NCAA Football

Pac-12 power rankings: Cal almost came back against SDSU

Cal overcame a 10 point half time deficit, and almost beat San Diego State University at Qualcom Stadium on Saturday. But the Golden bears ended up making too many mistakes and lost, 45-40.


The Aztecs rolled up 463 total yards in the victory. (Jake Roth-USA Today Sports)

San Diego State was unstoppable in the first half as they scored 14 in the first quarter and 17 in the second to take a 31-21 lead into the half time locker rooms. Junior running back Rashaad Penny scored the Aztecs’ first points with a 25 yard grab, and then followed that up with a 100-yard kick off return — he was responsible for all of SDSU’s 14 first quarter points. The Cal defense just couldn’t seem to keep track of him (Penny account for 153 yards on Saturday).

SDSU’s offense averaged 7.1 yards per carry, and scored at least one touchdown in all four quarters. What’s concerning for the Cal defense is that they didn’t seem to have an answer for the Aztecs rushing attack; the Golden Bears are guaranteed to face Washington, Oregon, and Stanford this season…all three teams have talented running backs that are going to destroy this defensive unit unless it figures something out.

1) Stanford Cardinal: The Cardinal took the week off, their next game is against USC on September 17th in Palo Alto, Calif.

2) Oregon Ducks: Oregon started off hot against Virginia, as the quickly built up a 30-6 lead by half time. The defense held the Cavalier offense to 6.5 yards per play and picked off a couple of passes; it was a solid performance for a defensive unit that was awful in 2015.

3) Washington Huskies: When you schedule Idaho, you should win by 35…at least. The Huskies won by 45.

4) Arizona State Sun Devils: Arizona State went back and forth with an explosive Texas Tech offense in a wildly entertaining football game. The Sun Devils defense forced four turnovers and that was all the offense need in a 68-55 victory.

5) Utah Utes: Utah picked up its sixth straight victory over BYU in the annual Holy War on Saturday. The Utes scored in every quarter, including the (eventual) game winning field goal with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter. It was a narrow win over an independent that saw the offense continue to struggle (5.5 yards per play) and that has to be a concern heading into conference play.

6) UCLA Bruins: UCLA’s destroyed the UNLV Rebels on Saturday afternoon. A 28-7 half-time lead allowed the Bruins to survive a the third quarter, and pick up their first win of the season.

7) California Golden Bears: SDSU is a good squad. But it hurts to dig yourself into a big hole by half time.

8) USC Trojans: The Trojans demolished an over-matched Utah State team and picked up their first win of the season.

9) Arizona Wildcats: Arizona had to overcome an 18 point half time deficit to beat Grambling State. But they still won by multiple possessions; and that’s always a good thing.

10) Colorado Buffaloes: Idaho State is a bad FCS football team, so Colorado beat the snot out of the Bengals.

11) Oregon State Beavers: The Beavers had a week off, but gets to host Idaho State next week.

12) Washington State Cougars: Another slow start, another loss. WSU needs to beat Idaho and go 5-4 in conference play to get to a bowl game. It’s going to be a slog for the program to get to its second bowl game in a row.

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