Week 10 Pac-12 North power rankings

Stanford tumbles with a loss in Seattle, while Cougars stay top dog

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Week 10 Pac-12 North power rankings




SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen columnist

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1. No. 8 WSU [No. 10 AP] (Last: 1)

WSU fought the Cal Golden Bears, clawing out a 19-13 win in a misty Martin Stadium.

The Cougs’ offense was held to a season-worst 19 points, but that didn’t stop quarterback Gardner Minshew II from recording over 300 passing yards for the ninth-straight game. He still leads the nation in passing yards and is the only quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in every game this season. Minshew threw for 334 yards, while the ground game contributed an additional 79 yards.

The WSU defense held strong, allowing only 291 total yards and picking off Cal quarterbacks two times. However, WSU’s defense was once again plagued by penalties, committing seven for 80 yards.

The officials in the Pac-12 continue to enforce penalties inconsistently, and WSU was once again reminded of how targeting should be officiated when sophomore linebacker Dominick Silvels was ejected in the second quarter.

WSU (8-1, 5-1) finish its slate of road games with a trip to Boulder to play University of Colorado on Saturday.

2. University of Washington [No. 20 AP] (Last week: 3)

The Huskies got back on track, holding on to defeat Stanford 27-23. UW got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 21-0 halftime lead. Senior quarterback Jake Browning and his offense were efficient, with Browning passing for 194 yards and a touchdown.

Efficiency was the name of the game for the Huskies, as UW scored 27 points on only 371 yards of total offense. Senior running back Myles Gaskin had a huge game, running for 148 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

The Huskies’ defense allowed 23 points and 424 yards but did just enough to hold the Cardinal at bay. Despite forcing only three punts, UW intercepted Stanford junior quarterback KJ Costello three times while holding senior running back Bryce Love to only 71 rushing yards.

University of Washington (7-3, 5-2) takes its bye next week.

3. University of California, Berkeley (Last week: 4)

The Golden Bears put WSU on upset alert but couldn’t close as they fell to the Cougars 19-13. Cal took an early 7-3 lead before tying the game at 10-10 and 13-13, but ultimately couldn’t keep up with the WSU offense.

Cal’s combined for 179 passing yards while the ground game accumulated 112 rushing yards. However, the Golden Bears couldn’t score late as their last scoring drive came with two minutes to go in the third quarter.

Despite allowing over 400 yards of total offense, Cal successfully shut down Head Coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense for the first time all season to hold the Cougars to 19 points, the first time the unit failed to score over 20 points. Cal’s defense picked off Minshew to set up a scoring drive and sacked the WSU signal caller for only the seventh time this season.

The defense ran out of gas on the final drive, however, as WSU drove the length of the field to take a 19-13 lead with 32 seconds to play.

Cal (5-4, 2-4) travels to face University of Southern California on Saturday in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

4. University of Oregon (Last week: 5)

Oregon got back on track in Eugene, vanquishing the UCLA Bruins 42-21.

The Ducks opened the game with a punt return touchdown, the start of a 21-0 run to open the game. Junior quarterback Justin Herbert and his offense were humming all night. Herbert threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns while his running backs scored three times. Oregon put up 492 yards of total offense and a cool 200 yards on the ground, completing a dominant win.

Oregon’s defense held strong, allowing only seven first-half points and protecting what was always at least a 14-point lead in the second half. The Ducks allowed 496 total yards, but three takeaways turned the tide in favor of the home team.

Oregon (6-3, 3-3) travels to University of Utah on Saturday.

5. Stanford University (Last week: 2)

Stanford’s late rally falls just short as they lost to Washington 27-23

Despite putting up 424 yards of offense, Stanford failed to capture any points until the game was well out of hand. Costello had a nightmare of a game, throwing three interceptions. Running back Bryce Love continues to struggle as well, contributing only 71 yards on the ground in this contest.

The Cardinal defense couldn’t stop the Huskies’ offense until the second half, allowing 21 first-half points. Browning threw for 194 yards and a touchdown, while Gaskin had his best game of the season against Stanford’s run defense, carrying the ball 28 times for 148 yards and a touchdown.

Stanford (5-4, 3-3) hosts Oregon State in a get-right game on Saturday.

6. Oregon State University (Last week: 6)

Oregon State continued its disappointing season on Saturday, falling to USC 38-21 at home.

The Beavers’ running game was anemic as the team combined for only 31 rushing yards. Senior quarterback Jake Luton threw for 301 yards and a touchdown, but the offense went cold in the second half and scored only once.

OSU’s run defense was awful, allowing 332 rushing yards and 509 total yards of SC offense. The Trojans couldn’t be stopped all night, scoring 21 first-half points and 17 second-half points. The Beaver’s defense was able to force a single takeaway, but it wasn’t enough.

Oregon State (2-7, 1-5) travels to Palo Alto to play Stanford on Saturday.