Monday, September 7, 2015

Week One Pass/Fail Report: PAC-12

It wasn't a great week for the PAC-12, as the conference finished just 7-5, with some really bad losses sprinkled in there. The PAC-12 was supposed to be one of the stronger conferences in college football this season, but did little to support that argument this round.


PASS: Utah, UCLA, California, Oregon, USC
Utah ruined the return of Jim Harbaugh to Michigan, and beat the Wolverines for the second consecutive season, 24-17. Travis Wilson did nothing at QB to merit a discussion of what a good QB he is, but he did manage the game well, and his rushing TD ended up being the difference on the night.
UCLA fans can't happier with the Bruins' performance Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl, beating Virginia 34-16 on 351 yards passing and three TDs by true freshman QB Josh Rosen. Rosen broke records for pass attempts, completions, and yards by a freshman QB in a single game, and also tied Cade McNown's 18 year old mark with his three scoring passes. Next up is a road trip for their first ever meeting with UNLV, and I will be there.
California rolled up on Grambling (which they should have), beating the FCS Tigers 73-14. Jared Goff passed for 309 yards on the day with three scores.
Oregon had to pile up 61 points on the night to ensure their win over Eastern Washington, 61-42. EWU is one of the finest programs in the FCS, and therefore it was no surprise when the Eagles moved the ball on what may be a largely rebuilt Ducks defense this season. There were 1280 combined total yards in the game, and the Ducks rolled up 731 of those yards on the night. That defense, however, is a mess, as they gave up 15 receptions and 246 yards to Cooper Kupp alone.
USC had no such issues in an easy 55-6 win over Arkansas State at the Coliseum. The Trojans cruised to a 28-0 lead at the half, and never looked back, as Cody Kessler passed for four TDs on the night.

FAIL: Arizona, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington, Stanford, Washington State, Arizona State
Arizona beat UTSA 42-32, but fails largely for the fact that the defense was nowhere to be seen. The Wildcats were 35 point favorites on most boards, and the Roadrunners were within one at the half, 21-20. Either the Cats didn't take UTSA seriously, or they are not as good as advertised.
Oregon State beat Weber State of the Big Sky 26-7, but the Beavers only led 6-0 at the half against one of the worst teams in the FCS the last couple of seasons.
Nobody expected Washington to beat Boise State on the Smurf Turf, but they did make a game of it late. The Huskies are playing a freshman at QB, and largely have to rebuild all over the field. They played better than expected, but when you get as close as they did late, you have to take advantage, and the Huskies largely failed.
I am the only person in the nation this weekend saying that nobody should be surprised at how badly Stanford debuted this weekend in a 16-6 loss to Northwestern. Kevin Hogan looked largely lost all day, and the Cardinal look like a team on the slide, because trust me when I tell you, Northwestern isn't good.
Washington State picked u the ugliest loss of the week for the conference, losing to Portland State 24-17 at home. Portland State is not a top tier Big Sky club, but it looks like the lower level Big Sky teams had a great week against the FBS this week. Mike Leach has to be on the hot seat after this loss.
I had no illusion that Arizona State would beat Texas A&M, but what I wasn't thinking was that the Sun Devils basically wouldn't be in the game. ASU is one of those teams who make a tradition of being constantly overhyped, and fails to constantly deliver on the promise of winning big. ASU lost 38-17 in a "neutral site" game in Houston that was about as neutral site as Long Beach would be to an LA team.

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