This weekend’s most significant development in Pac-12 football occurred far from the conference’s footprint.
Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M pushed Oregon to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 and, more important, positioned the Ducks for a national championship opportunity.
That development sets up an interesting three-week stretch for Oregon in the Pac-12 North, beginning with Saturday’s home game vs. Stanford (6 p.m. MST, ABC). The Ducks then will visit Oregon State and, presumably, host the Pac-12 title game.
In the Pac-12 South, UCLA hosts USC on Saturday (1 p.m. MST, Fox) with the winner claiming the division championship.
The Pac-12’s ranked teams: Oregon (No. 1), Stanford (No. 14), Oregon State (No. 15), UCLA (No. 17) and USC (No. 21).
A review of the weekend’s results:
Arizona 56, Colorado 31
In the absence of quarterback Matt Scott (concussion), Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 366 yards and five touchdowns as the Wildcats became bowl-eligible. Arizona led only 21-17 late in the first half before seizing control. The starting quarterbacks, Arizona’s B.J. Denker and Colorado’s Nick Hirschman, combined to complete 24 of 27 passes for 259 yards.
Stanford 27, Oregon State 23
The big story here was Stanford redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first start as the Cardinal rallied from a 23-14 deficit late in the third quarter. Stanford’s defense held OSU to 312 total yards.
USC 38, Arizona State 17
This was another huge day for USC’s Marqise Lee, who registered 227 yards of receiving and rushing, but the key number was ASU’s 250 total yards against a Trojan defense that had been skewered by Arizona and USC.
Oregon 59, Cal 17
The Ducks started slowly, by their standards, but still delivered their usual production – or better, in the case of quarterback Marcus Mariota, who threw for 377 yards and six touchdowns.
Washington 34, Utah 15
This was a six-point game in the third quarter with Washington punting, but a fumble by Utah’s Charles Henderson enabled the Huskies to take command. Washington went on to dominate the statistics with 437 total yards to Utah’s 188.
UCLA 44, Washington State 36
The Bruins gained only 334 total yards to WSU’s 524, but their 44-14 lead in the third quarter was sufficient. UCLA rushed for only 73 yards, but scored via a blocked field goal return and a fumble return.