Even though only eight of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 were in action this weekend, the four games left the viewing audience satisfied. One team continued to build on its strong run, a top-ten team fell in a thrilling upset, a near upset was decided by less than seven points, and another matchup wasn't put away until the final quarter. Here's what we learned about the Pac-12 this week.
We need Anu, too.
Already without Scooby Wright III, the Wildcats had been heavily reliant upon the play of quarterback Anu Solomon through the early going this season. Solomon was forced to miss Arizona's game against Stanford due to a concussion. The Cardinal proceeded to win 55-17. It's apparent how important Solomon and Wright are to this team finding success.
It never rains in Southern California.
Last season, UCLA came into Tempe and hammered ASU 62-27. The Sun Devils followed that with a 38-34 win over then-No. 16 USC in Los Angeles. This season, the Sun Devils were throttled 42-14 by USC at home. They have followed up that performance that with a 38-23 win over No. 7 UCLA in Pasadena. The Sun Devils have overcome a brutal loss and turned their season around before. Can they do it again?
No. 23 California Golden Bears
Another close call.
The Golden Bears have now won each of their last three games by one-possession. While it's good for California to demonstrate their ability to win in close contests, it is concerning they've had trouble putting away the likes of Texas, Washington and Washington State more comfortably. Their matchup with No. 5 Utah this week will be very telling.
The Buffaloes are arguably the least feared team in the entire conference. With that said, they aren't going to allow the other 11 teams in the league to just push them around. The Buffaloes gave Oregon everything it could handle through the first half of the game, finishing the first two quarters tied at 17. Who knows when and who, but Colorado may be able to upset a conference foe this season.
Who's your quarterback?
The Ducks had three different players throw a pass against Colorado on Saturday: Jeff Lockie (8-of-11, 54 yards, INT), Taylor Allie (4-of-9, 83 yards, TD) and Bralon Addison (1-of-1, 39 yards, TD). With Vernon Adams Jr. still healing up, Mark Helfrich has said he's open to platooning his quarterbacks, but how much longer can the Ducks find success utilizing a dual signal-caller offense?
The Beavers suffered two tough losses to two currently-ranked teams (Michigan, Stanford) before getting a break last week. Player attitudes and conduct gets some time to be addressed, and a budding group gets the chance to rebound against a reeling Arizona team this week.
No. 16 Stanford Cardinal
On a roll.
Granted, Arizona was without its starting quarterback and best defensive player, but the Cardinal still managed to tear apart Arizona with ease. Have they done enough to prove that they're the best team in the North amidst a four-game winning streak?
No. 20 UCLA Bruins
Too much to handle.
The Sun Devils made a mess of the Bruins' title hopes at the Rose Bowl this weekend. Injuries to linebacker Myles Jack, defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, and defensive back Fabain Moreau were evident as the ASU offense had its way with UCLA on its home field. Their absences caught up, but it will be interesting to see what type of resolve this group can display considering they're still a very talented team.
No. 18 USC Trojans
The Trojans' blowout win over the Sun Devils two weeks ago was exactly what the team needed to regain its confidence. With a matchup against Washington ahead of them, they'll need to build on the momentum gained from their big win to reestablish themselves as a national contender.
No. 5 Utah Utes
Hop, skip and a jump.
After an off week, the Utes find themselves having ascended all the way up to No. 5 in the latest AP Poll. Their first test as a top-five team will come this Saturday against Cal. They've had their way against one offensive-oriented team already (see: Oregon), but if Utah can once again dominate against a ranked conference foe, there will be no doubt regarding their standing in the polls.
The quiet before the storm...
The Huskies will face the USC Trojans this week, as Washington will travel to take on its former head coach. Considering the way the Huskies have battled against Boise State and California this year (each loss was by six points or less), it wouldn't be outrageous to think that they'll come prepared to battle against the Trojans.
The Cougars fell short for the second year in a row against the Golden Bears. With that on the back of their minds, they'll prepare to take on an Oregon team that they match up with much better than they probably have in previous seasons.