Out of the Pac – Week Seven

CJ Verdell breaks free for a touchdown

With a 4-1 result last week, the record for the season to date stands at 37-13 heading into a four game slate of games in week seven. Arizona visits Utah to lead off on Friday night with Saturday’s Husky visit to Autzen serving as the marquis Pac-12 match-up. First a quick recap of last week’s results.

Saturday, Oct 06
Washington 31 – UCLA 24 (pick: Washington 42-13)
At some point the Bruins and Chip Kelly were going to show signs of life and while any talk of a moral victory still has UCLA at 0-5 for the first time since 1943. Husky quarterback Jake Browning completed 18 of 26 passes, good for 265 yards and a couple of scores. Running back Myles Gaskins returned to form with 116 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Utah 40 – Stanford 21 (pick: Stanford 28-21)
Without running back Bryce Love the Cardinal were held to 42 net yards rushing by the Utes. Stanford’s defense coughed up 24 first half points before rallying back to within a touchdown at 27-21 in the third quarter. Tyler Huntley completed 17 of 21 passing attempts and running back Zack Moss rolled up 160 yards and a pair of scores as the Utes blanked the home team 13-0 in the fourth to pull away.

Arizona 24 – California 17 (pick: Arizona 35-28)
Four second half turnovers torpedoed any hope California may have had of ending a 13-game Pac-12 road loss streak. Arizona’s Scotty Young Jr. picked Cal QB Brandon MacIlwain twice, one for a pick six.

Colorado 28 – Arizona State 21 (pick: Colorado 33-24)
Arizona State held sway until the Buffaloes broke serve with a pair of third quarter touchdowns for the win in Boulder. Steven Montez threw a pair of touchdown passes, gaining 328 yards and running back Travon McMillian gained 130 yards on 30 carries but it was receiver Laviska Shenault Jr who stole the show for the Ralphies with four touchdowns, two  rushing, two receiving.

Washington State 56 – Oregon State 37 (pick: Washington State 55-24)
Again the Beaver offense offers the silver lining in a 1-5 season with freshman running back Jamar Jefferson accounting for four touchdowns, gaining 135 yards on 25 carries. But oh… that defense… WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew scorched the Benny’s secondary for five touchdowns, completing 30 of 40 attempts for 430 yards.

Friday, Oct 12
Arizona @ Utah
On the heels of an impressive win on the Farm last Saturday has the Utes favored by just short of two touchdowns Friday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium. That seems about right – the Wildcats are capable of the upset but have yet to put all the pieces together offensively. Khalil Tate has morphed into a pocket passer in new head coach Kevin Sumlin’s playbook and not necessarily to the Wildcats’ best benefit. Utah at home 33-23.

Saturday, Oct 13
Washington @ Oregon
This match-up has been circled on calendars for all the obvious reasons. After 12 straight wins, the Ducks have found themselves on the short end of the stick the past two seasons and in the process seen the Huskies lay claim as the resident goliath in the Northwest – a position Oregon grew quite comfortable holding during that 12-year span. Is the worm about to turn back? Maybe… if both sides of the line of scrimmage play to their talents, no question the Huskies could escape Autzen with a win. Oregon will present more problems on both sides of the ball than anyone Washington has faced so far with the possible exception of Auburn. If the Ducks can get pressure on Browning, maybe get a turnover and avoid giving one up themselves, the inside track to the northern division crown will be theirs. Justin’s been waiting two years for this… Oregon 35-23

Colorado @ USC
The Trojans have been every bit as unimpressive so far this year as their 3-2 record would indicate. Still at 2-1 in conference, with a win over unbeaten Colorado, USC likely ends up winning the south again this year. Should the Buffs prevail and with a win in hand over Arizona State, Colorado would all but clinch their second division crown in three seasons. Even with the game being played in the Coliseum, Colorado is the better team by a field goal, 31-28.

UCLA @ California
The first, best chance for a Bruin win. Chip Kelly will build upon the progress he saw in the Bruins’ competitive loss to Washington last week and with California regressing back to the mean after an unbeaten non-conference slate, the Bears might be ripe for the picking. Bears head coach Justin Wilcox is as scrappy as they come and his team does somewhat reflect that personality but the trend lines are clearly not in California’s favor. UCLA 32-27