Week one of college football is in the books, and boy was it insane.
We got to see Oregon beat-up on Eastern Washington, Cal destroy Grambling State, and Washington State lost to lowly Portland State. It was an interesting slate of games that made one thing crystal clear, the Pac-12 North is really bad.
Early on, it seemed that Stanford was going to have the worst loss of the week, as the No. 21 Cardinal struggled to shut down the Wildcat’s rushing attack. Tailback Justin Jackson rushed for 134 yards on 28 carries against a defense that was expected to stop the run. Instead the Cardinals got shredded early and often by NU, which led to a 16-6 Wildcat victory.
Then the Cougs lost to PSU, which easily is the worst loss any team from the conference suffered in week one.
While WSU and Stanford looked absolutely awful in their losses, Washington actually looked like a competent football team as they nearly upset Boise State. The Broncos raced out to a 16-0 lead by halftime, and then watched as UW slowly worked its way back into the game.
With the game clock winding down, Cameron Van Winkle missed (what would have been) the game tying kick. Handing Boise State the narrow home victory to open up its season, and Washington its first loss. There were a lot of positives for Husky fans to take away from that game, but there are still a ton of issues…for example, how is the offense going to function with a freshmen QB learning on the job and a weak offensive line in-front of him?
Bottom line is this, the Pac-12 North is hot garbage and the division winner is probably going to have two or three losses on its record heading into the title game.
1) Oregon Ducks: Oregon scored early, and often during its game against Eastern Washington, as the Ducks beat the Eagles 61-42 in Eugene, Ore. Former EWU QB Vernon Adams was knocked out of the game in the middle of the fourth quarter due to a late hit. By then the game was already out of reach, and all Oregon had to do was keep its starters healthy.
2) USC Trojans: USC demolished Arkansas State 55-6 at the Coliseum. The Trojans took control of the game early by scoring 14 points in three consecutive quarters. Arkansas State was able to consistently pressure QB Cody Kessler, and force him out of the pocket; it’ll be interesting to see USC’s offensive line develops throughout the season.
3) UCLA Bruins: UCLA took a while to get going against Virginia, but they eventually got the Brett Hundley-less offense running. The Bruins scored 24-points between the second and third quarter to take control of the game. QB Josh Rosen looked comfortable in the pocket as he completed 28 of 35 passes for 351 yards, three touchdowns, and (most importantly) no interceptions. It was an encouraging performance for the young QBs.
4) Utah Utes: Utah picked up an important win for the conference as it beat-up Michigan in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Utes scored a field goal in the first quarter, and a touchdown in the second to take the lead for good. While it was a boring game to watch — and the Utes never put Michigan away — by sweeping the home-and-home series, the Utes have shown they’re ready to compete in a power five conference.
5) Arizona Wildcats: Arizona never really got going against a tough UTSA squad, but they were still able to walk off of their home field with a 10-point victory. The Wildcats defense struggled to stop the Roadrunners passing attack as they averaged 7.4 yards per attempt for 332 yards, and two picks; it’s going to be a long season in Tucson if the wildcats are going to be getting shredded through the air. Quarterback Anu Solomon looked sharp in the season opener as he tossed for 229 yards on 22 completions with four touchdowns and now picks.
6) Arizona State Sun Devils: No. 15 ASU blew its playoff hopes with a 21-point loss to unranked Texas A&M in Dallas, Texas on Saturday. It was a disastrous performance for the top-25 Sun Devils, as the Aggies dominated them in all three phases of the game. Texas A&M’s defense consistently disrupted the offense’s, which put a ton of pressure on quarterback Mike Bercovici to make plays and keep his squad in the game — for example, this 19-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately for ASU, he wasn’t able to make enough big plays in-order to start (let alone complete) a comeback.
7) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford entered its game against Northwestern ranked as the No. 21 team in the country, and they lost. Yes they were on the road, were playing in a different timezone, and had an early start, but there is no excuse to lose to a team that many consider to be less athletically talented than a top-25 squad. It’s a loss that should bring into questions the coaching capabilities of David Shaw, and whether or not he is the man to lead the program into the future.
8) California Golden Bears: Congratulations for absolutely destroying Grambling State Cal. It had to be nice for fans to sit back and relax as the Golden Bears controlled the game from the opening kick. The Golden Bears scored 73-points and gave their second and third-string players a great chance to get live game experience.
9) Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State may have won its game against Weber State, but it took far too long for the Beavers offense to get going against an over-matched appointment. Weber State only trailing by six-points heading into the fourth quarter — which left me wondering if another Pac-12 North squad was going to get upset — but OSU eventually figured it out, as the Beavers scored 13-points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
10) Washington Huskies: Washington’s narrow loss in Boise, Idaho was a good start to the season for the young squad. There are still a lot of questions about whether or not Jake Browning is capable of making tdecisions quick enough to win games this season. But it’s clear that he has a lot of talent, and is only going to get better as he plays more…if he manages to stay healthy.
11) Colorado Buffaloes: Colorado lost to Hawaii despite a closely played contest that saw Hawaii remain in control throughout the contest. The Buffaloes inability to consistently score against the Rainbow Warriors shows that Colorado is still a long way from being relevant. It’s going to be a long season in Boulder, Colo. and it started on Saturday.
12) Washington State Cougars: Portland Fucking State