The Pac-12 lost two of its six teams from the AP Top 25, as announced Sunday. The irony is that a couple of Saturday's results showed the league has more depth - not less.
Cal knocked UCLA out of the Top 25 and Arizona, still winless in league play, held a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter at Stanford before losing in overtime. Oregon's rout of then-No. 23 Washington, meanwhile, reminded us that there's still a big gap from the top tier to the middle tier.
The conference's ranked teams: Oregon No. 2, Oregon State No. 10, USC No. 11, Stanford No. 17. Washington and UCLA dropped out. A further review of Saturday's play:
Oregon 52, Washington 21
I'll credit myself for not pronouncing Washington's defense completely cured before facing Oregon. The Huskies fell from 21st to 38th in the country in total defense after allowing 497 yards to Oregon, including 299 rushing yards. The Ducks were consistent on the ground, breaking only one run of more than 20 yards, but averaging 5.8 yards.
Oregon led 35-7 at halftime, thanks partly to Avery Patterson's 43-yard interception return for a touchdown - one of Washington's five turnovers. Marcus Mariota passed for 198 yards and four touchdowns.
My favorite statistic: Oregon's 24:42 time of possession to Washington's 35:18.
Stanford 54, Arizona 48 (OT)
Some folks might see this score and figure it was inflated by overtime, but it was 48-48 after regulation. Arizona led 14-13 at halftime before the offenses went wild, ending up with exactly 617 total yards each.
Arizona had a great shot at an upset, leading 48-34 in the middle of the fourth quarter, but allowed Stanford to drive 60 and 79 yards for touchdowns, with an empty offensive possession in between. The Wildcats still posted some astounding numbers against the Stanford defense that held USC to 14 points. Arizona recorded 38 first downs and Matt Scott completed 45 of 69 passes for 491 yards. The Cardinal's Josh Nunes passed for 360 yards and accounted for five
touchdowns via running and passing.
Cal 43, UCLA 17
This result was deflating for a UCLA offense that formerly led the Pac-12 in total offense, while showing that Cal - and coach Jeff Tedford - are not finished. Cal recorded 481 total yards. A week after going 9 for 28 against Arizona State, Cal quarterback Zach Maynard completed 25 of 30 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns.
UCLA, which hosts Utah on Saturday, lost six turnovers. Brett Hundley passed for 285 yards, but was intercepted four times and was held to 7 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Oregon State 19, Washington State 6
For comparison's sake, going into Saturday's BYU-OSU game in Provo, consider that Mike Leach's WSU offense managed only two field goals against each team. OSU held WSU to 227 total yards and picked off four passes - including three in the first half, resulting in the benching of quarterback Connor Halliday. Jeff Tuel played marginally better, but also threw an interception. The Beavers' Sean Mannion passed for 270 yards, but threw three interceptions himself. The Beavers will take a Top 10 ranking into at least the first leg of a two-game package against BYU and Utah.
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