Week Three Pac-12 North power rankings

A few Pac-12 North teams narrowly slipped by with wins, division still finishes with 5-1 record, no changes to rankings

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Week Three Pac-12 North power rankings




SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen columnist

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Here is how the teams in the Pac-12 North stack up after week three.

1. No. 7 Stanford University

Stanford escaped with a victory at home, defeating University of California, Davis 30-10. Sophomore quarterback K.J. Costello threw for two touchdowns but turned the ball over twice in an inconsistent performance. The Cardinal defense allowed 258 passing yards in the contest. Stanford is 3-0 but is no longer the clear class of the division and may see its top spot challenged by one of the Washington schools later this season.

Stanford travels to Eugene, Oregon, to take on the Ducks in a battle of top 20 teams Saturday.

2. No. 10 University of Washington

Washington opened conference play in Salt Lake City, Utah, vanquishing the Utes 21-7. Senior running back Myles Gaskin dominated, rushing for 143 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.

Senior quarterback Jake Browning had his worst game of the season, passing for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and UW’s defense held Utah’s offense to 261 total yards. The Huskies did enough on the ground and on defense to cover up their quarterback, but Browning must play better if Washington wants to make a run at the division crown.

UW hosts Arizona State University on Saturday.

3. WSU

The Cougs hosted their regional rivals in Eastern Washington University as WSU flew past the Eagles 59-24. Graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew II was dominant, passing for 470 yards and two touchdowns before being relieved by backup redshirt junior quarterback Trey Tinsley.

WSU’s defense went to work, forcing four turnovers and holding EWU to 372 total yards. The Cougar defense did make two key mistakes in the secondary, allowing two easy touchdowns for the Eagles. Sophomore wide receiver Tay Martin continued his successful season, racking up 149 receiving yards and a touchdown.

WSU has looked great this season and has a chance to make a move in this list if it defeats University of Southern California in Los Angeles this Friday.

4. No. 20 University of Oregon

Oregon struggled mightily as the Ducks snuck by San Jose State University 35-22. Sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert and the Oregon offense continued to struggle, as Herbert threw for 309 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes.

The Ducks’ defense saved the day, holding the Trojans to 296 total yards and forcing two turnovers. Oregon’s offense must improve if they want to enter the upper echelon of Pac-12 North teams.

The Ducks host No. 7 Stanford University in a top-20 matchup Saturday.

5. University of California, Berkeley

Cal’s offense soared, covering up their slumping defense in a 45-23 win over Idaho State University. Freshman quarterback Chase Garbers shined, passing for 224 yards with three touchdowns and an interception and completing 80 percent of his passes. Cal’s defense, however, looked vulnerable, as Idaho State put up 319 total yards of offense.

The Golden Bears take their bye week next weekend and need to make serious adjustments if they want to be a surprise team in the North.

6. Oregon State University

Beaver fans’ happiness was short-lived after last week’s win, as Oregon State lost 37-35 to University of Nevada. Junior quarterback Jake Luton had a workman-like performance, passing for 284 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but couldn’t keep up with the offensive fireworks the Beavers’ defense failed to prevent.

OSU allowed 540 total yards, including 459 through the air. The Beavers remain firmly in the basement of the North and will need some serious good fortune to find a conference win.

Their best chance at a Pac-12 win likely comes this weekend, when OSU plays host to the University of Arizona Wildcats on Saturday.