Washington State’s dominant win over Oregon shook up the Pac-12 again. Elsewhere, ASU football suffered their first home loss of the season vs. Stanford.
Another week, another Pac-12 upset.
Behind the electricity and excitement of having College GameDay in Pullman for the first time ever, No. 25 Washington State jumped all over No. 12 Oregon leading 27-0 at halftime.
The Cougars would hold on for a 34-20 win as they control their destiny in the Pac-12 North with Stanford and Washington still remaining on the schedule.
Elsewhere, Stanford bounced back defeating Arizona State 20-13 in a defensive battle. No. 15 Washington defeated Colorado 27-13 to keep pace in the North while the South continuing to be chaotic.
Utah, who begun Pac-12 play 0-2, is now the divisional leaders after defeating USC 41-28 behind a huge offensive outburst from quarterback Tyler Huntley.
This week, the biggest matchup is No. 14 Washington State traveling to the Farm to face No. 24 Stanford for first place in the Pac-12 North.
Here are our Pac-12 Week Eight Power Rankings with the Apple Cup teams sharing the top spot.
T1. Washington Huskies (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) Last Week: 2
It was a tough afternoon for Washington last Saturday against Colorado.
After a heart-wrenching loss in Eugene against the Ducks, the Huskies bounced back with a 27-13 win over the Buffaloes.
It was a running back by committee for Washington as Myles Gaskin didn’t play. The Huskies totaled 201 rushing yards with running back Salvon Ahmed rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown and tailback Kamari Pleasant scoring a 15-yard touchdown run.
Washington will head to Berkeley to face Cal, a team coming off their first Pac-12 win of the season.
T1. Washington State Cougars (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) LW: T4
Pullman was the place to be last Saturday as ESPN’s College GameDay came through for the first time ever. Washington State didn’t disappoint and outperformed the then-No.12 Oregon Ducks in a huge Pac-12 North battle.
Senior quarterback Gardner Minshew was in full control. Minshew went 39-of-51 for 323 yards and four touchdowns.
But the Cougars received their initial spark on the ground when James Williams bounced off multiple defenders and found a way to the end zone. WSU, 6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play, continues to display a diverse offense week in and week out.
Now the Cougars are ranked No. 14 in the country. They will carry their momentum to the Farm for a tough road test against No. 24 Stanford.
3. Oregon Ducks (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) LW: 1
The Ducks experienced their highest and lowest points of the season in a span of two weeks.
Two Saturdays ago, they celebrated a massive victory over No. 7 Washington. It paddled them to the top of the Pac-12 North race while eliminating the demons from their home loss to Stanford.
Just a week later, it all came crashing down. The Ducks got thumped by Washington State in Pullman, trailing by as many as 27 points before making a run that couldn’t save them.
Now 2-2 in conference play, the Ducks must buckle in for their next stretch. Their four upcoming opponents are from Pac-12 South, which gives them a chance to work their way back into the conference title picture.
But they’ll need help from other schools losing. It’s time to see what Mario Cristobal’s team is made of after more adversity.
4. Utah Utes (5-2, 3-2 Pac-12) LW: 3
After opening conference play with back-to-back losses, Utah now controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South race. Saturday, the Utes cruised past USC improving Utah’s conference record to 3-2.
Tyler Huntley has finally found his stride behind center and shown his prowess as a dual-threat weapon. Against USC, the junior combined for five total touchdowns and threw for 341 yards.
This week, Utah hits the road for a test against a UCLA team that has improved tremendously since the start of the season.
5. Stanford Cardinal (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) LW: 6
Stanford finally found a way to bounce back last after losing two straight conference games as the Cardinal went into Tempe and outlasted Arizona State, 20-13.
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Quarterback K.J. Costello was very efficient with a 76 percent completion percentage for 231 yards and a touchdown.
However, Stanford’s biggest star in Bryce Love has been struggling to stay healthy. The senior began the 2018 season as a Heisman front-runner, but quickly fell out of the race with subpar performances early on.
If the Cardinal can get him completely healthy, the team has a chance to make a run for the Pac-12 North title. A huge division contest against No. 14 Washington State looms this weekend.
6. USC Trojans (4-3, 3-2 Pac-12) LW: T4
Just when USC appeared to be in control of its own destiny in the Pac-12 South division, the Trojans laid an egg against Utah in a 41-28 loss.
Utes’ quarterback Tyler Huntley showed excellent composure in picking apart the USC secondary, throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns in the win. The Trojans still hold a share of the division lead but lost a tiebreaker that could prove costly come late November.
While Daniels is probable for Saturday’s game against Arizona State, third-stringer Jack Sears is could make his first appearance with USC looking to keep pace in the division.
7. Colorado Buffaloes (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) LW: 7
Are Colorado’s true colors beginning to show?
Two weeks after a 5-0 start and emerging as the early Pac-12 South favorite, the Buffaloes have begun to fall off. Their 14-point loss at Washington marked their second double-digit loss in as many weeks, and with five games left in the season, they’ll have some work to do to get back to the top.
Granted, Laviska Shenault Jr. didn’t play last week, downing the Buffaloes their best offensive weapon. But against superior competition, Steven Montez hasn’t passed over 200 yards, Travon McMillian doesn’t look as explosive and their defense can’t stay off the field.
By no means is Colorado out of the race they were once leading. The road just won’t be as clear as it once seemed to be.
8. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) LW: 8
The Sun Devils suffered arguably their most frustrating loss of the season last Thursday night.
Manny Wilkins and the offense struggled to move the ball all night long. The Sun Devils committed a list of turnovers while poor clock management toward the end of the game doomed ASU’s chances at a late game comeback.
Now sitting at 3-4, ASU’s chances at a Pac-12 South title may be doomed. A successful season for the Sun Devils now may be just a bowl game appearance.
9. UCLA Bruins (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12) LW:11
Back-to-back wins from the Bruins has placed Chip Kelly’s team in a spoiler role in the Pac-12 South.
It was the offense that came up big again for UCLA as 17-of-27 passing from Wilton Speight for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the solid performance, Speight still split time with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center.
The freshman threw for over 100 yards on just five completions.
With back-to-back 30-plus point performances, the Bruins offense is materializing into an impressive attack.
Watch out for UCLA as we head into the second-half of the season in the Pac-12 South.
10. California Golden Bears (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) LW: 9
The Golden Bears are finally in the win column in Pac-12 play routing Oregon State 49-7.
Quarterback Chase Garbers reclaimed the starting role and threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns as Cal outgained Oregon State 539-241.
Running back Patrick Laird also had a big day on the ground rushing for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
While Cal snapped their three-game losing streak in Corvallis, the Golden Bears have a tough slate coming up as they’ll face No. 15 Washington this week and No. 14 Washington State next week.
11. Arizona Wildcats (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 10
Arizona’s bowl chances took a major hit Saturday when the Wildcats fell to UCLA. Despite outgaining the Bruins for the entirety of the game, UCLA took advantage of the 3-1 turnover margin and escaped with a 31-30 win.
With Khalil Tate’s status unknown and a tough remaining schedule, Arizona could very well finish the season with a 3-9 record for the second time in three seasons.
This week isn’t any easier for Arizona. The Wildcats host No. 17 Oregon fresh off an upset loss to Washington State a week ago. Oregon will go for blood.
12. Oregon State Beavers (1-6, 0-4 Pac-12) LW: 12
Once again, order is restored to the cellar of the Pac-12.
The Beavers remain winless in conference play after being routed 49-7 by California. The Golden Bears gashed OSU on the ground for 305 yards while quarterback Chase Garbers added 234 yards and three passing touchdowns.
With three games remaining against ranked opponents (at Stanford, at Washington, Oregon) as well as matchups with Colorado and USC, Jonathan Smith’s team could be well on its way to a 1-11 season in his first year as head coach.