The Pac-12 showed off its depth this past weekend, as three of its top teams were upset by conference opponents; USC, Oregon, and UCLA all lost during week six.
The biggest upset of the week was Arizona’s 31-24 victory over Oregon in Eugene, Ore on Thursday, October 2nd. Arizona controlled the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball, and forced Oregon to alter its game plan. Offensively, the Ducks were unable to run their offense thanks to the consistent penetration that the Wildcats’ front seven was getting. This led to UO trying to protect its star quarterback — and Heisman Trophy candidate — with conservative play calling.
Defensively, Oregon was pushed around by the Wildcats. Arizona’s running backs carried the ball 23 times for 211 yards, that’s an average of 9.2 yards per carry. The Wildcats also torched the Ducks defense through the air, as quarterback Anu Solomon completed 20 of 31 passes for 287 yards (14.4 yards per completion), one touchdown and one interception.
Oregon’s loss was just the beginning, as nine of the AP’s top 25 teams lost in week six.
1) Arizona State Sun Devils: ASU traveled to the Coliseum, and upset the Trojans on a last-minute Hail Mary pass that had USC’s defense in utter disarray. It was an impressive win for the Sun Devils, that helped boost the squad to the top spot in our power rankings.
2) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford’s offense struggled for the second straight week, and this time it cost the Cardinal a win. At least Notre Dame is a top 10 team…right?
3) Oregon Ducks: The Ducks lost at home to an unranked Arizona squad. That’s the second year in a row that Oregon has lost to the Wildcats, and the second year in a row Arizona has jeopardized the Ducks’ national title hopes.
4) UCLA Bruins: The Bruins lost to the Utah Utes, at home, on national TV. Because of course they did.
5) Arizona Wildcats: Arizona picked up a huge win over Oregon, on the road, now are in the AP’s top 10 — in fact the Wildcats check in at No. 10 – and jumped four spots in our power rankings. The Wildcats are now 5-0 (2-0), and are the team to beat in the South.
6) Washington Huskies: Bye week.
7) USC Trojans: USC’s defense was in total disarray at the end of the game, and it cost them. The Trojans are only a .5 game back of the Wildcats in the South (and in the overall conference standings), but a win would have given them control of the conference…and that’s just got to be brutal for USC fans.
8) Utah Utes: Utah rebounded from its loss to WSU by beating the home team Bruins. It was an impressive win for a program that is trying to remain relevant in the Pac-12.
9) Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State narrowly came back and beat the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, Colo. It was a hard-fought victory that gave the Beavers their fourth win of the season, and their first conference win.
10) California Golden Bears: California surrendered a FBS record 734 yards to WSU quarterback Connor Halliday, and it didn’t matter. The Golden Bears ended up winning a shootout because the Cougar kicker missed a 19 yard field goal.
11) Washington State Cougars: The Cougars wasted Halliday’s historic performance, and lost to Cal 59-60.
12) Colorado Buffaloes: Colorado might have worse luck than WSU…might.