Pac-12 Power Rankings

Half of Pac-12 is undefeated, Cougars jump Huskies

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Pac-12 Power Rankings

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen columnist

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  1.       (11) Utah (2-0, Last: 2)

A convincing 35-17 win over Northern Illinois and a UW collapse, move the Utes into the top spot in the conference. Quarterback Tyler Huntley was efficient in the win, passing for 214 yards and a score on 14 completions. Utah hosts Idaho State next week to conclude their nonconference slate.

  1.       (20) Washington State (2-0, Last: 3)

Air Gordon continues his assault on area defenses, cruising the Cougars past the Northern Colorado Bears 59-17. Gordon passed for 464 yards and four scores, completing just shy of 80 percent of his passes. WSU’s run defense is a concern, however, and must be addressed before conference play.

  1.       (15) Oregon (1-1, Last: 4)

Holy Herbert! The veteran signal-caller led his team to a crushing 77-6 victory over the Nevada Wolfpack, passing for 310 yards and five scores on only 26 pass attempts. The Duck defense held Nevada to 109 passing yards. Ten different Ducks found their way to the end zone. Oregon hosts Montana and will look for another dominant victory.

  1.       California (2-0, Last: 8)

The Bears are back! Cal braves the Seattle thunderstorms to defeat the Huskies 20-19. California collected almost 200 rushing yards and forced two turnovers to pull off a result that maybe shouldn’t be considered an upset. The Golden Bears are contenders for the Pac-12 crown and will look to tune up their passing game against North Texas next week.

  1.       (24) Southern California (2-0, Last: 9)

What a week for the Trojans. A week after losing J. T. Daniels to a season-ending knee injury, backup quarterback Kedon Slovis absolutely crushes a K. J. Costello-less Stanford team 45-20 in the Coliseum. USC’s defense held Stanford to under 100 rushing yards in the contest. The road gets significantly harder for USC the next four weeks, starting next week with a date with Brigham Young.

  1.       (23) Washington (1-1, Last: 1)

Cal handed a disastrous 20-19 loss to the Huskies in a weather-delayed contest. Jacob Eason had a rough outing, passing for only 162 yards and a pick. Washington is 0-1 in conference play and are behind the eight ball in a big way for the North crown. UW needs to do some soul searching in next week’s game against Hawaii.

  1.       Colorado (2-0, Last: 6)

Another great result for the Pac-12 came in The Rockies where Colorado knocked off then-No. 25 Nebraska 34-31 in overtime. Colorado outscored the Cornhuskers 24-14 in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where Colorado kicker James Stefanou banged in a 34-yard game-winner. The Buffs aerial attack led by Steven Montez was dynamic, accounting for 375 yards and two scores, including a 96-yard bomb to K. D. Nixon. Colorado takes on the always dangerous Air Force next week.

  1.       Stanford (1-1, Last: 5)

K. J. Costello proved his value on Saturday when his team lost 45-20 to a USC team playing a backup quarterback. Stanford was rudderless without their senior signal-caller, gaining only 237 yards through the air. If Costello misses another conference game, the Cardinals will not win the Pac-12. Stanford head to Florida next week to take on No. 17 UCF.

  1.       Oregon State (0-2, Last: 10)

The Beavs drop a heartbreaking 31-28 loss to Hawaii in Honolulu. Quarterback Jake Luton struggled, passing for only 169 yards and a score while completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes. Running back Jermar Jefferson had a night, rushing for 183 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, but it wasn’t enough. The Beavers host Cal Poly as they look for their first win of the 2019 campaign.

  1.   Arizona (1-1, Last: 11)

The Wildcats collected an ugly 65-41 win over Northern Arizona University. Arizona played two quarterbacks who combined for 289 passing yards and five touchdowns while their offense collected 720 total yards. U of A’s defense couldn’t stop anything, allowing 442 total scrimmage yards and 28 second-half points to a Big Sky opponent. The Wildcats won’t win many games without improvement on the defensive end.

  1.   Arizona State (2-0, Last: 7)

ASU refuses to play a good game, drifting to a 19-7 win over Sacramento State. Until a 72-yard passing touchdown with just under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Arizona State only led this ball game 12-7. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels found himself a 304-yard passing game, but his offense needs to improve markedly to avoid embarrassment in conference play. The Sun Devils head to East Lansing to take on No. 18 Michigan State next week.

  1.   UCLA (0-2, Last: 12)

Another week, another disappointing loss for Chip Kelly’s Bruins. UCLA dropped a 23-14 result in the Rose Bowl to a quality San Diego State squad. Dorian Thompson-Robinson failed to eclipse 200 passing yards for the second consecutive week, and the ground game only picked up 62-yards. UCLA is the clear-cut worst team in the conference, and Chip Kelly might be looking for work in a few weeks if things don’t turn around in north LA.

This article has been updated to correct Ann Arbor to East Lansing in Arizona State’s ranking.