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Pac-12 Football: What we learned in Week 9

What did we learn about the Pac-12 in Week 9?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 continues to settle itself out, but not without drama along the way. Here's what we learned about the 12 teams in Week 9.

Arizona Wildcats (5-4, 2-4 in Pac-12)

Mission Impossible II?

A 49-3 loss at the hands of Washington sends the Wildcats to a 5-4 record. After winning the Pac-12 South last season, the program would need a miracle of epic proportions to claim the division.

Arizona State Sun Devils (4-4, 2-3)

It takes two to make a thing go right.

The offense finally showed up for the Sun Devils in Week 9. The problem was that the defense wasn't able to stave off a furious Oregon offensive attack, giving way very late in the contest. We'll see if ASU can finish the year off strong.

California Golden Bears (5-3, 2-3)

Bear crawling.

Cal's loss to USC pits them in an unfavorable position as far as winning the North is concerned. Turnovers have plagued the Golden Bears' pass-happy offense, and unless they find a way to turn it around, they won't be in the mix for the North much longer.

Colorado Buffaloes (4-5, 1-4)

Watch your step.

The Buffs are considered to be the closest thing to a sure win for Pac-12 foes, but on Saturday, the UCLA Bruins struggled to pull away until very late. Colorado displayed signs of what they hope is to come in the future under Mike Macintyre, and despite the loss the contest should be considered a moral victory.

Oregon Ducks (5-3, 3-2)

The result is all that matters.

The Ducks managed to get off to a quick start, then climb back into the game at the end of regulation before winning against the Sun Devils in triple overtime. Oregon's season has very much been a disappointment, but this is exactly how the Ducks would have liked to come out of their bye week and begin the close of the year.

Oregon State Beavers (2-6, 0-5)

Hang on in there.

The Beavers entered the game as 24-point underdogs, but only fell by two possessions against Utah. Their other freshman quarterback, Nick Mitchell, was thrown into the line of fire in place of Seth Collins and did well. Clearly, Gary Andersen's team is still figuring things out, but there's positives to take away from the loss.

No. 9 Stanford Cardinal (7-1, 6-0)

Maybe it's destiny.

The Cardinal managed to fend off Washington State, but the near-loss reminds us that Stanford is capable of poor performances despite their hot run. Still undefeated and with only one loss on its record, is it destiny for Stanford?

No. 22 UCLA Bruins (6-2, 3-2)

Staying alive.

The Bruins control their own destiny in the South, should they win out. Colorado almost put an end to their hopes of claiming the conference title, but the team showed the resolve that you'd expect out of a potential conference winner.

USC Trojans (5-3, 3-2)

The Trojans are coming.

The Trojans are now 1-1 since Clay Helton took over as the interim head coach. JuJu Smith-Schuster's hand injury is concerning, but it seems as though USC is beginning to find some rhythm as they topped Cal on the road.

No. 13 Utah Utes (7-1, 4-1)

Sitting pretty.

With USC and UCLA on its heels, Utah was able to rebound from a loss to the Trojans with a comfortable win over Oregon State. The Utes remain top in the South for now, but they'll need to find the form they held throughout the early going of the season if they plan on winning the Pac-12.

Washington Huskies (4-4, 2-3)

Defense wins championships.

Washington's defense held Arizona to just three points. Three. The defense will make this team a viable threat in the Pac-12 over the next couple years, and if it can get performances from Jake Browning (4 TD) like it did on Saturday, watch out.

Washington State Cougars (5-3, 3-2)

A bitter demise.

The Cougars almost had it. With so much on the line, you never want to see a kicker miss a field goal in the closing seconds, but they're not out of the mix just yet. Stanford looked vulnerable throughout the game, and if they slip along the way and Wazzu can rebound, things can get very interesting.