah defense until he absolutely has to call a pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for the win.



Utah v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

OPPONENT: Home against Utah

RESULT: Win, 28-24

No, the Cougars did not force a turnover, but they proved that this team remains in the race for the PAC-12 championship. Gardner Minshew did a great job of maintaining control of the ball, except for Wazzu’s opening drive that ended on Utah’s 2-yard line with the game’s only interception.

The Cougs face the lowly Beavers next, then a bye week before they face the one and only Ducks in Pullman. Oregon will either be coming off a trap-setting win against the huskies or a soul-crushing loss. Either way, Washington State is primed to make it four years in a row over the Ducks unless Justin Herbert and company can stay focused.

NEXT UP: @ Oregon State

No. 7 - COLORADO BUFFALOES (4-0, 1-0)

UCLA v Colorado Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

OPPONENT: Home against UCLA

RESULT: Win, 38-16

The Buffs are yet another PAC-12 team that failed to force a turnover last weekend, but they also didn’t commit any, and the stellar play of Steven Montez (22/26, 237 YDS, 1 TD, 11 car, 81 YDS, 2 RTD) has turned Colorado into a serious PAC-12 South contender as well as the last undefeated team in the conference. We’ll see if ASU can knock them off their pedestal in their visit to Boulder.

NEXT UP: Arizona State

No. 6 - UTAH UTES (2-2, 0-2)

NCAA Football: Utah at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: @ Washington State

RESULT: Loss, 28-24

Their pick of Minshew in the first quarter lands Utah in the middle of the Bottom 11, which is perfect because this may be the most mediocre team in the PAC. Their defense may be elite, allowing only 16.3 points per game, but if Tyler Huntley and his offense line can’t find a way to improve their passing game, it seems unlikely that the Utes will win the tougher battles on their remaining schedule.

NEXT UP: @ Stanford


Oregon v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

OPPONENT: Home against the one and only Oregon Ducks

RESULT: Loss, 42-24

Ya can’t fault a team for losing to the best team in all of Eugene, and if it weren’t for California’s five turnovers, maybe this could have been Justin Wilcox’s first major win. However, the Golden Bears get credit for forcing a fumble from freshman Travis Dye early in the third quarter.

Unfortunately for Cal, the Ducks’ defense came up with a big play almost every time the Golden Bears found some momentum.

NEXT UP: @ Arizona

No. 4 - USC TROJANS (3-2, 2-1)

USC v Arizona Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

OPPONENT: @ Arizona

RESULT: Win, 24-20

The Trojans outscored the Wildcats 17-0 in the first half and then held on for the win. USC forced one turnover, an intercepted pass from Khalil Tate early in the second quarter, and capitalized on the momentum with a field goal.

If not for Michael Brown’s 42-yard field goal after the pick, it’s possible that USC would not have been able to survive a second half which saw the Trojans score on a drive only once, punt three times, fumble, and fail to convert on a 4th and 2.

NEXT UP: Bye Week


NCAA Football: Oregon State at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: Home against Oregon State

RESULT: Win, 52-24

Oregon State’s fourth quarter fumble wasn’t game changing, but it served as an appropriate exclamation point on the Sun Devils' thrashing of the Beavers. ASU’s offense didn’t need help from Oregon State, Eno Benjamin alone (312 yards and 18 points on 30 carries) almost outproduced the entire Beaver offense (406 yards and 24 points).

Next week, the PAC-12’s best matchup will be the Sun Devils vs the undefeated Buffaloes.

NEXT UP: @ Colorado

No. 2 - ARIZONA WILDCATS (2-3, 1-1)

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

OPPONENT: Home against USC

RESULT: Loss, 24-20

Though they won the turnover battle against USC, three to one, Arizona ultimately lost the Trojan war. Still, the Wildcats’ much maligned defense earned their place at the top of this week’s Bottom 11 by keeping their team in this game til the bitter end.

NEXT UP: California