Our PAC-12 Week 10 Review Starts with a PAC-12 thumping on Friday Night. Utah set the benchmark for teams trying to fight for the top spot in the South.
Utah walloped Stanford 52-7 early Saturday morning (GMT) and guaranteed top spot in the PAC-12 South before Arizona State played. It was announced 90 minutes before kick-off that Starting Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee would not suit up due to an injury. He was later seen on crutches before the game. I don’t think he could have been much more help in changing the result. Utah punished the Cardinal on the ground, rushing for a whopping 441 yards. Running Back trio Tavion Thomas, Micah Bernard and TJ Pledger all had 100 yard games but it was Thomas who was the star of the game. The sophomore had 177 yards rushing from 20 attempts and 4 touchdowns. All his TDs came in the first half and were the first 4 touchdowns for the Utes.
Stanford had no answer for the running game, with missed tackles on defence not helping. The most impressive was his third one. Facing a defensive rusher in the backfield milliseconds after receiving the ball, Thomas side stepped past him then wriggled through more small gaps before breaking away for a 58 yard touchdown. Stanford thought they had enough to contend with stopping Thomas. However with just over 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, TJ Pledger rattled off down the sideline to score on a 96 yard run. A field goal from kicker Jadon Redding just before the half made it 38-0. No coming back from that for Stanford.
One Way Traffic
Utah limited the opposition to just 38 offensive yards in the first half, with back up quarterback Jack West struggling. He was picked off in the 4th quarter by linebacker Devin Lloyd. Lloyd read the quarterbacks eyes at the line and impressively managed to jump up and catch the ball. He then ran it in from 2 yards to score. Micah Bernard finished off the scoring late on an 11 yard run. Securing his first score and a 100 yard rushing game.
Wedged in between all the Utah offensive carnage was a Stanford touchdown for quarterback Isaiah Sanders, who had a few snaps in the second half. Utah travels to Arizona next, while Stanford looks a different team to the one that gave Oregon their only defeat. They play Oregon State next week.
Arizona broke their 20 game losing streak with a 10-3 victory of California. The Golden Bears went into the game with lots of players and staff unable to travel due to COVID protocols, one of those was starting quarterback Chase Garbers. It was a massive blow as they already had a handful of players out with injuries.
Take nothing away from the Wildcats, as this was a long time coming. They had been close on many occasions this season, with 4th quarter play being the issue. This time they made sure they were on it and it was in the 4th quarter where they won the game. With 4:56 left of the game, Stanley Berryhill III returned a punt to the Arizona 45 yard line, giving them a chance of at least getting into field goal range to take the lead.
Wildcats by name, Wildcats on Defence
8 plays later and running back Michael Wiley was barely touched has he went straight down the middle to score on a 10 yard run. Kicker Tyler Loop added the extra point. With Cal only having one time out left, the Wildcats just had to get the ball back. They didn’t let them get a first down. They flung their bodies all over to make sure they didn’t give up a play. This was an impressive defence performance that only allowed a depleted Cal offence just 9 first downs. With only 2 of them coming in the first half.
Cal just had 122 offensive yards with quarterback Ryan Glover struggling, a lot being from a lack of protection from his offensive line. Arizona QB Will Plummer showed his mental strength having twice been taken off with bad injuries, only to come back and see them to a long awaited win. Can the Wildcats take the momentum into their next game at home to Utah? California needs to win out if they want a bowl game and it doesn’t get easier as they play USC next.
Oregon State blew what little chance they had of a PAC-12 North title with 34-37 overtime loss to Colorado. The Buffs who have struggled on offence this season, managed 392 offensive yards and no turnovers. They had 10 point leads pinned back twice, as the game went back and forth all game. The first touchdown came from the Buffaloes as quarterback Brandon Lewis found receiver Daniel Arias on a 43 yard pass to add to the earlier field goal from kicker Cole Becker. Beavers linebacker Jack Colleto, who has been handed the ball out of the backfield a few times this season, reduced the score with 14 yard touchdown.
An exchange of field goals ended the second quarter, with Oregon State going 49 yards in 39 seconds to get into field goal range. In the 3rd quarter, the Buffs stretched their lead again with another pass from Lewis finding freshman receiver Brenden Rice. The Beavers came back again, this time they didn’t just reduce the lead, they took it for the first time in the game.
It wasnt Over by a long shot
After a Trey Lowe 31 yard touchdown, quarterback Chance Nolan picked out Tre’Shaun Harrison on a sidewards throw and he did the rest, finishing it with a dive into the endzone. Buffs QB Lewis looked to have given them the win. He threw his 3rd passing touchdown of the day. Finding Montana Lemonious-Craig in the corner of the endzone with just over 2 minutes left of the game. Beavers kicker Everett Hayes missed a 51 yard field goal with just 32 seconds left. You wouldn’t be a fool to think that was that.
We were made to look foolish as Colorado went 3 and out and with 5 seconds left, the Beavers had the ball on their own 49 yard line. A 9 yard pass gave them a chance to tie the game on a 59 yard field goal with 1 second left. Hayes’s kick just had the legs and the game was sent to overtime. In the first overtime, both teams exchanged touchdowns.
First Buffs QB Lewis ran in a 9 yard score, which was answered by running back BJ Baylor. Into the second OT and the hero of regular time Hayes, dragged his field goal attempt wide. Buffs kicker Becker made sure of his 43 yard attempt and gave Colorado the win. Oregon State plays Stanford next week, while Colorado travels to the Rose Bowl to play UCLA.
Arizona State kept their PAC-12 South title hopes alive with a 31-16 win over USC. In a sloppy game, it was two 4th quarter touchdowns from Sun Devils running back Rachaad White that gave them the win. White had 202 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns and also added 35 receiving yards from 2 attempts. At the half it was only 14-10 to the Sun Devils, with the first touchdown of the day being scored by DeaMonte Trayanum on a 14 yard run.
The second touchdown came in the 2nd quarter and it was White’s first of his 3. The ex Juco player broke through the line on his way to a 47 yard run, barging a defender over the goal-line to score. Before that Trojans QB Jaxson Dart had run in a 9 yard touchdown, the only TD on the day for USC. The other points came via 3 field goals from kicker Parker Lewis, who also missed one in the first half.
London Mising Hurts USC
The touchdown from USC came after being set up in good field position after running back Trayanum fumbled the ball. That was one of 3 turnovers for the Sun Devils, with QB Jayden Daniels throwing an interception in each half. The Trojans rotated quarterbacks again during the game and Kedon Slovis and Dart both struggling. Both QBs had an interception, Slovis throwing his on the first drive of the game.
The Arizona State defence played well, but it will be White who will take the plaudits. His 50 yard touchdown run with the score at 17-16 was what we have come accustom to seeing this season. It was a big win for the Sun Devils after seeing Utah win the day before. Next up is Washington on the road. USC are just sleepwalking to the end of the season. Will they raise their game for their trip to California?
Oregon remained on course for a potential play off place with a 26-16 win against Washington. The Huskies started well and looked to continue where they left off last week against Stanford. Freshman linebacker Carson Bruener intercepted Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown on the opening drive and returned the ball 50 yards to the Oregon 6 yard line.
At the second time of asking, running back Sean McGrew took advantage with a touchdown. Then the Huskies limited Oregon to just a field goal on their next drive, when it looked like they were going to march the ball downfield to tie the game. Then a 3 and out for Washington, something that has occurred frequently this season.
Punter Race Porter boomed a 65 yard punt downfield that landed just inside the 15 and was downed just before the goal-line. The Washington defence stepped up again, linebacker Jackson Sirmon pinned Ducks running back Travis Dye in the endzone for a safety. That was it till the 4th quarter for the Washington scoring, as the offence struggled again this season.
From the Safety to the 4th quarter touchdown, the Huskies had just 93 offensive yards on 9 possessions of the ball. During that time Oregon had 3 touchdowns. First Anthony Brown found Devon Williams on a 31 yard pass, then Anthony Brown ran in a 2 yard touchdown himself. The 3rd touchdown came from Travis Dye, who had another good game. Dye had 28 carries for 211 yards and 13 receiving yards, 58 more yards than the whole of Washington’s offence.
It’s obvious where the Huskies problems lie, as the defence again kept them in the game the best they could. Sean McGrew scored his second touchdown of the day in the 4th quarter to make it a one score game. Even after the Huskies defence forced an Oregon punt with over 2 minutes left to play, you didn’t think the Washington offence would be able to drive up field. Again we saw another three and out and HC Jimmy Lake decided to punt the ball away and hope the defence could stop them one again, having two timeouts left. Instead the snap went over punter Rce Porter’s head and out the back of the endzone for an Oregon Safety.
Oregon cleared the first hurdle in their chase for a playoff spot. Next they are back at home against Washington State. HC Jimmy Lake is already on the hot seat and could be in even more trouble as he was seen hitting one of his own players on the sideline. Whether he is there next week or not, the Huskies will be playing Arizona State.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87