Our PAC-12 Week 7 Review only has five games but they didn’t disappoint when it came to the action. Oregon struggled to get another win and Arizona State Stuttered after playing well recently.
Oregon beat California 24-17 in a close match up early Saturday morning (BST). Two 4th quarter touchdowns and a defensive red zone stand. Thats what secured the win for the Ducks and took them back to the top of the PAC-12 North. Oregon found themselves 17-10 down just inside the 4th quarter. After Cal quarterback Chase Garbers took his offence 80 yards downfield. He finished it off with a 4 yard touchdown pass to tight end Gavin Reinwald. The Ducks clicked in to gear and in a flash were level. It took just 2:14 of the game clock and finished with a 20 yard pass from Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown to receiver Jaylon Redd.
Special Teams Making the Difference
After the Oregon defence forced a Bears punt, the Ducks went 70 yards back down the field, finished off with Brown extending the ball over the pylon in the far corner for the TD. Then the Ducks held off Cal inside their own 5 yard line to win the game. The Golden Bears QB Chase Garbers threw for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns and converted some big plays to keep the final drive alive, including a 4th and 4 on the Ducks 8 yard line. The Oregon defence was the deciding factor, with big defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and linebacker Noah Sewell stars, but the whole group played well. On offence it was running back Travis Dye who had himself a day.
With fellow running back CJ Verdell out for the season, Dye took on more snaps and finished with 218 total scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Oregon scrape to another win over PAC-12 opposition and will have to be a lot better when they travel to UCLA next week. Cal have now lost 3 in a row, but have a good chance of breaking that run at home to Colorado.
Washington State made it 3 wins in a row, with a 34-31 win over Stanford. The Cougars looked like they might have thrown the game away. Up by 11heading into the 4th quarter, the Cardinal scored back to back touchdowns to take a 4 point lead. First Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee ran in for a score, then ran in again for a 2 point conversion, making it a 3 point game. Then after forcing a Cougars 3 and out, McKee took the offence up the field again, connecting on some excellent passes. It was finished off with a pass to running back Austin Jones for the touchdown.
After exchanging punts, the Cougars got the ball back with just over 3 minutes on the clock. A big 41 yard pass on the first play from WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura got them set up inside the Stanford 30. 5 plays later and Max Borghi was rushing in. Giving the Cougars the lead with just 1:30 left on the clock. QB de Laura was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play. Something that needs to be stamped out of the young QB.
Stanford tried to get the ball back up the field into field goal range, but the drive was stopped when McKee was sacked by Quinn Roff, forcing the ball out. Defensive end Brennan Jackson recovered the ball for the Cougars, giving them the win. Both QBs had good days through the air, both having 270+ passing yards, McKee throwing 2 touchdowns and adding a rushing one, while de Laura threw 3 passing touchdowns. Next up for Stanford is a trip to the Cougars rivals Washington, after their bye week. Washington State welcome BYU, who are 3-0 against PAC-12 teams this season.
UCLA edged out Washington 24-17 to put them right back in the race for the PAC-12 South. The Bruins were far from their best at times. But they did enough against a Washington team who are struggling on both sides of the ball. UCLA raced to a 17-3 lead in the first half. Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, was involved in all 3 of their touchdowns. Starting it off with a 17 yard touchdown throw to receiver Kam Brown. This was after the Huskies had gone 74 yards and had 1st and goal at the UCLA 2 yard line, but failed to get the ball home and had to settle for a field goal.
The Bruins added a field goal themselves after the touchdown, then another touchdown followed courtesy of the legs of DTR to give UCLA a 17-3 lead. The Huskies answered back just before the half, with a beautiful 26 yard pass to receiver Rome Odunze. A touchdown early in the second, this time a 1 yard run from Dylan Morris, levelled the score up. Glimpses of Washington offence, but that’s all it was.The Huskies had a total off just 267 offensive yards and two turnovers, stats that have been too frequent so far this season.
Gashed on the ground
The defence also had no answer for the running game of the Bruins. With running back Zach Charbonnet going over 100 yards rushing again this season. The winning touchdown came in the 4th quarter and capped a 90 yard drive. It was tight end Greg Dulcich who grabbed the pass from Thompson-Robinson. Washington got the ball back to try to tie the game up, but after getting into Bruins territory, Dylan Morris was picked off by Devin Kirkwood. The Bruins saw out the clock and with it the win. UCLA welcome Oregon to the Rose Bowl next week, while Washington should bounce back against winless Arizona.
Colorado shrugged off their slow first half to beat Arizona 34-0 and leave the Wildcats slumped at the bottom of the PAC-12 South. At half time it was only 6-0 to the Buffaloes, thanks to two field goals from kicker Cole Becker. Both teams had opportunities inside the red zone in the first half but couldn’t convert. The Buffs first field goal came after being 1st and goal on the Wildcats 3 yard line.
Later in the 2nd quarter, Arizona found themselves on the Colorado 1 yard line with a full set of downs. After 3 runs for no gain, the Wildcats went for it on 4th down. With QB Gunner Cruz throwing an incompletion, they gave the ball back to the Buffs. Cruz got the nod at QB after starter Jordan McCloud was ruled out for the season with an injury he picked up last week. Cruz failed to take his chance. Being pulled out in 3rd quarter after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Carson Wells.
This was just a minute after Trevor Woods of the Buffs blocked a punt. They scooped it up and ran in a 36 yard score. Both those scores made it 20-0 and even halfway through the 3rd quarter you could mark it as a Colorado win. Buffaloes QB Brendon Lewis added two passing touchdowns after, finding Brenden Rice on a 62 yard bomb. Then in the 4th quarter he found Dimitri Stanley to finish off the scoring. Lewis finished with 248 yards passing and the 2 touchdowns. Arizona go to Washington next week, with no positives to be said on the season so far. Colorado will play the California Golden bears next.
Utah moved ahead of Arizona State at the top of the PAC-12 South, with with a 35-21 win. Down 21-7 at the half, the Utes ran in 28 unanswered points in the second half to give them the victory. Utah’s four scoring drives were all touchdowns and lasted 38 plays, chewing up 17:96 of the 2nd half game clock. Utes running back Tavion Thomas was non-stop, mixed with Cameron Rising’s dual threat ability, they had the Sun Devils defence dead on their feet for the 2nd half. It didn’t help that the ASU defence couldn’t stay on the field, managing just 82 offensive yards on 4 possessions. One a blocked field goal attempt with the scores level at 21 a piece.
This was different from the two teams we saw in the first half. The Sun Devils had over 300 offensive yards and 3 touchdowns. While Utah quarterback Rising had 2 interceptions. Both teams exchanged 75 yard touchdowns on their opening drives. First Arizona State finished their drive off with QB Jayden Daniels finding tight end Jalin Conyers in the end zone, that was answered with Cam Rising rushing in to tie the game up. After that it was the Sun Devils who finished drives, while Utah turned the ball over. First Jayden Daniels ran in a score. Before finding another tight end in Curtis Hodges with a 15 yard touchdown. Daniels finished the game with figures of 20 from 31, 237 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, also rushing for a TD.
Cam is on the Rise
Rising and Utah started to convert their chances in the 2nd half. The Utah QB found tight end Brant Kuithe twice. The second time to give Utah the lead for the first time in the game early in the 4th quarter. Running back TJ Pledger sealed the win with just under 3 minutes left of the game, with a 7 yard rushing TD. The PAC-12 South is wide open after this result. Arizona State will need to bounce back against Washington State. Utah will be hoping to follow up this massive win when they travel to Oregon State.
Written by Jordan Merritt @Jordm87