The PAC-12 Week 3 Review has a strong showing by Minnesota, an upset at UCLA and Stanford look good once more. Some great games in the PAC-12 this week meant for excellent viewing.
It was another tail of offensive woes for Colorado as they were shutout in a 30-0 loss against Minnesota. The Buffaloes offence had a woeful 63 yards on offence with -19 yards on the ground. Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis struggled again with only 55 passing yards and 8 completed passes from 16 attempts. Not even his rushing game could help him out this week, as he had -27 yards on the day, thanks to 4 sacks. In the first half Colorado had -3 yards on offence, but only found themselves down 13-0 at the half. This was all thanks to the defence, who keep turning up each week, led by star line backer Nate Landman, who had a further 13 tackles on the day, 10 solo and 3 for a loss. Head coach Karl Dorrell will be under pressure to get this offence moving after 2 below average games. The Buffaloes play their first in conference game next, at Arizona State.
Oregon State made light work of Idaho in a blowout 42-0 win. The Beavers didn’t really have to get into top gear, but still managed 6 touchdowns on the day. 3 of the arm of Chance Nolan, who had another good game with 14 completed passes from 19 attempts, 175 yards and no interceptions. Since Nolan stepped in to the starting quarterback role, the Beavers have looked a lot more efficient on offence. They added a further 3 touchdowns on the ground and 248 yards combined. The bulk of that was shared between B.J Baylor, Trey Lowe and Deshaun Fenwick, who all had 59 yards or over on the ground. The defence limited Idaho to just 192 offensive yards and picked off the Vandals QB twice, while limiting them to just punts and turnover on downs. Oregon State improved to 2-1 and above .500 for the first time under Jonathan Smith. Next up is a tough match-up against USC.
USC beat Washington State 45-14 in Pullman, Washington early Sunday morning (BST). Washington State started the game well, racing off to a 14-0 lead thanks to 2 touchdowns from Travell Harris, both of them nice passes from Jayden De Laura. The Cougars also had an interception and a fumble recovery, but failed to capitalize on the turnovers before the Trojans had even registered a point. USC then went on to score 45 unanswered points, but not throw the arm on starting QB Kedon Slovis. After a sack on the opening drive, Slovis was taken off the field with an apparent neck and head injury and did not return.
On came freshman Jaxson Dart, who after brushing off some early game nerves with an interception, go to work. Dart finished with figures of 30 from 46 passes, 391 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. He even led on rushing yards with 32, with the ground game rarely used. Drake London has started the season on fire, a further 170 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Something must have been said in the half time locker room, as USC scored 4 touchdowns in the 3rd quarter. One a fumble recovery that was run in for a score by Tuli Tuipulotu, after a strip sack from Drake London. Washington State will want to move on from this quickly, and try take the first 25 minutes as a positive when taking on Utah next. USC might have a new couch by the time they play rejuvenated Oregon State.
California got there first win of the season with a 42-30 win over Sacramento State. This was a get right game for the Bears and although they were questionable on defence at times, they got the job done with minimal fuss. Chase Garbers did a lot of the work. The fourth year starter had figures of 22 for 34, 288 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also had 68 yards rushing and a score. One of Garbers’s touchdowns was a beautiful 45 yards pass to receiver Jeremiah Hunter. Hunter himself had 78 yards from 5 receptions. The ground game was in rhythm all game. On top of Garbers’s yards, the Golden Bears put up over 170 rushing yards. Damien Moore added to his impressive season tally so far with 87 yards and two touchdowns. Cal will be hoping to build on this win when they travel to Washington next week.
After a disastrous start to the season Washington finally got off the mark, with a thumping 52-3 win over Arkansas State. After what has been a sluggish start to 2021 for the offence, it seemed like it woke up in week 3. The Huskies had 598 offensive yards and 6 touchdowns on the day. Dylan Morris did have a further 2 interceptions, which takes his tally to 5 on the season, after just 3 games. Morris was better moving the ball, throwing for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. A huge beneficiary from Morris’s arm was freshman Jalen McMillan, who had 175 yards from 10 receptions and a touchdown. The Washington defence limited Arkansas State to just 123 yards and 0 points in the first half. It was that comfortable, 5 star 2020 recruit Sam Huard came in to take a few snaps. A big match up next week as the Huskies welcome California.
Utah lost 33-31 to San Diego State, in a triple overtime thriller. Utah tied the game 24-24 with a touchdown and a 2 point conversion with 16 seconds on the clock. The game headed to overtime, both teams exchanged touchdowns then missed field goals before entering a 3rd quarter 2 point conversion shootout. With the Aztecs scoring their first attempt, it fell to Utah to tie the game up.
QB Cameron Rising found freshman Connor O’Toole in the end zone to initially tie the game up. More drama unfolded and after a scoring review, O’Toole was found to not have obtained possession of the ball all the way to the ground. A heart breaking loss for the Utes who drop to 1-2 on the season. On the day QB Rising threw 3 touchdowns after replacing Charlie Brewer In the 3rd quarter. Utah will welcome Washington State to the Rice-Eccles stadium for their first PAC-12 match-up.
Oregon continued their unbeaten start with a comfortable 48-7 win over Stony Brook. The Ducks put up 31 unanswered second half points after a slow early start. The game was never in doubt and after a few second half sacks to starting QB Anthony Brown, we got to see backup quarterback Ty Thompson, with the freshman throwing 2 touchdowns. Brown should be okay for next week’s match, it was more a precaution.
Travis Dye and CJ Verdell were at it again after their impressive week 2, combining for 178 scrimmage yards and a touchdown each. The defence limited Stony Brook to just 271 offensive yards, and only 75 in the second half. The lacklustre first half on both sides of the ball is a little concerning, but that could be a little to do with the great road performance in Ohio last week. Next up it’s the first PAC-12 opposition, but should be another comfortable win when the Ducks welcome Arizona.
Stanford followed up their impressive week 2 win over UCLA, with a 41-23 win over Vanderbilt. Stanford’s Tanner McKee is another quarterback in the PAC-12 who has played well the last two weeks after not starting in week 1. McKee had 218 passing yards and threw for 2 touchdowns, as well as 7 yard rushing TD. Four touchdown in the first half gave the Cardinal a 13 point lead, that Vanderbilt could never get back. Brycen Tremayne had 54 yards receiving and a touchdown, with fullback Jay Symonds picking up the other from McKee.
Stanford had just over 200 yards rushing on the day, with Austin Jones picking up 80 of them. After a bad opening game loss, it seems Stanford have settled and to be 2-1 after 3 road games is impressive. The Cardinals will have to work on their run defence before welcoming UCLA, they gave up 247 rushing yards to Vanderbilt. UCLA will look to lean on their deadly running back room against Stanford next week.
Arizona slumped to 0-3 after losing to FCS Norther Arizona 21-19. Arizona QB Will Plummer took over starting duties from Gunner Cruz, after entering the game in the 3rd quarter last week. It was Plummer’s turn to have a bad game, hitting 19 targets from 34 throws and throwing 2 interceptions. Sophomore Jordan McCloud came in late and through a touchdown with 2 minutes left on the clock to bring it back within 2 points. The damage was done and the Lumberjacks got the first down needed to see out the game.
Stanley Berryhill III had another good game with 94 receiving yards from 11 receptions. The third loss of the season now takes the Wildcats to a 15 game losing run and with this game seen as their best chance to end the losing streak, it’s hard to see where the win will come from this season from their remaining games. Next up Oregon, in what could be a very one sided game.
Arizona State became the third PAC-12 team to lose to BYU, as they went down 27-17 in Provo, Utah. With mistakes and ill-discipline a plenty from Arizona State, the first play was a sign off things to come. The Sun Devils kick returner Geordon Porter fumbled the ball on the ASU 12 yard line, 3 plays later they had conceded a touchdown. Arizona State replied straight away, Jayden Daniels showing his arm talent with 3 passes for 71 yards combined with a couple of runs, got them to the one yard line where Rachaad White ran in the TD.
Jayden Daniels had over 200 passing yards for the first time, but had 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, one of them coming in the BYU redzone after a 61 yard drive. If it wasn’t turnover it was penalties, 16 for 121 yards to be exact. It was a game that could easily have been a win for Arizona State barring the mistakes. Herm Edwards will need to address this before welcoming Colorado to the Sun Devil stadium.
UCLAs good start to the season was halted in a shock 40-37 loss to Fresno State. It seemed like a game that the Bruins couldn’t see out in the 4th quarter, twice taking the lead but being pegged back. The second being a touchdown with only 14 seconds on the clock. It wasn’t a bad performance as much as Fresno State played an unbelievable game. Dorian Thompson-Robinson was leant on more with his arm and he delivered. DTR had figures of 14 for 24, 278 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Receivers Kyle Phillips and Kam Brown both had over 100 yards receiving on the day and three touchdowns between them. The rushing game was quieter, with DTR leading with 67 yards of 117 UCLA put up. A disappointing loss for the Bruins, but not without positives. The defence had 2 key players not return through injuries, safety Quentin Lake and defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia both will be addressed during the week before next week’s game against Stanford.
Written by Jordan Merritt @jordm87