When the bosses at MoreThanAFan and I discussed my role in covering College Football for the site, I volunteered to wax Pac-12 football for the purposes of geography, and nothing else. I didn’t think this westerly faction was going to make a big splash on the scene this season; it was as if Larry Scott put all his egg in one basket and handed that basket to Oregon…or Stanford, maybe he had two baskets, I don’t know.
Here we are at the quarter-mark of the season, maybe a little further than that, and the conference looks good on the whole. After league-play, the contenders were all unscathed, and those with blemishes out of conference, probably should not have been considered contenders in the first place.
We started this gimmick with Rapper’s Delight (“Let’s take it back to seventy-nine“), but let’s move up the timeline to ’97 for the first single off the smash sophomore double-album from the Wu-Tang Clan, Triumph. The title is certainly fitting for the contenders that separated themselves from the pretender in September’s final weekend; they might be the Osiris of this (thing) we call the BCS.
Washington 31 Arizona 13
Heads by the score take flight incite a war
Chicks hit the floor, die hard fans demand more
Shhh. Don’t tell the hipsters, but the Huskies could be all the rage. Maybe they aren’t literally lopping off domes, like the heroes of the old Shogun flicks that this incredible, knowledge-spitting rap ensemble from Brooklyn gets their inspiration from, but undefeated tends to die when this Washington pops up on the schedule. Yielding nearly 200 rushing yards is far from a victory in most cases, but when Ka’Deem Carey and BJ Denker are involved, 4.3 yards per and just 2 scores, the Husky faithful should be hitting the dance floor looking for those chicks…
Heavy rain marred the first half that included two touchdowns, a safety, and a field goal, but strangely no extra points. It kept Keith Price at bay as well, and the Huskies took an 11-6 lead into the intermission. Washington won this game in the third quarter, mostly on the legs of Bishop Sankey. Staring their first possession of the second half from their own 5, Steve Sarkisan turned to his workhorse and Sankey picked up 37 yards on 6 carries, doing the lion’s share of the work on a 14 play, 95-yard scoring drive that ended with Austin Sefarian-Jenkins catching a 1 yard touchdown pass from Price.
The Wildcats countered with a 72-yard scoring drive of their own to make it 18-13, but once Price brought the Washington offense back on the field in the third quarter, this one just about over. Sankey only ran the ball for 10 yards on six carries on this drive, but the 6th was for paydirt and a 25-13 lead. The score was set up by Price, who went 2-for-2 for 63 yards and ran for 13 on the drive, when he hit Kevin Smith for 49 yards to the Arizona 22. Facing 3rd and goal from the 6, Coach Sark went to Sankey 3 times, and he punched it in from the 1 on 3rd down. Arizona couldn’t get anything going after that, and a Jesse Callier TD run with under 4 minutes to play put it away for good.
Oregon 55 California 16
As the world turns, I spread like germs
Bless the globe with the pestilence
The hard-headed never learn
The University of Nike has developed a style that seems to be taking over the football world, despite the struggles of said-style in Eastern Pennsylvania on Sundays. For the SEC-fatigued, Oregon is the top suitor, as they were just a few seasons ago against Cameron Newton, to bless the
globe college football fan from the pestilent SEC (so to speak). On Saturday, the show went on as planned.
Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned. D’Anthony Thomas was injured on the opening kickoff, putting the burden of the Ducks’ rushing attack on Byron Marshall. Ninety-three seconds later, Oregon had their first touchdown of the game without completing a pass. Super-Frosh Thomas Tyner had 94 yards on the ground, and quarterback Marcus Mariota added 33 yards on six carries. The only thing that would slow down the Ducks on Saturday night was the storm that punished the Pacific Northwest. Mariota completed just 11-of-25 passes on the night, but still took a 41-3 lead into the half.
Cal, on the other hand, was in no mood for the weather, and it showed in Jared Goff’s stat-line, or his lack of one. Sonny Dykes installed Zach Kline under center, and the freshman from Danville, California completed 18 passes for 165 yards. Kline even threw a touchdown pass, albeit a garbage time touchdown, which is par for the course when the Ducks take their foot off the gas pedal. Somebody may beat the Ducks, but not the hard-headed bunch from Berkeley, not this year.
Arizona State 62 USC 41
Certified chatterbox, vocabulary ‘Donna talking
Tell your story walking
Okay, USC. Here’s your chance for Lane Kiffin to plea for his coaching life, but Arizona State wasn’t about to let him do it while they stood still. After a tremendous or awful start, depending on whether you call your variation of red Cardinal or Maroon, this game evened out at the half. For the second straight home game, we are left to question the words of Todd Graham in the bowels of Sun Devil Stadium, as the away team struck quickly on their first possession of the 3rd quarter…
It appeared as though the Sun Devils had set the tone early, taking the opening kickoff and going 75 yards on 10 plays, the 10th being a Michael Eubank 1-yard scoring plunge. Eubank is a physically large quarterback that gets used in short-yardage situations, a la Tim Tebow (circa 2006). On the ensuing possession, the Trojans went 3 and out. Then, they scored, and scored again. Groans could be heard throughout Sun Devil Stadium from the time USC took a 14-7 lead, all the way through taking the lead back at 17-14, and going into the locker room with 20-14 ASU advantage.
The Sun Devil offense couldn’t do much with two Trojan turnovers, and stalled in the red-zone, for Zane Gonzalez to add a couple of 3-pointers from inside 30 yards. Since they deferred, USC received the 2nd half kickoff and on the second play of the half, Cody Kessler hit Marqise Lee for 51 yards to the ASU 24. On the next play, Tre Madden ran it in from 24 yards out, and Lane Kiffin’s seat began to cool with a 21-20 lead. Now, don’t get up to go to the bathroom or refill your soft drink, because this one turned in a hurry.
Taylor Kelly hit DJ Foster for 74 yards on the Sun Devils second play from scrimmage after the score to go up 27-21, and seconds later Alden Darby picked off Kessler, his first of two picks and second takeaway of the night, and went 46 yards for the score. Kelly would find his running back Marion Grice in the end zone, twice before the end of the 3rd quarter and the home team led 48-21 with 15 minutes to play. In all, 69 points were scored in the second half, but it was a bad enough night that USC Head Coach was not gainfully employed long after the Trojans flight arrived at LAX on Saturday night.
Stanford 55 Washington State 17
My beats travel like a vortex through your spine
To the top of your cerebral cortex
We all know how good Stanford is, Washington State couldn’t do anything to disprove it in Seattle on Saturday night…
Stanford played so well in all aspects of the game, with very few exceptions, that no one had numbers that particularly jump off the page. Devin Cajuste ended up with 4 catches for 115 yards, but Kevin Hogan ended up below the 300-yard mark. That’s pretty much Stanford’s style. The defense was punishing, to the point you worried about the Cougars getting out of there alive. Connor Halliday weathered the storm as best he could, the Washington State quarterback was only sacked twice but threw two interceptions early in the 3 quarter, which Stanford returned for touchdowns in both cases, and a 17-3 halftime deficit quickly grew to 38-3.
Really, this one was over before it even began. Playing at the neutral site (CenturyLink Field), Cougars fans, the ones who stayed in the rain, had to find ways to entertain themselves in the end.
Oregon State 44 Colorado 17
War of the masses, the outcome disastrous
Many of the victim family save they ashes
A million names on walls engraved in plaques
Those who went back received penalties for their acts
How long do we hold our grudge against these two school? For Oregon State, the disastrous outcome came in their very first game against FCS Eastern Washington, but they put that in the rear-view since. For Colorado, it isn’t that easy.
Another day, another 400 yard day for Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion. The junior from Pleasanton, California has over 2000 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air, compared to just two interceptions. Saturday, his touchdown count was a little higher than pedestrian, at 6. He found Brandin Cooks 9 times, and connected with Terron Ward 7 times; the tandem combined for 3 touchdowns, while Caleb Smith caught just three passes for 30 yards, but two of those were worth six points.
The only reason to watch Colorado is to see Paul Richardson play receiver, but Oregon State stepped and played defense at a level that we’ve yet to see through their first four games. Richardson was held to 5 catches for 70 yards after surpassing the 200 yard mark against Colorado State and Central Arkansas.
UCLA, Utah (IDLE)
Max mostly, undivided then slide in sickening
Guaranteed made em jump like Rod Strickland
Raekwon closes nicely, praising Ghostface’s verse before his, hammering home the point that the Wu is on an entirely different level, and reminding the listener that they go from relaxed to off the chain (like the former New York Knick) in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if there’s a better way to describe UCLA in 2013; they aren’t an easy game on anyone’s schedule.
Utah has a little bit of that surprise factor in them too. Sure, everyone that wasn’t a Pac-12 apologist had them losing to Utah State on opening night, and the loss to Oregon State might have them questioning their defensive abilities, but the Utes are slowly becoming official as a Pac-12 foe, instead of just being one of the new kids on the block. Keeping it real in Salt Lake, like Raekwon says, “Swift notarizer“.
The idles of Week 5 will kick off our Week 6 Pac-12 action, with the Bruins traveling to Rice-Eccles for a Thursday tilt against the Utes that will air on Fox Sports 1.
Apologies to U-God, Masta Killa, and Ghostface Killah for the snub; they put out great verses, but I only had five games to recap. Enjoy the video, and we’ll see you next week.