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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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Pac-12: USC loss jumbles South race

After the first Saturday of the season when all 12 teams played conference games, the Pac-12 was not quite the same.

The league now claims only only Top 25 team, instead of three, and the South division race is now genuinely a four-team competition.

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A closer look at Saturday’s games and their impact:

Arizona 39, USC 36

Even after USC receiver Marqise Lee produced some unworldly numbers, the Trojans are out of the Top 10 and out of the national championship picture with two conference losses. Their upcoming showdown with Oregon also lost a lot of luster. USC now is fighting just to win the South title, which presumably would mean a rematch with Oregon in the conference championship game and a potential Rose Bowl bid.

The Trojans racked up 618 total yards as Lee caught 16 passes for 345 yards, but the Trojans lost five turnovers. Arizona quarterback Matt Scott passed for 369 yards and ran for 100 yards, and the Wildcats held on for a breakthrough victory under coach Rich Rodriguez.

Even with three conference losses, Arizona remains in the South race.

Washington 20, Oregon State 17

The Beavers also fell out of the Top 10 after their first defeat, and now they have a quarterback controversy. Sean Mannion returned after missing two games with a knee injury, but threw four interceptions (two in the fourth quarter) before Cody Vaz replaced him and led a tying touchdown drive. Washington answered with a winning field goal with 1:20 remaining. That’s the second upset for the Huskies, following a September win over Stanford.

UCLA 45, Arizona State 43

Thanks to USC’s loss, both teams remain in contention in the South, but UCLA obviously is in better shape than ASU. The Bruins won via Ka’Imin Fairbairn’s 33-yard field goal as time expired, after ASU had taken the lead on Taylor Kelly’s touchdown pass with 1:20 left. UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin rushed for 164 yards, while ASU posted 535 total yards in the loss. The weekend’s developments set up two very interesting games next Saturday: Arizona at UCLA and ASU at Oregon State.

USC and UCLA are tied for the South lead at 4-2, followed by ASU (3-2) and Arizona (2-3).

Oregon 70, Colorado 14

The Ducks led 56-0 at halftime, scoring touchdowns on all seven possessions, plus a punt return for a score. Thanks to a fumbled kickoff, it was 14-0 before the Buffaloes even ran a play. Oregon rushed for 425 yards.

Utah 49, Cal 27

Utah’s offense finally came to life, although it can claim responsibility for only 28 of those points. Reggie Dunn returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and the Ute defense scored via a fumble return. Utah running back John White topped the 100-yard mark for the first time since the season opener, after gaining 1,519 yards last season. The Utes converted 8 of 13 third-down plays and recorded 344 yards, while moving up slightly to No. 113 in the country in total offense.

Stanford 24, Washington State 17

The Cougars provided more resistance than expected, and actually dominated the statistics. Jeff Tuel passed for 401 yards, but 10 sacks resulted in minus-16 net rushing yards for WSU. Stanford posted only 256 total yards and 13 first downs (to WSU’s 25), but managed to turn that modest production into 24 points.

– Kurt Kragthorpe</

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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