The Pac-12 went 7-5 during the opening weekend of the college football season, but found its footing in Week 2. The real brute of the schedule—conference play—has yet to commence, but multiple teams from the conference found some wins (and some losses) tough to come by.
Run away fast as you can.
Last weekend, the Wildcats found it difficult to pull away from UTSA, but didn't allow that narrative to play any factor into the final result of this week's 44-20 win over Nevada. Nick Wilson ran wild, finishing with 194 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carriers. Arizona went on to outscore the Wolfpack 23-7 in the second half, allowing only 327 yards over the course of the contest. Looks they weren't missing Scooby too much.
At the end of the day, you only have to win by one point, but my goodness. ASU's 35-21 win over FCS Cal Poly was a matchup most expected to be a blowout that entered the final quarter tied at 21. It's clear the Sun Devils still need to find their footing moving forward, but if the loss to Texas A&M to open the year wasn't enough, this is certainly a very loud wake up call.
Stay golden, Sonny.
The Golden Bears trailed San Diego State 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Golden Bears won the game 35-7. Jared Goff once again had a good showing, tossing for 321 yards on just 17 completions, as well as three touchdowns against one interception. It's early, but I'll say it again—Cal may be the team to watch out of the North this year.
Up and running.
The Buffaloes had two 100-yard rushers and four different players run for a touchdown (five total) against Massachusetts on Saturday. In the process, Colorado jumped out to a 31-14 lead by half time and didn't look back. If they win next week against in-state rival Colorado State, Colorado will have a winning record for the first time since 2013, when the team started the campaign 2-1.
You can replace Mariota...until you can't replace Mariota.
Last week, Vernon Adams Jr. seemed to be capable of heading the Ducks offense this season. While any expectation for him to replicate the success of his predecessor Marcus Mariota is unfair, the expectation for him to operate it in an efficient way is just. Unfortunately for Oregon, the inefficiency is what cost them a win against No. 5 Michigan State in East Lansing. Time will only tell if this will remain an issue moving forward.
Some things weren't meant to be.
It was interesting when Oregon State managed to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead in the Big House on Saturday. The Beavers had the 100,000-plus crowd wondering if Michigan would once again fall to a Pac-12 opponent, but that soon changed as talent began to further influence the result. Gary Andersen's unit was eventually outmatched, but this is a young team. Its better days, and seasons, are ahead.
Oh, it's so nice of you to join us!
The Cardinal followed up their dud against Northwestern with a great performance over the weekend. Interestingly enough, it was the passing game led by Kevin Hogan (341 yards, 3 TD) that carried Stanford to victory, and it was one of total dominance. If they can maintain this form through conference play, they may be contending for the top of the North this season (as some of us expected) after all.
Man, do they look good.
Josh Rosen. Paul Perkins. Myles Jack. Deon Hollins. This is a team that lost arguably its best defensive lineman to a torn ACL last weekend but the Bruins looked as though they haven't lost a single step. Yes, it's early. But the Bruins are looking like the best challenger to top USC in the South to this point, and again, it's very early.
The Trojans beat Idaho 59-9 at home on Saturday. Sophomore JuJu Smith-Schuster came away with 10 receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns, as the Trojans won their second game of the year in yet another blowout. This team is talented, and if you're into blowouts or a fan of the program, it's enjoyable. However, until they are faced with an opponent that isn't so feasible, we'll put the hype train on pause.
War doesn't leave most unscathed.
Utah came out with a win over in-state rival Utah State. Unfortunately for the Utes, they lost a notable participant as quarterback Travis Wilson left early from the game due to a left shoulder that is expected to sideline him until at least September 26, when Utah heads to Eugene to take on Oregon. Until then, the Utes will be heavily reliant upon running back Devontae Booker, who at times can resemble a one man army like he did against the Aggies (120 yards, 1 TD).
The other other true freshman starting at quarterback in the Pac-12.
You are familiar with Josh Rosen (UCLA) and probably saw Seth Collins' (Oregon State) highlight hurdle last week, but if you don't know who Washington's Jake Browning is, then you're out of the loop. He weathered the storm in his first start against Boise State in the opener, but against Sacramento State he was fully locked in en route to completing 17-of-24 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns.
Better late than never.
The Cougars bounced back from last week's loss to Portland State with a very exciting victory over Rutgers. Through the first three quarters, Wazzou led 20-12, but in the fourth quarter alone the two teams combined for 39 points. Quarterback Luke Falk found receiver River Cracraft on an 8-yard pass with 13 seconds left in the game to give the Cougars the win, and the Pac-12's lone victory over a Power 5 conference team in Week 2.