Pac-12 Results

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By Clay Kallam, Staff Writer
Posted Nov 24, 2016
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017 BearInsider.com


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It used to be that all the rivalry games were on the final weekend of the season, but that simply proved too difficult for the schedule makers to figure out – and of course they have to manage a bunch is 7:30 PM games for TV as well.

Still, one of the biggest traditional games is Washington - Washingtonn State, and it couldn't be much bigger than it is this year. The two teams will play on Friday for the Pac-12 North title, and bragging rights in the state of Washington are at stake – which, truth be told, are way more important than anything so half-baked as half a conference crown.

Two of the rivalry games were played last week, but neither were close, once again giving to the lie to the old axiom that "You can throw out the record books.” Well, maybe you can, but talent still will tell…

North

Washington: Washington tuned up for the Apple Cup with a by-the-numbers thrashing of hapless Arizona State. The Huskies totaled 539 yards, including 201 on the ground, and were never headed in an easy 44-18 win. Jake Browning wasn't exactly spectacular, but Myles Gaskin had an excellent game (16 carries for 127 yards) and Washington allowed the Sun Devils to convert only one of 14 third-down opportunities. In short, the Huskies bounced back from the loss to USC and seem ready to claim the Pac-12 North title Friday.

Washington State: It all came crashing down last week, as Colorado overpowered the Cougars offensively, gaining 603 yards and rolling to a 38-24 win. Luke Falk, who had been godlike in recent weeks, managed to throw for 325 yards but it took him 53 attempts to reach that total. On the other side of the ball, Colorado had its way, grinding out 258 yards on the ground and scoring the last 17 points of the game.

Stanford: What a difference a healthy Christian McCaffrey makes. When he was hurt, the Cardinal struggled; now that he is healthy, Stanford looks like the team everyone expected it to be at the start of the season. Against Cal, sparked by McCaffrey's 90-yard burst, Stanford ran for 357 yards on 50 carries (a 7.1 yard average) and let Keller Chryst manage the game rather than try to win it – which past history suggests is a solid strategy.

Oregon State: "Good for what ails you – a game against Arizona.” A good time was had by all in Corvallis Saturday, as Oregon State jumped out to a 14 -0 lead, and never looked back en route to a 42-17 win. Exhibit A: Struggling quarterback Marcus McMaryion went 16 for 19 for 265 yards and five touchdowns, by far his best performance as a collegian. Ryan Nall racked up 124 yards on the ground, and the Beavers will roll into the Civil War firing on all cylinders.

California: The Bears hung in there for a while against Stanford, but their shaky front seven and depleted secondary finally broke down. Fittingly, the game was in the rain, so the dreary weather matched the dreary outcome. And the Cardinal's 45 points pushed Cal's points allowed over the 500 mark for the season, the worst in the Pac-12.

Oregon: The Ducks have found a quarterback in freshman Justin Herbert, who floated a perfect pass to Darren Carrington (who made a wonderful catch) with two seconds left to give Oregon a 30-28 win over then-No. 12 Utah. But don't think it was lucky – the Ducks out gained Utah by 122 yards and looked like the better team for much of the game. Whether it was enough to save Mark Helfrich's job, however, is another question.

South

Colorado: It never hurts to play critical games at home, and Colorado took full advantage, converting 13 of 21 third downs, amassing 603 yards total offense and clearly establishing itself as the best team in the South. The big story was senior quarterback Sefo Liufau (from the state of Washington, ironically), who threw for 345 yards and ran for 108 (plus three touchdowns) in his best performance of the season at just the right time. The Buffaloes also contained Washington State quarterback Luke Falk and have completed a remarkable turnaround under coach Mark McIntyre.

USC: UCLA led 14-7 early in the second quarter last Saturday at the Rose Bowl. From then on, however, it was all USC. The Trojans scored the last 29 points of the game, and almost doubled up UCLA in total offense (527 yards to 266) – and it could have been worse if not for the two interceptions. Ronald Jones II had the biggest individual numbers -- 121 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries -- but it was really a team effort in the battle of L.A., and the domination erased any lingering stigma from 1-3 start.

Utah: So here's an oddity: Utah, ranked No. 12 going into last week's game, has three losses. One of them is to 4-7 Oregon on a last-second touchdown, and another is to 4-7 Cal, when Utah could not convert on a last second touchdown try. Turn those two plays around and Utah is in the conversation for playoffs. Against Oregon, a team that had struggled, the defense fell apart, allowing 575 yards. Though Joe Williams continued to prove that practice is overrated – he left the team for five weeks in the middle of the year – by running for 149 yards on 23 carries, the rest of the Utah offense was missing in action.

Arizona State: Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time – Washington was coming off an ego-busting upset at the hands of USC and then got to play at home against a mediocre opponent. Not surprisingly, it was a very long game for the Sun Devils, who only gained 245 yards and gave up 539. Their final rushing total? Fifteen yards, on 27 attempts. Of course the six sacks have a lot to do with the paltry rushing total, but it really didn't make that much difference. Arizona State was not going to win this game, especially after trailing 30 -0 in the third quarter.

UCLA: There was a time that people expected the UCLA-USC game to be a pretty even fight, but that was a while ago. Though the Bruins led early, they were outclassed by their crosstown rivals, and only gained 266 yards. Even worse, if you wanted to watch UCLA's offense, you couldn't really blink. USC held the ball an amazing 43:47 minutes, leaving only 16:13 for the Bruins. Needless to say, it wasn't nearly enough.

Arizona: The word is Rich Rodriguez knew this was going to be a very bad season in Tucson, and so pretty much threw in the towel by red shirting a bunch of players and just hoping to stagger through the year with a win here and there. Well, eight Pac-12 losses later, things haven't quite worked out as planned. Arizona is simply awful, and proved that point in a 42-17 loss to Oregon State, which has only won three games all season. There's really not much to say about Arizona, except that Rodriguez must have a lot of confidence in his contract status as wins over Grambling State and Hawaii are not exactly stirring testaments to the quality of the product Arizona put on the field this year.

Pac-12 STANDINGS
North
W-L
P-12
PF
PA
STRK
Washington
10-1
7-1
492
197
W1
Washington State
8-3
7-1
467
281
L1
Stanford
8-3
6-3
276
225
W4
Oregon State
3-8
2-6
280
342
W1
California
4-7
2-6
409
501
L4
Oregon
4-7
2-6
401
463
W1
 
South
W-L
P-12
PF
PA
STRK
Colorado
9-2
7-1
390
203
W5
USC
8-3
7-2
350
239
W7
Utah
8-3
5-3
340
260
L1
Arizona State
5-6
2-6
365
422
L5
UCLA
4-7
2-6
289
294
L1
Arizona
2-9
0-8
241
425
L8

 

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