The Pac-12 had some issues last week. Many of their teams played close games against teams they should have, or normally, blow out. Unfortunately for most of the Pac-12 their opponents this week are tougher than last weeks. So let’s take a look what I believe these squads need to do to bounce back after last weekend’s collapse.
Arizona barely beat a Toledo squad that went 9-4 in the MAC last season. Nine wins always looks impressive until you realize that they play in one of the weakest conferences and that their schools are usually used for so called “body bag games”. That being said most of Arizona’s issues against Toledo came from having a new coach and a new system. Those can be fixed with more repetition and a better understanding of what their offense and defense need to do. Add in the fact that Rich Rod doesn’t yell at his players, like Stoops did; all of the sudden it doesn’t look like the rebuild in Zona won’t take as long as I initially thought.
Arizona State was one of four Pac-12 teams that demolished the team they were supposed to demolish and, more importantly, they looked good doing it. We shall see how that translates though when they host Illinois this Saturday.
The California Golden Bears were anything but Golden (see what I did there?) last weekend as they lost to the Nevada Wolfpack. A lot of offensive and defensive miscues insured one of the most, if not the most, embarrising defeats under head coach Jeff Tedford. Having Zach Maynard under center from the get go (he was benched for the first three drives) might help insure some offensive consistence against Southern Utah. But the boys in Dark Blue and Gold need to work on a lot if they want to go bowling this season.
Colorado lost to in-state rival Colorado State. Their offense and defense are rather young and inexperienced. And it showed as the Rams pretty much out executed Buffalo throughout the game. Now they get to face Sacramento State, the same squad that knocked off the Beavers last season. It definitely feels like John Embree is heading the Paul Wulff route; to prove me wrong Colorado is going to have to execute better otherwise I could see them becoming the second 0-12 team in Pac-12 history.
Oregon’s first and second string offense and defense dominated Arkansas State. Their third string offense and defense not so much. So basically Oregon is screwed.
Oregon State didn’t get to play a game, so basically I feel like this is a great spot to post this link.
Stanford struggled offensively against the San Jose State Spartans. Their passing game and run game were surprisingly out of synch. They need to get their running game back in synch because that’s the only way their passing game can work with a new quarter back who is still learning how the games works at the FBS level.
UCLA had a pretty good performance against Rice. There really isn’t anything worth talking about as their defense and offense were pretty effective. The defense took a while to get going but once they did it was lights out for Rice. That being said they need to improve their execution (notice the theme here?) on offense and defense.
USC demolished Hawaii and the concerns about their defensive line were proven to be correct. We shall see how that will affect their season.
Utah started out slow but steam rolled Northern Colorado in the end. The Utes QB Jordan Wynn proved that he isn’t ever going to reach his pre-injury level of success. His arm strength isn’t nearly anywhere near where it was; so they are going to have to rely on their star RB John White IV.
Washington played a sloppy game against San Diego State University and was lucky to come out with a win. While their defensive play was improved they still allowed the Aztecs to move up and down the field at will. That problem is more of a talent issue then an issue that can be fixed by better schemes and/or better execution. However, their offensive execution definitely could use some improvement, as the Dawgs’ offensive strength faded down the stretch. If they are going to stay in it against LSU they need to improve their offensive execution and limit their mistakes.
As Washington State prepares to take on Eastern Washington on Saturday there is a lot of pressure on the Cougs. After their offensive failings against BYU they need to rebound against one of the worst defenses in the FCS. Their offensive execution needs to be better; they need to find a way to get around the fact that all of their running backs just can’t make defenders miss. As for their defense, they adjusted and moved some guys around and we shall see how that works for them.