It’s late but here’s our roundup of Week 2!! Nick and Rob give their thoughts on all the Pac-12 games!
Stanford 17, USC 3
The Stanford offense produced about as much as you would expect the Stanford offense to produce in a game against USC when USC was unable to make Stanford take any risks or try anything interesting. This, of course, inevitably leads me to rant about David Shaw, who has the best QB/RB/WR duo in the conference and gobs of 4 star offensive line talent, and yet handcuffs his offense.
Of more interest is a dominant performance from the Stanford defense. As you might recall, the Stanford defense was pretty blah last year and lost their best defensive lineman, a 3rd round NFL draft pick in Harrison Phillips. This was supposed to be the relative weakness of Stanford, but they have shut down two credible opponents in a row to start the season. What gives?
Well, clearly Stanford’s secondary is quite good - two different members of the secondary made PFF’s team of the week in week 2. And while the front 7 might not be quite as good as the secondary, shutting down SDSU and USC (not-quite-ready-for-primetime-frosh-QB aside) is pretty solid evidence that they aren’t weaknesses either. As been the case each year since Shaw took over, rumors of Stanford’s decline appear to be quite premature. Let’s all just thank Oski that Shaw’s inherent offensive conservatism will cause Stanford to lose a game 24-21 that they could’ve won 38-28
Washington State 31, San Jose State 0
San Jose State is probably an easier opponent than some of the higher end FCS teams, so it’s difficult to read a ton into this game. Having said that, the Wazzu defense lost a lot of solid talent and a highly respected coordinator, so holding an admittedly bad team to 2.1 yards/play is an interesting hint that maybe Wazzu won’t be quite as weakened on that side of the ball.
Oregon State 48, S. Utah 25
Unlike Portland State, S. Utah is an OK FCS team - the exact type of which Oregon State has struggled with at various points in the last few years. So, sad though it may sound, jumping out to a 38-0 lead and cruising the rest of the way does indeed count for something. For the 2nd week in a row OSU flashed some unexpected explosiveness on offense, and I’m starting to think that the Beavers might have enough offense to surprise a team that travels to Corvallis. Arizona, Wazzu, and (gulp) Cal had best be cautious, the Beavers might not be a pushover this year.
Washington 45, North Dakota 3
Washington probably left this game disappointed that they couldn’t get Myles Gaskin going, but it was otherwise exactly the type of routine win over a mediocre FCS team that you would expect from the Huskies. Yes, that is the most interesting item I could find to discuss about this game. I get why teams play FCS opponents, but do we have to have so many in one week? Sigh.
Oregon 62, Portland State 14
Portland State is quite bad even by FCS standards, and Oregon treated them exactly like it. I suppose Oregon fans will appreciate the fact that Justin Herbert was both explosive and efficient a week after being just explosive, but as covered above the Stanford secondary will be a very, very different test.
Oklahoma 49, UCLA 21
The Chip Kelly Era has gone of to a sizzling 0-2 start! There’s not much to say on this game. Oklahoma was expected to thrash them and they did scoring 2 touchdowns in each quarter other than Q2 where the Sooners only scored 1 TD. Kyler Murray ripped apart that defense with 19 completions for 306 yards and 3 TDs. Is all well in Westwood? From our vantage point it? It is. It really is.
ASU 16, Michigan State 13
Talk about surprise of the season. If you had told me UCLA and Arizona would be 0-2, and that ASU would beat MSU at home to be 2-0? I don't know what I would have done, but I definitely would not have believed you. “Leave it all out on the grass, men! Leave it all out on the grass!” And so far it looks like that is the case.
Houston 45, Arizona 18
Could Kevin Sumlin already be on the Hotseat in Tucson? Granted they went to Houston and got smacked. Houston has dark horse Heisman Candidate Ed Oliver. The real story though is how pedestrian he has made Khalil Tate through two games. Its incredibly fascinating, that the golden boy of the PAC-12 all preseason long has turned into an average dual-threat quarterback.
Colorado 33, Nebraska 28
This was a bit of a shocker. The Buffs went in and ground out one heck of a win. The loss of Philip Lindsey doesn’t look as big as anticipated and they found a new WR in Laviska Shenault Jr. to take the spot of Bryce Bobo. The best and worst part about this game was seeing former Cal-Commit Adrian Martinez be so effective and losing to a Pac-12 school. You decide which part was the best and which was the worst.
Utah 17, Northern Illinois 6
Nothing much to be said here. Utah won a game that they should, though they were down 3-0 going into halftime. Zach Moss only had 66 yards on 16 carries, but Britain Covey broke out for 129 yards on just 8 receptions. Utah’s offense and efficiency has become eerily similar to ours. Its quite uncanny, and truthfully very disappointing considering the offensive talent we had stored up in our roster.