Washington State surrendered 22 points in roughly a three minute stretch in the fourth quarter; while the Beavers couldn’t contain Travis Dye — what else is new? — late as both programs blew opportunities to upend top-25 foes at home on Saturday. Both programs played well enough to win, but were done in by their own mistakes in the heart breaking losses.
Dye was the entirety of Southern California’s offense as he averaged seven yards per carry, quarterback Caleb Williams averaged three yards per carry and was the second best average on the roster. The Beavers successfully contained the explosive Trojan air raid as Williams averaged 5.0 yards per attempt in Corvallis, Ore. Unlike the ag school in Pullman, Oregon State actually out played it’s opponent…but were done in by horrific quarterback play from Chance Nolan.
As for Washington State, the Cougar defense had been shredded all game but had buckled down in the red zone to build that 12-point lead. Once the Ducks stopped to trying to stretch the field, and used their beefy offensive line, they owned the undersized front seven. WSU fans can complain about the number of screens all they want, but it’s clear to me that this coaching staff doesn’t trust this offensive line all that much and they want to game plan around it.
While both programs showed that they can compete with anyone in the conference, and that the North is going to be an absolute blood bath this year, it does not ease the pain of that they failed to capitalize on opportunities to earn a season defining wins.
1) Utah Utes
Utah absolutely slaughtered an ASU program that is in desperate need of a rebuild. The Utes have been exactly who we thought they would be through the first four weeks of the season, despite a frustrating loss in Gainesville, Fla.
2) USC Trojans
For the first time since the 2003 “Reggie Bush fog game” the USC Trojans escaped Corvallis, Ore. with a win as a top-10 team. The drought finally ending not only has to feel good for the Trojans, but also has to be a sigh of relief for the Big Ten.
3) UCLA Bruins
UCLA took care of business against an overmatched Colorado team that has clearly given up on its coaching staff. It was an absolute ass whooping that left no doubt who was the better team in Boulder, Colo. Next up is their first real test of the season against No. 15 Washington.
4) Oregon Ducks
Bo Nix is fun, when the offensive coordinator is calling plays that fit his strengths. While the Ducks defense did a good job of buckling down in the end, the corners weren’t able to handle the speed or athleticism of WSU’s wideouts and they still have Washington and Oregon State on the schedule.
5) Washington Huskies
Washington beat the shit out of a bad Stanford squad, an over rated Michigan State, and their two non-conference cupcakes. But have moved up in our power rankings due to the fact that they’re 4-0 and the rest of the conference is not.
6) Oregon State
Nolan’s four picks, including two crucial ones late in the fourth, are going to haunt the quarterback for the rest of the season. The Beavs defense played balls out and their offense moved the ball…when it wasn’t handing the rock over to Southern California.
7) Washington State Cougars
Oregon’s 29 points in the fourth quarter showed the conference exactly how to beat a defense that’s missing it’s No.1 safety and corner. While that’s the reason WSU lost, the officiating was spectacularly awful and I’ve come to the conclusion that the conference is just unable to fix it.
8) California Golden Bears
It’s been a stupidly long time since we last watched the Golden Bears put up 49 points and they did it in an authoritative manor. Freshmen Jaydn Ott had his coming out party as he averaged 14.4 yards per carry with three touchdowns. This helped open up the passing game for Jack Plummer as he also had three touchdowns while also averaging 8.8 yards per attempt. If the Bears offense has figured it out, they’ll be dangerous…particularly with a thin secondary in Pullman, Wash.
9) Arizona Wildcats
Jayden de Laura was Jayden de Laura in the loss to Cal. His 8.8 yards per attempt and two touchdowns were handicapped by a pair of poorly timed interceptions and sacks. Those turnovers were made worse by the fact that UA couldn’t stop Cal on the ground. Jed Fisch’s squad is going to have really shore up it’s lane discipline, otherwise the other running backs in the conference are going to eat Cats alive.
10) Stanford Cardinal
David Shaw’s goose is cooked, I think. His recruiting hasn’t kept up because his offense and defense have become outdated. It showed in the loss to Washington as Kalen de Boer coached rings around the veteran Cardinal staff. The front seven is weaker than a wet paper bag and the secondary was extraordinarily leaky.
11) Arizona State Sun Devils
A hot mess, inside of a dumpster fire; that’s the best way to describe the state of the Sun Devils program after Herm Edwards firing. The 18-point loss to No. 13 Utah, on the surface, doesn’t look so bad but that’s because the Utes took their foot off the gas in the second half.
12) Colorado Buffaloes
The count down for Karl Dorrel’s firing is officially on in Boulder.