NCAA Football

Pac-12 power rankings: Maybe you shouldn’t always go for 2, Helfrich

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich went for the two point conversion five times in the Ducks’ 35-32 loss at Nebrasaka on Saturday. The Ducks only converted one of those two point attempts, leaving at least four points on the field.

Oregon quickly built up a 20-7 lead in typical Oregon fashion. Tony Brooks ripped off a 22-yard touchdown run to give Oregon a 8-0 lead (with Oregon’s only successful two point attempt); then followed it up with a two-yard run to make the lead 14-7 (including failed two point conversion No. 1); and then Taj Griffin took it to the house on a  50-yard run (failed two-point conversion No. 2). After half time, the Ducks would only score two more touchdowns — both of those touchdowns were followed up with two-point attempts that failed. Nebraska scored 14 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth to take the lead.

While the Ducks are known for constantly going for two, it’s occasionally a good idea to kick the PAT and getting one point is a good idea. Especially when you lose your starting running back two series into the game (Royce Freeman).

Transfer quarterback Dakota Prukop was most effective on the ground as he carried the ball 2o times for 97 yards. Through the air, Prukop completed over 60% of his passes for 146 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per attempt.

1) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford was in complete control of its game against USC from the moment it kicked off. Christian McCaffery was wide open for a 56-yard touchdown pass for the first points of the game; McCaffery also picked up a rushing touchdown later in the game. While the Cardinal’s offense was pounding the rock, their defense absolutely shut down USC’s offense.

2) Oregon Ducks: Despite losing their star running back early in the game, the Ducks still had every opportunity to beat a good Nebraska squad on the road. It’ll be interesting to see how Oregon’s offense adapts to Freeman’s absence.

3) Washington Huskies: Washington has looked outstanding against one mediocre and one bad FBS team, while absolutely obliterating the FCS Portland State Vikings in week three. The No. 8 Huskies open up Pac-12 play in Tuscon, Ari. on Saturday.

4) Utah Utes: Utah scored in all four quarters again, including a 14 point outburst in the second quarter, to beat the San Jose State Spartans on the road. Starting quarterback Troy Williams averaged 9.2 yards per attempt in the victory.

5) Arizona State Sun Devils: ASU scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 14-point deficit against UTSA in San Antonio, Tx. Quarterback Manny Wilkins completed 15 of 31 passes for 264 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns in the come from behind victory.

6) UCLA Bruins: UCLA scored 17 points in the second and third quarters, and that was all the Bruins needed as they beat BYU 17-14 in Provo, Utah. While Josh Rosen was excellent in the victory (completed 26 of 40 passes for 307 yards with two touchdowns), the Bruins’ rushing attack was atrocious (1.5 yards per carry).

7) California Golden Bears: Cal scored a huge upset over No. 11 Texas on Saturday. The Golden Bears’ defense allowed 6.3 yards per play on Saturday (6.5 yards per pass, 6.0 yards per carry); that’s a number that’s going to need to improve heading into conference play.

8) Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats wore some sweet uniforms as they absolutely destroyed Hawaii on Saturday, 46-28 — the Warriors scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to make the game’s final score seem decent.

9) USC Trojans:

10) Colorado Buffaloes: The Buffs took an early 21-7 lead in the first quarter behind the arm of Quarterback Sefo Liufau, and an 18-yard fumble return; but a series of mistakes in the second quarter left Colorado trailing by three heading into halftime. Michigan increased its lead to ten in the third quarter and never looked back.

11) Washington State Cougars: James “Boobie” Williams ran for 128 yards, as the Cougars ran for 228 yards on 35 carries (6.5 yards per carry) in a 56-6 victory over the Idaho Vandals on Saturday.

12) Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State beat an awful Idaho State football team by 30 points to end a 10 game losing streak. Despite the blow out victory, the OSU offense only averaged 5.9 yards per play (418 yards on 71 plays); the Beavers are going to have to improve that number if their offense is going to be effective against Pac-12 defenses.

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