There were not a ton of shockers in week five of the Pac-10. Washington’s upset of USC was the real head turner, as was the comeback by Oregon. All we really learned was that Washington still has some life and the Ducks are very, very good.
Oh, yeah, and apparently Jim Harbaugh is “friends” with the officials, at least that is what Chip Kelly thinks.
UCLA 42, Washington State 28
Should we congratulate Wazzu for hanging tough for three quarters or condemn the Bruins for not putting the lowly Cougs away? How about a little of both. Let’s face it, UCLA is not as good as the team that beat Texas the week before, but they are good enough to best WSU in the Rose Bowl. The “Pistol” was working in Pasadena and if UCLA can hang onto the football, then they have a chance in every game. The defense is improving and the run game is really going. The key to beating UCLA is to score early and make them play from behind. Right now, they just can’t pass the ball. As for WSU, they are bad, but maybe feisty enough to play with teams and possibly earn at least one upset.
Oregon State 31, ASU 28
A good, old fashioned slugfest. The Beavers were in control for awhile, but ASU never quit. Ryan Katz gets a little bit better every week and once James Rodgers gets healthy OSU may have a very potent offense. ASU’s offense may not be great, but they are decent. The bigger issue may be the defense, which has given up 42 (well actually 28 because Oregon scored twice on defense) and 31 in back-to-back weeks. The defense is good, but may not be good enough to win them games if the offense falters. Mentally, the Beavers are getting more confident, it is October afterall, while I wonder what the psyche of the Sun Devils is after losing three competitive games in a row. If Denis Erickson can keep this team together mentally, ASU will be a tough out week after week.
Washington 32, USC 31
A week after hyping the Trojans, they lose to Washington. Not a huge shock, as the Trojans have all kinds of talent, but very little development. Jake Locker showed why scouts love him as the threw for over 300 yards and ran for more than 100. That may be key for the Huskies. Locker has tried to be more of a pocket passer, but he is more dangerous as a duel threat quarterback. I still think USC is the fourth best team in the Pac-10 and UW is destined for 7th or worse, but this one again shows the depth of the league.
Oregon 52, Stanford 31
The first half of this one was as good as any game I’ve seen in a long time. If we have learned anything from watching the Chip Kelly edition of the Ducks, is that they are never out of games. This is their second straight comeback, and they have made a habit of scoring points in bunches. They look like a legit top-5 team and the only way to beat them will be to outscore them. As for the Cardinal, why are so many people counting them out? They are a legit top-15 team and Andrew Luck did nothing to make me think less of him. If Stanford does not turn the ball over three times, this one is probably a shootout until the end. At worst, these are two of the three best teams in the league.