This Week In The Pac-12: Disillusionment Week

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The reality of a long, tough, painful season hit many Pac-12 fanbases this week. If misery loves company, then it's time to throw a big friggin' party!

Everybody is unhappy. Stanford can't believe they lost to Utah. Utah blew that 'momentum' by losing to Arizona. Arizona still doesn't have a quarterback, which is why they lost to USC and Washington, two teams that picked up painful 3rd losses this week. But those two teams are still doing better than Cal or Colorado. Oregon State has a six game winning streak, but nobody lets them forget that they lost to Eastern Washington. Washington State has been blown out two times in a row and bowl eligibility is looking iffy.

The only team that should be happy is Oregon, but even they have to find something to be petty about. EVERYBODY'S PISSED ABOUT SOMETHING!

Stanford 24, UCLA 10

I thought UCLA would give Stanford a better game, but after further reflection it's not surprising that a team that can't run the ball against Cal might struggle to score points against Stanford's defense. And sure enough, UCLA again couldn't even average three yards/run, but also struggled to pass the ball. They miss Jonathan Franklin badly.

I'm sure that Bruins Nation will take a road loss to a top 10 team in stride.

I am sure we are going to be seeing posts and comments about how our OL is so (forever) young and how our guys are still learning to play in big game. There will also be breathless press-releases from Morgan Center this week about how Bruins are playing on the national stage.

I am guessing no one except handful don't have any expectations for a victory next weekend, because you know after all we are mostly a fanbase that revels in moral victories.

YAY (for more MORAL VICTORIES)!

I thought they were Mora victories?

Arizona State 53, Washington 24

Huh. Wasn't even close. After coming agonizingly close to beating Stanford, Washington got outgained by 363 yards to the same team that got destroyed by Stanford. UW's defense put in a performance worthy of Nick Holt, and Keith Price looked like the 2012 version. I dunno. Seven win Sark?

House of Sparky lauds a defensive line that controlled the once potent UW offense:

The Sun Devils made a much-improved Huskies offensive line look like a wet paper towel for the first 30 minutes. They eventually settled in once the second half rolled around but that didn't stop Keith Price's happy feet from dancing. The Husky quarterback wasn't allowed an ounce of breathing room all game and finished his day 16-for-39 for 217 yards and two touchdowns before heading to the locker room with an undisclosed injury (possibly thumb) early in the fourth.

UW Dawg Pound offers instant reaction:

Shaq Thompson looked bad in coverage, relative to what we have come to expect from him. He was consistently late reacting to quick in and out routes, including at least one TD. The pass defense as a whole struggled. It seemed that the longer the game went on, the more the pass D was burned.

We never even wanted him! Good riddance! We don't need him! Also, lots of UW fans turning on Sark in that thread, if you're into that kind of thing. As a heartless monster, I am!

Arizona 34, Utah 24

Ka'deem Carey touched the ball forty three times. Good lord. Arizona is actually kind of an easy team to figure out. If they can run the ball with Carey, they'll win, or at least be competitive. If they can't, then they lose. Nice and simple.

Also, this game highlights how silly Stanford was for not leaning much harder on their run game last week. Imagine how much more miserable we'd all be if they had simply ran on 3rd and 4th down last week?

AZ Desert Swarm is pleased with RichRod's approach to the game:

Finally, all the suffering and lessons learned paid off. The Arizona Wildcats used their best mix of the pass and the run against theUtah Utes and rode Ka'Deem Carey's 40 carries and 236 yards to a 35-24 win in Tucson.

In Arizona's first conference victory this year, Rich Rodriguez did what he'd promised. He continued to build B.J. Denker's confidence and made sure to give Carey more of a load on his shoulders.

Block U second guesses an extremely questionable coaching decision from Wittingham:

For much of the game, the Wildcats outplayed the Utes, and yet, at the end of the game, with only minutes left, Utah had a chance to win. They had a chance to steal victory on the road and ride back to Salt Lake City a potential top-25 team and one victory from bowl eligibility.

And then Kyle Whittingham opted to kick a field goal down four.

Yeah, when you're down 4 with less than 4 minutes to go with the ball near the red zone with one time out already gone, it's really really hard to see the value in a field goal.

Notre Dame 14, USC 10

Any decent defense should be able to stop Cody Kessler, no matter how happy everybody is that Kiffin isn't pulling his Debbie Downer routine on the sideline each week. And sure enough Notre Dame stopped everybody other than Nelson Agholor, and he wasn't enough to earn USC more than 10 points.

Also, was this the most boring game of the year? USC's longest drive of the 2nd half? 34 yards. Notre Dame's longest drive of the 2nd half? 22 yards. There were seven total first downs in the entire 2nd half by both teams. USC lost, but so did anybody that tuned in to NBC.

USC, like Cal, is running high on injuries and short on depth:

The offense was so dinged up at the end that former intern and walk-on Robby Kolanz was in on the last play. Justin Davis had to be carried off. Tight end Xavier Grimble was hurt, too.

It is going to be an uuuuuuuuuuugly game when the Trojans travel north to visit Berkeley.

Oregon 62, Washington State 38

Aliotti managed to make everybody pay attention to an otherwise routine Oregon blowout, which was probably his point. But I don't really want to pay attention. Can we come back to this when Stanford is in town and Oregon games are maybe going to be competitive again?

Addicted To Quack is pleased with Byron Marshall's efforts in the place of De'Anthony Thomas:

Byron Marshall carried the load for the Ducks as they continued to rest De'Anthony Thomas for the third straight week. Marshall totaled 246 all purpose yards and three scores as the Ducks defeated the Cougars 62-38 Saturday night. Connor Halliday threw the ball an astonishing 89 times and tallied 557 passing yards in a losing effort. Halliday also accounted for 4 interceptions, one returned for a score by Terrance Mitchell early in the fourth.

Coug Center recaps how Wazzu kept it close for longer than many expected:

WSU was able to stay close in the first half thanks to three Oregon fumbles, one of which defensive lineman Xavier Cooper took back for a touchdown to close the gap to 27-21. But that really belied just how well Oregon was playing, as the Ducks had been moving the ball at will, racking up nearly 500 yards of offense. In one half.

When Oregon inevitably scored more points -- with touchdowns on the Ducks' first two possessions -- Connor Halliday did what Halliday does, imploding with a series of head-scratching interceptions that erased any doubt about the outcome. The final one was returned 51 yards by Terrance Mitchell for a touchdown.

For the sake of this conference being more interesting, the Ducks really need to take a step back, talent-wise.

Colorado 43, Charleston Southern 10

Good for Colorado for again successfully beating an FCS team. Unfortunately, doing so is meaningful progress for teams like the Buffs and Bears.

Ralphie Report is hoping for meaningful November football:

Next, the hunt for three Pac-12 wins begins with Arizona. It's probably safe to assume that the Buffs need to win against the Wildcats if they are serious about advancing to a bowl game for the first time since 2007.

"We're 3-3 with three bowl wins," said MacIntyre. "We need to go get the one next week. If we do, that means November matters in Colorado."

Next Week

Utah at USC, 1:00 pm, Pac-12 Network
UCLA at Oregon, 4:00 pm, ESPN
Arizona at Colorado, 5:00 pm, Pac-12 Network
Stanford at Oregon State, 10:30 pm, ESPN
California at Washington, 8:00 pm, Fox Sports 1

So, does anybody think that Oregon State can hang with, and possibly even upset Stanford at home? I mean, if Utah can move the ball against Stanford, why not Mannion and Brandin Cooks? I'll admit that I don't think OSU will have much success of slowing down Stanford's offense, but a turnover or two could do the trick. A man can hope.

Otherwise, UCLA at Oregon is the big game, although UCLA fans are already anticipating a blowout loss, and who am I to disagree with them? I think I'm more interested to see how Utah and USC bounce back to tough road losses.

Oh, and I guess Cal plays too, if you're into that kind of thing.

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