Week 9 did perhaps more damage to the Pac-12 standings than any other week of the season. Cal utterly dominated a very inexperienced Oregon State team, Wazzu coughed up a late lead against UCLA to come storming back and win in dramatic fashion and Arizona beat Utah in double overtime. Parity in the Pac-12 conference was at its peak and a few other teams saw their conference championship hopes stay alive.
Cal 54, Oregon State 24
Cal came into this game on a four game losing streak and an even worse bowl eligibility clinching streak that goes back to last season. Needless to say, this was a big game at home. On a chilly night in Berkeley, the Cal offense put up a historical performance setting a new school record with 760 yards of total offense. The Bears rushed for over 300 yards on the ground with both Vic Enwere and Tre Watson having career high performances. Jared Goff threw six touchdowns, two of them to Maurice Harris, and finally found his rhythm.
For the Beavers, backup Nick Mitchell led the way with two touchdown passes but eventually had to leave the game on a late hit. The rushing attack of the Beavers was effective the entire game, but ultimately they had to commit to passing once Cal built a bigger lead.
The next step for the Bears is a road trip to Palo Alto to take on Stanfurd in a battle for the Axe!
Washington State 31, UCLA 27
In what was supposed to be UCLA's clinching win for their spot in the Pac-12 conference championship game, the Cougs put on a dramatic comeback to steal a win in Pasadena. Late in the game, Josh Rosen led a tremendous drive down the field capped off with a 37 yard touchdown run in what seemingly clinched the game.
Washington State got the ball back with 1:09 to play and drove the length of the field. Luke Falk, who was previously injured in the game, led an incredible comeback to the UCLA 20 yard line with nearly 28 seconds left. With three seconds to play, Falk threw an end zone pass that found Gabe Marks for the winning touchdown.
UCLA's loss opens the door for USC, yes USC, to have a shot in the Pac-12 title game. Rosen finished the game with 340 yards passing but zero touchdowns while Falk had 331 yards through the air with two touchdowns.
Oregon 38, Stanfurd 36
In a battle on the other side of the bay, Oregon met Stanfurd with a Pac-12 title game berth on the line for the Cardinal. The game was back and forth for the majority of the first half with a strong Oregon rushing offense squaring off against Kevin Hogan and Christian McCaffery. Late in the fourth quarter, Stanfurd was at the Oregon fifteen yard line and Hogan fumbled the snap which took three crucial points off the board. Stanford would eventually get the ball back, drive the length of the field and benefit from a controversial pass interference call with 14 seconds left in the game. Stanfurd would end up scoring the next play to bring the Cardinal within two and only a two point conversion between them and overtime. The two point pass from Hogan would fall incomplete on an incredible play by Joe Walker and left Oregon keeping their title game hopes alive.
Current feelings in Eugene pic.twitter.com/3O0cLLqvI3— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) November 15, 2015
Arizona 37, Utah 30 (double OT)
In arguably the most thrilling game of the night, Arizona and Utah needed two overtimes to determine the victor. In regulation, Arizona took the early lead but Utah came back to regain lead after halftime on a Travis Wilson 59 yard touchdown pass. Utah added a field goal on the ensuing possession, however Arizona came back later with a drive down the field that was capped off by a Solomon touchdown run. Both teams struggled to get anything going before the end of the second half and the score stood at 27-27 before the first overtime.
In the first overtime each team hit a pair of field goals which setup the thrilling ending. Arizona would start with the ball for the second overtime and Anu Solomon was out of the game after sustaining a massive hit. Arizona backup, Jerrard Randall, would deliver a perfect 25 yard back-shoulder touchdown pass on the first play sending the stadium into a frenzy. In one of the more amazing stats from the game, this was Randall's only completion of the night.
Utah would get the ball back with a chance to tie, but came up short as the Arizona fans stormed the field. The Pac-12 South is officially a toss-up between UCLA, USC and Utah coming down to the final weeks of the season.
ASU 27, Washington 17
Washington will probably want this game back when they look at the tape this week. Each team had hopes of keeping their bowl eligibility in tact but ultimately the Huskies hurt themselves in the second half, opening the door for a big comeback by ASU. Myles Gaskin scored the first touchdown of the game for the Huskies, leading the team down the field while gaining over 50+ yards on the drive. Washington took a 17-3 lead into halftime with their defense leading the way.
The second half would be an entirely different story. Arizona State would end up scoring 27 unanswered points, 24 of which came in the second half to seal the victory. The Washington offense collapsed and was shut out in the second half. Kallen Ballage finished with 92 yards and Mike Bercovici threw for 253 yards and a touchdown as ASU put themselves within a win of bowl eligibility.
USC 27, Colorado 24 (Friday game)
In the midweek Pac-12 game, USC traveled to Colorado in a Friday night matchup. USC would not know it at the time, but with a win they could put themselves in position to compete for a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with the Utah and UCLA losses coming on Saturday. Colorado took an early 17-3 lead over USC and the Trojans barely hit a field goal before the half to bring the game within nine points.
Cody Kessler drove his team down the field midway in the third quarter to bring the Trojans within four. USC then forced a Colorado fumble and once again drove down the field for a touchdown on a Kessler pass. Early in the fourth quarter, Kessler threw a perfect pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster for a long touchdown and USC took a commanding lead in the game.
Colorado would bounce back to score another touchdown bringing the score to 27-24 but would fail to convert on a fourth down play on their final drive. USC would need a game clinching first down run to secure their victory and bring them back into title contention going into next weekend.
Cal fans, what did you think of all the upsets? How do you feel knowing we won't have a Pac-12 representative in the college football playoff despite having the toughest conference schedule?