ASU Football: 2018 Pac-12 Week Five Power Rankings

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Eno Benjamin #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the ball in the first half against Ron Smith #17 of the San Diego State Aztecs at SDCCU Stadium on September 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Eno Benjamin #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the ball in the first half against Ron Smith #17 of the San Diego State Aztecs at SDCCU Stadium on September 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images) /

ASU football‘s blowout win over Oregon State finished a full Pac-12 slate with Oregon dominating Cal and Stanford getting blown out at Notre Dame.

Heading into last Saturday, Stanford and Washington faced crucial non-conference tests with the Cardinal traveling to South Bend to face eighth-ranked Notre Dame and the Huskies hosting 20th-ranked BYU.

The Cardinal got walloped against the Fighting Irish losing 38-17 while the Huskies made a statement winning 35-7 making its case they are still the class of the Pac-12.

In conference games, Oregon bounced back in a big way winning in Berkeley against 24th-ranked Cal. Washington State defeated Utah at home putting the Utes behind the eight ball in the Pac-12 South.

Rounding out the slate was Arizona State dismantling Oregon State 52-24 behind Eno Benjamin‘s record-setting night and USC holding off a late Arizona comeback.

Without further ado, here’s our Week Five Power Rankings.

Power Rankings: Preseason | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four

1. Washington Huskies (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) Last Week: 2

The Huskies’ resume was inflated last weekend following a 35-7 win over then-No. 20 BYU. Did the Cougars necessarily deserve to be ranked? No, but it still stands a victory over a ranked opponent for UW.

Jake Browning threw two incompletions on Saturday as the Huskies dominated the Cougars in all three phases of the game.

Returning to conference action this week, UW is likely to retain at least a share of the division lead in the Pac-12 North with a trip to winless UCLA on the docket.

What happens when you pair the nation’s top scoring defense against a bottom-five offense? Truthfully, I don’t want to find out.

Zach Pekale

2. Stanford Cardinal (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) LW: 1

The hopes and dreams of an appearance in the College Football Playoff is now out of reach for the Cardinal after last weekend’s three-score defeat to Notre Dame in South Bend.

Down by just a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter, Stanford surrendered two touchdown passes to Ian Book and failed to put any points on the board as the Cardinal quickly turned a slim deficit into a decisive defeat.

With a relatively easy schedule ahead, Stanford has a great chance at a 10-11 win season despite squandering their chances at making the playoff.

Koki Riley

3. Oregon Ducks (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) LW: 3

The Ducks sure didn’t show any signs of sorrow.

One week after blowing a 17-point lead in a home loss to Stanford, Mario Cristobal’s squad responded by torching then-No. 24 Cal on their home field.

Justin Herbert led the way with 225 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the Ducks’ defense that set up the blowout. La’Mar Winston Jr. returned a fumble for a touchdown before halftime and Brandon McIlwain intercepted a pass for a score late in the fourth quarter.

The victory put OU one game back of the top seed in the Pac-12 North. They’ll hope to make up some ground when facing No. 10 Washington after this week’s bye.

Trevor Booth

4. USC Trojans (3-2, 2-1 Pac-12) LW: T7

USC is now 3-2 after escaping with a road win over Arizona last week, 24-20. It may have not been the prettiest, but the Trojans are 2-1 in conference play and are still very much in the hunt for the Pac-12 South title.

USC found its ground game in Aca’Cedric Ware who rushed for 173 yards on 21 carries and found the end zone twice.

This took the pressure off of true freshman quarterback JT Daniels. Daniels didn’t have the best game but became a game manager to help the Trojans in the win.

Now, USC has the week off and will use the extra time to prepare for a pivotal Pac-12 South battle against No. 21 Colorado next week.

Ethan Schmidt

5. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) LW: 5

The Sun Devils continued to pound the rock tallying 396 rushing yards, including 312 from sophomore Eno Benjamin, in route to a 52-24 win over the Oregon State Beavers.

While the offense impressed for Arizona State, the defense once again struggled to contain the running game as Jermar Jefferson of the Beavers ran for 254 yards on the ground. The freshman back ran the ball 31 times and averaged 8.2 yards along with two touchdowns.

More from Devils in Detail

ASU will head onto the road as they will face Colorado who enters the game 4-0 after a Pac-12 opening victory over UCLA 38-16.

Cody Whitehouse

6. Colorado Buffaloes (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) LW: 6

Yes, Colorado enters Week 6 as the lone undefeated team in the Pac-12 at 4-0. But that record is a bit deceiving because of the Buffaloes’ first four opponents.

All of the teams Colorado has played this season haven’t yet found their strides, combining for a record of 1-16. More will be known about the Buffaloes when they play against a 3-2 Arizona State team.

Carson Field

7. Washington State Cougars (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) LW: 9

The Cougars continue their surprising season with an impressive 28-24 win over Utah.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew had another big game throwing for 445 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Minshew accounted for all of Washington State’s offense as the team recorded zero rushing yards against the Utes.

In comparison, Utah as a team tallied 322 total yards with running back Zack Moss rushing for 106 yards and one touchdown.

The Cougars are a heavy favorite this week as they head to Corvallis to face Oregon State, who just gave up 312 rushing yards to ASU running back Eno Benjamin.

It will be fascinating to see if head coach Mike Leach mixes more run plays into the gameplan considering how leaky the Beavers rush defense has been.

Sam Ficarro

8. California Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) LW: T7

The Golden Bears’ reign in the top 25 of the AP poll came to an end last week after falling to Oregon at home 42-24.

California’s tough defense had not surrendered more than 23 points in a game before last Saturday. The Ducks changed that reality in a heartbeat as Oregon was the toughest opponent the Golden Bears had faced yet this season.

A Pac-12 North championship is certainly out of grasp, but a chance at appearing in a bowl game seems more likely now than it did before the season started.

With Arizona and UCLA on the schedule next, the Golden Bears have a real shot at finishing the first half of their season at 5-1.

– Riley 

9. Utah Utes (2-2, 0-2 Pac-12) LW: 4

Two games into the Pac-12 season and the Utes are in trouble.

Sitting at 2-2 overall with an unconvincing win over Northern Illinois paired against losses to Washington and Washington State, the South division’s cellar team has some work to do on the offensive side of the ball if they hope to compete this season.

The defense ranks inside the top-15 nationally in points allowed per game (16.3) but scoring has been a point of concern in Salt Lake City. Outside of a 41-point outburst against Weber State, coach Kyle Whittingham’s team is putting up a meager average of 16 points points per game.

Utah hasn’t had an 0-3 start to conference play dating back to 2011 and 2012, their first two seasons in the Pac-12. To avoid that for a third time, the Utes have a difficult task ahead in attempting to knock off No. 14 Stanford in Palo Alto.

– Pekale

10. Arizona Wildcats (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12) LW: 10

Like their loss to Houston, it took the Wildcats being down three scores before finding a sense of urgency in their Pac-12 home opener against USC.

Arizona trailed 24-0 in the third quarter before Khalil Tate and Co. almost pulled off the best comeback of the young season. The Wildcats forced two fumbles in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 10 with less than 10 minutes to go.

But as the case was against the Cougars, it was too little, too late as UA turned the ball over on downs and couldn’t stop the clock after cutting the lead to four in the final minutes.

Khalil Tate got some designed runs, but it wasn’t at the pace expected at the beginning of the season. He finished with 13 rushes for 38 yards.

Arizona returns home Saturday night to face 3-1 Cal.

– Booth

11. Oregon State Beavers (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) LW: 12

Oregon State continued to struggle on the road as the Beavers lost their fourth game of the season against Arizona State 52-24.

The Sun Devils had a field day on the ground as sophomore back Eno Benjamin ran for over 300 yards on 30 carries as Arizona State finished at 396 total rushing yards. The average yards given up on the ground is now 303 per game for the Beavers.

OSU will look to get on track as they will face Washington State who is coming off of an upset victory over Utah 28-24.


12. UCLA Bruins (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12) LW: 11

The good news is UCLA kept it close with Colorado for the entire first half, trailing 14-13 at the break. The bad news: they looked really bad in the second half.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez had a field day, combining for 318 total yards and three touchdowns. In the second half, the Bruins couldn’t finish a tackle, which helped the Buffaloes record 477 total yards.

Next. ASU Football: Players to watch for Colorado. dark

Looking ahead at UCLA’s schedule, it’s hard to see them winning a game. And this week doesn’t get any easier, for the Bruins as they host Washington.

– Field