Week one chaos in Pac-12 football

Top of the Pac-12 falls to SEC opponents



Only four institutions remain in the Pac-12.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

What in the world is happening in Pac-12 football?

College football is probably the hardest sport to predict, so many wild things happen each Saturday. In no way could I have predicted what happened this last weekend.

Let’s first touch on the Oregon Ducks. Wow. That is my biggest takeaway: Wow.

In the AP Poll, the Ducks were ranked 11th at the time and got blown out by third-ranked Georgia. The final score was 49-3.

The difference between one of the top SEC teams and one of the top Pac-12 teams was massive. There are literally plays where players are turned around looking for the ball as their teammates point to the ball to show where it is. Another example is when Jalen Carter, a Georgia defensive tackle threw an Oregon offensive linemen to the ground with ease to stop a run play.

Oregon, under their new head coach Dan Lanning just looked awful and backward.

As of Tuesday, Oregon is no longer ranked.

Utah faced Florida last Saturday. The Utes were ranked seventh in the nation, while Florida was unranked. Utah lost 29-26.

This was an extremely tight game. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson looked incredible, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for a two-point conversion to put them up three with about a minute left.

Utah running back Tavion Thomas rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown. Utah quarterback Cameron Rising went 22/32 for 216 yards with one touchdown and one game-losing interception.

After Richardson rushed into the endzone with a minute left, Utah started driving down the field. With 22 seconds left they snapped the ball and Rising threw the ball into the endzone where it was picked off and Florida ended the game.

It was a hard-fought game and should not hurt Utah too much as they stay ranked at No. 13. But it was surprising that Florida was able to pull it off.

On Saturday, the No. 14 ranked USC was able to dominate Rice 66-14. Head coach Lincoln Riley and QB Caleb Williams looked as advertised: truly the best team in the Pac-12. They moved up in the AP Poll to No. 10.

ASU beat NAU 40-3 through a solid job by their defense, which was able to keep NAU, a much less talented team from the Big Sky Conference, to 131 total offensive yards.

Colorado lost to TCU 38-13 as TCU ran the ball down their throats. They finished with 271 total rushing yards against the Buffaloes.

Arizona was polled as the 11th team in the Pac-12. They went against San Diego State in San Diego and beat them 38-20. Former Cougar Jayden de Laura played very well for Arizona, ending his day 22/35 with 299 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

UCLA killed Bowling Green 45-17. UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet had 21 rushes for 111 yards and one touchdown. Bruin QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson went 32/43 with 298 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and 87 rushing yards along with two rushing touchdowns.

California did not have much competition against UC Davis and beat them 34-13.

Oregon State looks much improved, they were blowing out Boise State at half-time 24-0. They went on to win the game 34-17. Their running back room is stacked and combined for 179 rushing yards. They even received five votes in the AP Poll.

Stanford was able to beat Colgate 41-10. Against an inferior opponent, Tanner McKee played very well and was efficient. 22/27, 308 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. E.J. Smith also had 11 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

University of Washington beat Kent State 45-20. Indiana transfer QB Michael Penix Jr. played great for UW.  He went 26/39 for 345 yards and threw for four touchdowns. UW is looking better than I thought they would be.

WSU played Idaho and won in a defensive-led game. They had seven total sacks and some of the defensive players looked like stars. The offense looked stale for most of the game and it may take some time to see Cam Ward at his best. He played fine, he threw 25/40 with 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nakia Watson also had 18 carries for 117 yards. You can find the recap of this game here.

WSU wide receiver Renard Bell (9) celebrates with offensive lineman Jarrett Kingston (52) and running back Nakia Watson (25) after scoring a touchdown during an NCAA football match against Idaho, Sep. 3, at Martin Stadium.

The top of the Pac-12 was not able to compete against some very good SEC teams. But the rest of the Pac-12 played relatively well against worse opponents. College football is wild, expect chaos every week, especially in the Pac-12.