Shock waves were sent throughout the nation this week when the Stanford Cardinal knocked off the mighty USC Trojans. I will get into my thoughts on that game in a bit, but before I do, let me rile off the rest of the results from the Pac-12.
Oregon continued to dominate their pre conference schedule, knocking off Tennessee Tech 63-14 at home(way to schedule tough teams Oregon). Washington also looked good bouncing back from the beat down they took from LSU by beating Portland State 52-13 in preparation for their big matchup with Stanford next week. #22 Arizona shutout South Carolina State 56-0. And to round out the cupcakes this week, UCLA crushed 0-3 Houston 36-7.
Utah bounced back from an embarrassing 27-20 loss at Utah State by knocking off then #25 BYU 24-21. Also, Washington State notched a tough 35-27 win over UNLV to up their record to 2-1.
Not many expected Cal to contend with #16 Ohio State on the road, but they were right their until the end, just losing 35-28 thanks to a late fourth quarter touchdown by the Buckeyes. Arizona State came just short against Missouri, losing 24-20 despite 13 fourth quarter points. Also, Colorado has pretty much solidified themselves as the worst power conference team in the nation, as the Buffalo trailed Fresno State 55-7…..at halftime. They lost the game 69-14, and this long season for Colorado looks to just be getting longer. Lastly, Oregon State was idle, making them the only team in Divison I football to have played only one game so far this year, after their season opener was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.
Now, let’s get to the big game: USC vs Stanford. The reason the Cardinal won was pretty simple: they dominated play at the line on both sides of the ball, and David Shaw outcoached Lane Kiffin. Stanford knew that if they continued to pound the ball up the middle that the USC defensive line, which is short on players, would wear them down eventually. And it worked perfectly, as SC couldn’t stop them in the 4th. On the other side, Stanford blitzed with reckless abandon, and it worked like a charm, as they shut USC out in the 2nd half. I would have liked to see Kiffin mix up the play calling, and get Lee and Woods up the middle on quicker routes.
But let’s make no mistakes: Stanford outplayed USC, and completely deserved the win. They were the better team that day. Now, USC has to go back to the position they are used to, which is scoreboard watching and counting on other teams to fall. If they can’t figure something out on both the offensive and defensive lines, this won’t be the last game they lose.
Week 4 is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for inter-conference play. The biggest matchup will be #22 Arizona at #4 Oregon. The Ducks have had home games for the last three weeks, and this will be their fourth in a row. Who did they sleep with to get that schedule? I think this game will be alot closer then most think. Arizona is playing great football this year, and they have already played one high powered offense this year, Oklahoma State. They got the win there, but I don’t think they can get the win on the road here. My guess is Oregon wins in the area of 38-27 with it being a one possession game in the 4th quarter.
Other Pac-12 matchups this week include #13 USC hosting Cal, #9 Stanford travelling to Washington, Arizona State playing host to Utah, Washington State hosting Colorado, and Oregon State travelling to #19 UCLA. Here are my predictions for those games:
USC cruises against Cal, Stanford struggles but squeaks out a win against Washington, Arizona State handles Utah, Washington State has their best game of the year and crushes Colorado, and Oregon State upsets an overrated UCLA team.
What did you think of the Pac-12 this week? Is there anyone who can knock off Oregon now that USC has been knocked down a peg? Let us know in the comments!