The PAC-12 Week 13 Review starts with Apple Cup. Won by Washington State in comfortable fashion, beating rivals Washington 40-13. The Cougars ended the 7 win streak the Huskies had over them in this rivalry game and kept their PAC-12 North title hopes alive before the Saturday slate of games. Washington State started on the front foot with their first drive. It took just 7 plays for the Cougars to get into the endzone, with the final play coming from Max Borghi on a 32 yard run. The running back broke a handful of Huskies tackles before diving into the corner for the touchdown, breaking the all time cougars TD record.
Washington State made it 10-0 on their next drive thanks to a 31 yard field goal from kicker Dean Janikowski. Freshman quarterback Sam Huard got his first start for the Huskies and showed his inexperience, mixed with a failing offence. Huard threw 4 interceptions in the game, his first coming on Washington’s first drive. On 3rd and 9 Huard overthrew the ball and landed in the hands of Cougars defensive back Armani Marsh. They could not convert the good field position into a touchdown but Janikowski added another field goal.
The Huskies got back into the game when running back Kamari Pleasent ran in a 10 yard touchdown. The second half was mostly one sided, with the Cougars outscoring the Huskies 27 to 6. After a three and out to start the half for the Huskies, Washington State grabbed their second touchdown of the day. It was Max Borghi again with his second touchdown, with the running back also rushing for 129 yards. The Huskies next drive was an important one and it ended on the 3rd play with another interception. Again with good field position, the Cougars had to settle for another field goal.
The Huskies started the next drive well. With the first play a 55 yard pass from Huard to fellow freshman, Rome Odunze. The Cougars band was playing loud after the next play when Huard threw his 3rd interception. Straight down the throat of Justus Rogers, who returned it into Washington territory. This time the Cougars did take full advantage when running back Dean McIntosh went in for a touchdown. With just under 12 minutes left in the 4th quarter Huard had his first touchdown. Finding Odunze who made a fantastic one handed grab in the endzone.
Any potential late comeback was dented when a field goal on the next drive, then Huard’s final interception was ran home for a pick 6 by Armani Marsh. Washington State were close to a PAC-12 North title but a bowl game means their season doesn’t end just yet. Washington ended the season on a whimper, with a lot of work to do for whoever takes the head coaching job.
PAC-12 South champions finished the regular season with a 28-13 win over rivals Colorado. The win came relatively easy for Utah, with the 1st quarter being a scrappy affair. On the first drive of the game Utah quarterback Cam Rising was picked off by Buffaloes safety Mark Perry, who returned the ball 40 yards to the Utah 15 yard line. Colorado then had 3 plays for no yards and had to settle for a field goal. The Buffs were limited to just 148 offensive yards by the impressive Utah defence. The only touchdown they scored was a wonderful 100 yard kick off return to start the second half by Nikko Reed. Reed bounced of a couple of Utes defenders down the centre, ran out to the sideline and juked the last defender before taking it to the house, bringing the deficit to just one point.
Before that it was just two Colorado field goals from kicker Cole Becker in the first half. Utah QB Rising made up for his earlier pick, by throwing two touchdowns to his tight ends. Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid both held onto passes down the middle of the pitch to give the Utes a 14-6 lead at the half. After the Colorado kick off return, normal service resumed. Running back Tavion Thomas grabbed a touchdown on a 12 yard run. Thomas finished the game with 142 rushing yards from 25 carries and continued to cause defences problems.
Wide receiver Britain Covey then had a 13 yard touchdown pass from Cam Rising, his third passing touchdown of the game. That was the last of the scoring as both teams failed to add any points, both turning the ball over on downs just outside the opposition endzone. Utah now head to the PAC-12 Championship game against Oregon next Friday. Colorado will hope to bounce back next season after a difficult 2021 schedule.
UCLA ended their regular season campaign with a comfortable 42-14 win over California. The win made it their 8th win of the year, the first time they have reached that mark since 2015. After falling behind midway through the 2nd quarter, the Bruins scored 31 unanswered points to wake then victory. It started well for UCLA when kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira converted a 41 yard field goal. Then California had disastrous back-to-back possessions. First they failed to convert on a 4th and 4 on the UCLA 35 yard line, then quarterback Chase Garbers had his pass intercepted by Jay Shaw, who returned it 14 yards to the half way mark.
From there the Bruins made it 10-0 when QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson found receiver Kyle Phillips for his first of two touchdowns of the day. The Golden Bears fought back and took the lead in the 2nd quarter in just under 2 minutes. A 14 yard touchdown run from Christopher Brooks, then Chase Garbers kept the ball himself to make it 14-13. The Garbers TD came after Bruins kick returner Kazmeir Allen dropped the kick-off return, with the ball being recovered by Cal. Then the UCLA onslaught began, when just before the half they retook the lead. Running back Kazmeir Allen was handed the ball and barged past two defenders to score in the corner, making up for the kick off error.
A Slow Start to the second Second Half
The second half started and after 3 and outs from both teams, the Bruins went further ahead. A beautiful floated 29 yard pass from Thompson-Robinson found tight end Greg Dulcich. He made the grab above his head and managed to get a foot down in the corner. Another field goal followed. Then Zach Charbonnet grabbed his 13 rushing touchdown of the season. Whilst adding another 100 yard game to his tally this season.
Phillips grabbed his second touchdown to complete the rout. With the Bears only getting into the red zone once in the second half with their last possession. Which was turnover on downs at the 1 yard line. Cal will be disappointed about this season, but still end it with a win. With their re-arranged match against USC this weekend. UCLA will wait to see who they play in their bowl game.
USC became the 5th PAC-12 casualty of BYU this season, losing 35-31. The Trojans found themselves 21-13 down at the half, with their only touchdown coming from a 6 yard run from Jaxson Dart, who fumbled the ball on the snap but composed himself to bounce of tackles and into the end zone. Kicker Parker Lewis added field goals on the first and last drives of the first half. Both times they got into the BYU red zone but couldn’t convert when at 1st and goal from the 7 yard line on the first drive and had to settle on the final drive with time expiring.
The Cougars extended the lead to 15 in the second half, then a USC fight back. A 14 play 75 yard drive ended with running back Vavae Malepeai bounced off tackles for a 2 yard TD. Malepeai led the team on the ground with 99 yards from 20 carries on the day. Another field goal from Lewis reduced the score to 5 points, again they had good field position at the BYU 23 yard line on 1st and 10. The Trojans then took the lead when Dart found receiver Gary Bryant Jr with a 10 yard touchdown pass, then converted a 2 point conversion to Lake McRee to lead by 3 points.
BYU scored a touchdown to retake the lead with just under 4 minutes left of the game. USC had one last attempt to try win the game but came up short, failing to convert on 4th and 6 at the Cougars 15 yard line. USC still have the rearranged game against California to come this weekend. With new head coach Lincoln Riley announced Sunday, a lot more will be expected next season.
Stanford’s season finished with a whimper, losing 45-14 to #6 ranked Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish put up 24 unanswered first half points, with Stanford’s offence struggling to stay on the field. On Stanford’s first six possessions they scraped together just 35 offensive yards and 3 first downs, with one of those courtesy of a Notre Dame personal foul penalty. 22 snaps of the ball for 35 yards is not going to help you win games. The final play of the first half was a missed 59 yard field goal from kicker Joshua Karty. That wasn’t because of the offence, just a punt being downed at the opposition 48 with 3 seconds left giving them a long field goal attempt.
The Cardinal came out in the second half looking better. On the third play of the second half safety Jonathan McGill snatched the ball out of the air for an interception, returning it 23 yards to the Notre Dame 13 yard line. On the second play running back Austin Jones found the gap, then ploughed over a defender for a 5 yard touchdown. That hopeful start to the second half was soon forgotten about as the Fighting Irish scored two more touchdowns. In between the two scores, Stanford had the ball three times, managing 14 yards from 10 plays.
They did manage another touchdown in the 4th quarter, a 49 yard pass from QB Tanner McKee to Benjamin Yurosek. Stanford who started the season 3-2, slipped to their 7th loss in a row. This is only HC David Shaw’s second losing season in 11 years as a Cardinal but the end of the season display will be a concern. If anybody can change it around next season, it will be Shaw.
Arizona State beat rivals Arizona 38-15 to win their fifth straight ‘Dual in the Desert’. The first half ended 14-9 to the Sun Devils but could have been a lot different. Three times the Wildcats had drives deep into the opposition red zone but had to settle for field goals on every occasion. It was frustrating for Arizona as 2 of the drives started inside their own 10 yard line, to be stopped at the ASU 14 yard line. Kicker Tyler Loop slotted all of them through the posts to give them the 9 points. Arizona State scored their first points of the game on their opening drive. Quarterback Jayden Daniels found receiver Ricky Pearsall with a 14 yard pass.
The second touchdown of the first half came after a fumble recovery from the Sun Devils defence. Arizona QB Will Plummer was sacked by Jack Jones and forced the fumble, the ball was recovered by Tyler Johnson at the second attempt at the 1 yard line. It took just one play for running back Rachaad White to leap over the top of the line for the touchdown. In the second half it took just under 2 minutes and 4 plays for the Sun Devils to extend their lead. Jayden Daniels kept the ball himself and weaved down the side-line for a 48 yard rushing touchdown.
The Plummer replies
Will Plummer answered back for Arizona when he threw a touchdown pass to Michael Wiley to make it a one score game. That was the last points for Arizona as the Sun Devils grabbed another touchdown from Ricky Pearsall. The defence added a safety, then the defence added more points when DB Jack Jones, who had already forced a fumble from Plummer, this time picked him off.
Again Arizona got inside the opposition red zone, but Jones intercepted the pass and returned the ball 87 yards to the house. Arizona have showed a lot of fight this season despite only 1 win. Jedd Fisch will hope they can turn those close losses into more wins next year. Arizona State still have a bowl game to play and have also had the excellent news that HC Herm Edwards will be their next season.
Oregon secured the PAC-12 North title with a 38-29 win over rivals Oregon State. The game was much closer than it actually was, with the Beavers scoring three 4th quarter touchdowns. It was the Ducks who took the game by the scruff of the neck early with running back Travis Dye scoring on a 20 yard rushing touchdown, completing a 75 yard drive with Dye having 38 of those yards. Oregon got the ball back after 5 plays but had to start on their own 4 yard line. It took just 7 plays for the Ducks to make it 14 points, thanks to a lovely over the top 50 yard pass from quarterback Anthony Brown to receiver Devon Williams. After a field goal from each tea Brown added to the score with a 10 yard rushing touchdown.
Brown had one of his best game of the season with figures of 23-28, 275 passing yard and 2 passing touchdowns, he even added 83 rushing yards to go with his TD on the ground. In the 3rd quarter the Beavers pulled it back a little when quarterback Chance Nolan hit tight end Luke Musgrove who spun round and reached out to get the ball into the corner of the end zone.
It wasn’t as one sided as the score suggests
Oregon pulled away again early in the 4th when Brown had his second passing touchdown, this time is was freshman receiver Kris Hutson who made the grab. Then in the space of a minute and 30 seconds the game got interesting. After BJ Baylor reached out to cross the line for the TD and the 2 point conversion failed, the Beavers managed to retrieve the onside kick.
They took full advantage with Nolan lasered a 15 touchdown pass into receiver Trevon Bradford’s hands. Oregon State failed on a 2 point conversion again, but were back to within 10 points. As it’s been for most of the back end of the season Brown and Dye got the ball moving and when freshman running back Byron Cardwell broke off a 31 yard one to the Beavers 1 yard line. Dye capped it off with his second touchdown of the day. Nolan added a consolation touchdown with just over 1 minute on the clock but the Ducks had already done enough. Oregon State have a bowl game to look forward to. While Oregon will be hoping for revenge against Utah in the PAC-12 Championship game.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87