This week was full of Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchups, and for the most part, the Pac-12 dominated. However, one game ended in head scratching fashion as the referee’s botched the final few seconds of the Wisconsin Arizona State game. That is the first game that we are going to talk about, but before we do, why don’t we show you the ending in case you haven’t seen it yet.
Now obviously the referee’s blew it on a couple of notes. First of all, the player clearly takes a knee, meaning that the play should have been blown dead there. Secondly, they did a terrible job of setting the ball, and not signaling for the clock to ever be stopped. Having said all of that, what is Wisconsin QB Joel Stave doing just leaving the ball in the middle of the field!! I can’t blame the kid here though. This one is fully on the refs and it’s a terrible way to lose a hard fought game, especially considering they were in position for a game winning field goal.
In other Pac-12 Big Ten matchups, #19 Washington went to 2-0 with a 34-24 win at Illinois, while #4 Ohio State went into Cal and got a 52-34 win even without the services of their Heisman trophy candidate Braxton Miller. And then there was the most interesting game involving these conferences. Nebraska shot out to a 21-3 lead at home against #13 UCLA. But from there, it was all Bruins, as they riled off an incredible 38 points in a row to score a huge blowout of a ranked team on the road. Suddenly, the Bruins might be knocking on the door of the Top 10 soon, and with three very winnable games coming up, they should be 5-0 in October.
#2 Oregon has shown no signs of slowing down in recent weeks. They followed up a 59-10 beatdown of Virginia with a 59-14 decimation of Tennessee. The Volunteers actually jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but they wouldn’t score again until the Ducks put up all 59 of their points. Elsewhere in the state, Oregon State jumped to 1-0 in the Pac-12 with a thrilling 51-48 overtime win over Utah.
There were a laundry list of questions for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans after an embarrassing 10-7 home loss against Washington State last week. Well it certainly looked like they took note, as the first play of the game, Cody Kessler aired out a 60 yard bomb. It wasn’t completed, but it set the tone for a game that Trojan fans are used to seeing as USC beatdown Boston College 35-7.
Rounding out the conference, Washington State destroyed Southern Utah 48-10, #5 Stanford gutted out a 34-20 win over Army, Arizona moved to 3-0 with a 38-13 win over UTSA, and Colorado‘s game against Fresno State was postponed.
Week 4 is the final week that most of the Pac-12 will be playing out-of-conference opponents. It will also be a light week in Pac-12 action. Cal, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon will all be idle this week. Washington and Idaho residents will bitter rivals this week, but I expect the Cougars of Washington St. to beat Idaho at home, and the Huskies of Washington to handle Idaho State at home as well.
UCLA won’t have any trouble hosting New Mexico State, and I don’t expect Oregon State to be the first W on San Diego State’s schedule this year. I also think USC will continue their solid play and move to 3-1 against Utah State. The lone Pac-12 team I see losing out of conference is Utah, who has a tough road test against a BYU squad who has had two weeks to enjoy their rout of Texas.
The game of the week will be #23 Arizona State at #5 Stanford. This will be the Cardinal’s first test, as they have enjoy comfortable wins over San Jose State and Army. Meanwhile, ASU is on cloud nine after their crazy win over Wisconsin. If this game were in Arizona, then I might lean towards the Sun Devils, but in Norcal, I gotta go with Stanford. I think offense will reign here, with Stanford edging out ASU 38-31.
What did you think of the Pac-12 this week? Can anyone in the Pac-12 South contend with UCLA? Let us know what you think in the comments!