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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Weekend Pac-12 roundup: Three upsets provide surge

Pac-12 teams fell into only two camps this week: the overachievers and the underperformers, those who either lost by unexpectedly large margins or — and this only applies in the hyperattentive spectrum of college football — not dominating by enough.

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The Pac-12 went 9-3 this weekend, a remarkable performance consdiering seven teams played opponents from power conferences. UCLA and Arizona sneaked into the AP Top 25 after their wins over ranked Nebraska and Oklahoma State, and Oregon State went from being considered one of the worst teams in the conference to receiving votes.

Arizona rose to No. 24, while UCLA debuted at No. 22. Of note to Utah fans, BYU check into the Top 25 at No. 25 after season-opening wins against Washington State and Weber State.

It was a week of upsets, as we all know by now. From the Utes playing horribly (and potentially losing their quarterback) and losing in overtime to Utah State, to Colorado becoming the second Pac-12 team in two years to lose to FCS Sacramento State.

Here's how they went down:

Utah State 27, Utah 20

Logan — The Utes, who lost to the Utah State Aggies 27-20 in front of 25,513 at Romney Stadium Friday, lost more than a game. They lost their quarterback, they lost state bragging rights and, thanks to a nationally televised broadcast, they lost national respect. — The Salt Lake Tribune

Oregon State 10, Wisconsin 7

Corvallis, Ore. — Well, that was unexpected.

Before examining Oregon State’s shocking 10-7 win over No. 13 Wisconsin, sophomore linebacker D.J. Welch would like to make one thing clear: That game was for Fred Thompson.

Thompson is the Beavers’ late defensive tackle, a should-be sophomore who died on Dec. 7 of a heart attack while playing pick up basketball on campus, a loss that stunned the Oregon State football program.The Oregonian

California 50, Southern Utah 31

Berkeley, Calif. — On the heels of a season-opening loss to Nevada, the Bears had to scramble a bit to avoid their first 0-2 start in 11 seasons under coach Jeff Tedford, scoring 30 points in a frenetic fourth quarter. — San Jose Mercury News

Sacramento State 30, Colorado 28

Boulder, Colo —There are still 10 games left in the 2012 season. That seems like cruel and unusual punishment for everyone who follows this program.

It's certainly an awful lot of bad reality television for the Pac-12 Network to fill time with. Dish Network customers, you've been warned. Embree held a meeting with his staff following his postgame press conference. There was plenty to discuss. Like burning this thing to the ground and starting over. Boulder Daily Camera

Washington State 24, Eastern Washington 20

Pullman, Wash. — Mike Leach talks about "clusters," the idea that good football teams follow a positive development on offense with another one on defense, or maybe a big return or blocked punt on special teams.

It was very nearly a cluster here Saturday for his Washington State football team, which took all of Eastern Washington's best shots in a 24-20 victory, Leach's first at the school.

In fact, the game ended in pulsating fashion, with a gaggle of players in the end zone — there's your cluster, coach — leaping for the "Big Ben" pass of Eastern's Kyle Padron, the throw from the WSU 32 that was going to visit all sorts of dire judgments on the Cougars if it came down in the right hands. — The Seattle Times

No. 2 USC 42, Syracuse 29

East Rutherford, N.J. — Turns out playing this game 10miles from New York City was appropriate because USC delivered an off-Broadway performance Saturday night.

The No. 2-ranked Trojans defeated Syracuse 42-29 in front of a small crowd of 39,507 at MetLife Stadium with little of their usual swagger, a close-to-the-vest gameplan and a few nervous moments that were unexpected for 26-point favorites.Los Angeles Daily News

No. 4 Oregon 42, Fresno State 25

Eugene, Ore. — That dazzling, dashing Oregon offense is human after all.

The Ducks won’t score every time they touch the ball, as it turns out. They will have to punt a few times. And they will need to fight and claw for tough yards, not just slash their way through opposing defenses with abandon.Eugene Register-Guard

No. 3 LSU 41, Washington 3

Baton Route, La. — For the span of about a minute, the Washington Huskies looked like they were capable of playing with the No. 3 LSU Tigers.

A big fumble recovery by the Huskies on the opening kickoff led to a field goal but that turned out to be Washington’s only points of the game.

Nothing good followed after that fleeting moment.— Tacoma News-Tribune

UCLA 36, No. 16 Nebraska 30

Pasadena, Calif. — UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley took the last snap, fell on his back, got up and hobbled off the field, never once letting go of the football.

That was a keepsake.

This wasn't like beating Rice. It was so much better for UCLA. — Los Angeles Times

Arizona State 45, Illinois 14

Tempe, Ariz. — In the Aug. 30 season opener, you could point to the opponent. Northern Arizona, a lower-division opponent, couldn't keep up with Arizona State, not in any phase.

Saturday night also came with an asterisk: Illinois took the field at Sun Devil Stadium without starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, out because of an ankle injury, a setback that no doubt played a role in the outcome.

BUt through two games, those are the only two thoughts that can chip away at a surprising conclusion: The Todd Graham era is off to an eye-raising start in the desert. — Arizona Republic

Arizona 59, No. 18 Oklahoma State 38

Tucson, Ariz. — It wasn't a rallying cry, really. More like a reminder.

As Oklahoma State took a two-score lead early Saturday, Arizona Wildcats fans almost certainly had déjà vu. After all, remember the Alamo Bowl?

Thirty unanswered points and six consecutive defensive stops later, the Wildcats faithful had a reason to root for a blowout: Remember the Alamo Bowl! Arizona Daily Star

No. 25 Stanford 50, Duke 13

Palo Alto, Calif. — The Cardinal (2-0) needed just 67 seconds to take the lead and kept the pressure on the Blue Devils (1-1) before an announced crowd of 44,016 at Stanford Stadium. The impressive all-around effort -- Stanford scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams -- was worthy of the Andrew Luck era, when the Cardinal pummeled second-rate opponents.San Jose Mercury News

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» UA football: On Gilbert, D-line and facing Cal
» UA football: On Gilbert, D-line and facing Cal
» Wildcats: Highlights from UA's Week 3 win
» UA football: Should Arizona schedule harder nonconference games?

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU soccer wins its sixth consecutive match
» Colorado State volleyball holds off ASU
» Following ASU coaches on the recruiting trail
» ASU football practice report from Thursday

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Fact box: Cal at Arizona
» Cal finds out Saturday if 2-0 start is for real
» Jeff Tedford's recruits finding delayed success at Cal
» Sonny Dykes: Cal's confidence rooted in hard work

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Jameis Winston: Florida State suspends quarterback for entire game against Clemson
» Why the Washington State Cougars can stop the Oregon Ducks: What they're saying in Washington
» Pharaoh Brown takes the reins in Oregon Ducks' tight end race

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Huskies win a top-five thriller
» UW women's soccer prevails
» Huskies play 'em one game at a time — because they have to
» UW GameDay

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Chiefs set to open WHL season at Tri-City again
» Gonzaga Prep defeats Mead 28-14
» Week four Pac-12 picks
» Just tell me who won



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