PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 10/30 – Emerald City Swagger

Gardner Minshew, Washington State football, PAC-12. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Gardner Minshew, Washington State football, PAC-12. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Jake Haener, Washington Huskies, PAC-12. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Oregon (5-3, 2-3)

Last Week: Oregon came to Tempe, Arizona reeling after a season breaking loss at home to Washington State the prior week. Pardon the pun but the Ducks laid a huge egg last Saturday night losing 44-15. Any leftover sentiments that UO was an offensive power went out the window, they gained only 270 yards for the game. Even power running back C.J. Verdell struggled, picking up 14 yards on six carries. By far, the worst performance of his young college career.

This Week: vs. UCLA.

Note: This one hurt badly. Even though Oregon had two conference losses, they were against good teams. Rookie head coach Mario Cristobal learned some valuable lessons last week and will be better for it down the road. Show of hands, who still thinks Justin Herbert is an NFL “franchise” quarterback?

Stanford (5-3, 3-2)

Last Week: With first place on the line and the PAC-12 North title hanging in the balance, Stanford couldn’t pin down Washington State’s Air Raid offense at home, losing 41-38. It was a heck of a game that the Cardinal led by 14 points until late in the second quarter. Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello had his best game of the season, throwing four touchdown passes and picking up 323 yards through the air.

This Week: at Washington.

Note: Their chance for conference championship has pretty much gone out the window, but they can still finish with a good record. Stanford should be very wary of their matchup with Washington this week. Wounded dogs are dangerous.

California (5-3, 2-3)

Last Week: An absolute stunner in Berkeley, California last Saturday. The Golden Bears pulled off a 12-10 win over the Washington Huskies. Cal generated very little offense all game and didn’t even score a touchdown when they had the ball. About the only reliable weapon, they had was running back Patrick Laird who ran 22 times for 83 yards and caught four passes for 28 yards.

It was the Bears defense that made the difference. They held Huskies running back Salvon Ahmed to minus two rushing yards on eight carries. Additionally, UW senior quarterback Jake Browning was so inept at moving the team against the Cal defense, he was benched for a couple of series in the second half. His replacement, Jake Haener, was worse and threw the deciding pick-six to linebacker (and Washington native), Evan Weaver.

A few big items jump out. First, although Cal’s offense was kept for the most part between the 20’s, they had a big edge in time of possession 33:13 – 26:47. Second, the Bears also won the turnover battle 2-0. We often talk about these areas as ancillary to the outcome of a game, but last Saturday, it’s what Cal needed to pull off the upset.

This Week: at Washington State

Note: It was fun while it lasted. Hopefully the Cal faithful partied themselves out because the game they played against UW won’t fly against Washington State this week. There is no way their offense can withstand a 400-500 yard performance by the Cougars.

Washington (6-3, 4-2)

Last Week: I’m going to let this one go because just about every negative adjective has been used when describing the game. See California above for the details. More game reaction can be found here and reaction to Coach Peterson’s Monday press conference is here.

This Week: vs Stanford.

Note: See Stanford.