USC (48) at Arizona (14)
These two teams are headed in different directions at extremely high speeds. The Trojans have righted the ship since Sam Darnold took the reigns of the offense as the starting quarterback, while the Wildcats continue to struggle mightily with their weekly opponents and the injury bug. This matchup was no different than the last few weeks as USC totally dominated. USC led the game 34-7 at halftime and pulled the foot off of the gas a bit and won only 14-7 in the second half. Darnold threw for 235 yards and five touchdowns, while his counterpart — Khalil Tate — ran for a touchdown and committed two turnovers which led to two USC touchdowns. This victory snapped a five game road losing streak for USC, while Arizona just keeps losing.
Utah (19) at Oregon State (14)
Has there ever been a less impressive 6-1 team than Utah? Give them credit for continuing to find ways to win, but they just aren't overly impressive as a team. At the end of the day, though, winning is all that matters. Plus, as a Cal fan, I probably shouldn't thumb my nose at escaping Corvallis with a win. Anyways, running 50-plus times for around 500 yards last week apparently took a toll on the Beavers as they lost Darrell Garretson, Conor Blount (his backup), and Ryan Nall to injuries during this game. Almost eveything about this game was ugly, especially the weather and the passing attack for both teams. Utah quarterback Troy Williams completed just four of 13 attemps for 42 yards and zero touchdowns or interceptions. Oregon State quarterback Darrell Garretson went four of 20 for 24 yards and one interception before exiting due to injury. The Beavers will have to lick their wounds quickly as their next opponent is Washington.
Stanford (17) at Notre Dame (10)
In the someone has to win matchup of the week, the Fighting Irish found a way, somehow, to lose to the trees without Christian McCaffrey. This was a weakness versus weakness matchup between the Stanford offense and the Notre Dame defense. The Fighting Irish haven't been able to stop a nosebleed, they can't cover a twin sized bed with a queen sized sheet ... name a similar cliche and it fits with how porous they've been this season. It says a lot about the Furd offense that they managed just one offensive touchdown. Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks returned an interception for a touchdown to spark the team to victory. Even without McCaffrey the Furd have to be concerned about their lack of explosiveness. Just one offensive touchdown against a Notre Dame program that is a shambles at the moment.
Arizona State (16) at Colorado (40)
Colorado recovered from a disappointing loss to USC last week by destroying Arizona State's horrendous defense by air and by ground. Sefo Liufau returned from injury and completed 23 of 31 passes for 265 yards while the Buffs piled up 315 rushing yards as a team. The Sun Devils, meanwhile, rushed for just 50 yards. The highlight for Arizona State, as usual, was Zane Gonzalez. The senior kicker made three field goals of 50-plus yards, which tied an NCAA record. He made a 59-yard field goal to establish a new school record. I wonder if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will trade up and spend another second round pick on a kicker during next year's NFL Draft ...
UCLA (21) at Washington State (27)
UCLA doing less with more is a tradition unlike any other. Another season that started with lofty and unrealistic expectations is yet again going down the toilet for the Bruins. The Cougars, meanwhile, are still undefeated in conference this season and are doing their best to provide Washington with some competition for the north division championship. An interesting nugget from this contest is that this is the first time Luke Falk has failed to throw a touchdown pass in his collegiate career and the Cougars stil won. They rushed for just 95 yards but punched in three rushing touchdowns and held UCLA to 43 yards rushing on 23 carries. Yes, Josh Rosen missed out on this one, but it was still a good win for the Cougars.
Oregon (2-4) at California (3-3), Friday at 7:30 on ESPN
Colorado (5-2) at Stanford (4-2), Saturday at Noon on Pac-12 Network
Utah (6-1) at UCLA (3-4), Saturday at 1 on FOX
Oregon State (2-4) at Washington (6-0), Saturday at 3:30 on Pac-12 Network
Washington State (4-2) at Arizona State (5-2), Saturday at 7:00 on ESPN