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Pac-12 Football: What We Learned from Week 1 Action

What an opening week in Pac-12 Football.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In its quest to become unanimously recognized as the best conference in the nation, the Pac-12 started off the 2015 season with some interesting storylines.


Scooby, where are you?

It wasn't just Scooby Wright III who went down for the Wildcats during the season opener against Texas-San Antonio - cornerback Cam Denson left during the first half and didn't return, too. Nevertheless, without Wright's presence, Arizona's defense struggled as it gave up 525 yards against UTSA, who only returned two starters to their offense.

Wright's injury isn't season-ending, but if he's going to miss any significant amount of time, the Wildcats will need to find a way to cope, quickly.

Arizona State

Not so fast, sweetheart.

National media seemed to unanimously be in agreement ASU was the sleeper team that would emerge as a dominant force out of the conference this year. A crushing defeat to Texas A&M made everyone think twice, as ASU is sent back home with plenty of holes to fix moving forward.


It purrs like a well-oiled machine.

Jared Goff and the rest of the Golden Bears' playmakers dropped 73 in their win over Grambling State. It was the second-most the program has scored since 1937, as Sonny Dykes and Co. gave us a preview of what to expect this season. Let it fly.


Aloha means...goodbye?

Aloha, coach MacIntyre. Colorado didn't look good in a bizarre loss to Hawaii at all. Three winnable non-conference games remain for Colorado ahead of Pac-12 play. They'll need to win each of those in order to have a shot at reaching a bowl game.


Same song, different tune.

Whether it's Chip Kelly or Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota or Vernon Adams, Oregon is still very fast. During their 61-42 win over Eastern Washington, the Ducks ran for 485 yards and six touchdowns, while also throwing for 246 yards and two scores.

However, it's interesting the Ducks gave up 438 yards passing themselves, along with 42 points during a contest where aside from their sprint to a 20-7 lead in the first quarter, they only outscored the Eagles by six points the rest of the way.

Oregon State

Seth Collins has arrived.





Oregon State may be providing us four years of this. Hallelujah for college football being back.


Shades of 2014.

Stanford's offense was nonexistent in its matchup with Northwestern. For Kevin Hogan and the Cardinal, if they're going to challenge Oregon at all for the top spot in the North division, they'll need to turn things around quickly.


Rosen is roses.

It seems as though Jim Mora made the right decision in going with the true freshman at quarterback. UCLA didn't look above-and-beyond impressive, but it's good to know Rosen appears is ready to lead this team and perform.


The kids are alright.

A 55-6 win over Arkansas State isn't what's going to convince anyone the Trojans are back to dominant form, but their consistency on both sides of the ball throughout the entirety of the contest was something worth noting.

The real tests have yet to come, but it's nice to see an almost squeaky clean result.


Cupcake, indeed.

Utah's defense dominated its opener versus Jim Harbaugh's Michigan unit, containing them to just 355 yards while forcing three turnovers (including a pick-six). The Utes regularly controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, as running Devontae Booker (22 car, 69 yards, TD; 7 rec, 55 yards) looked special at times out of the backfield.


Look on the bright side.

The Huskies fell just short against Boise State, but let's look at the positives: freshman quarterback Jake Browning appears coachable with a mild-to-steep learning curve ahead of him, Washington's young defense held its own, and the Huskies managed to only lose by three points despite having seemed to be out of it. On to the next week.

Washington State

We thought you had changed...

Well, at least I sure did. Wazzou's loss to Portland State was puzzling, regardless. Last season they put up three times as many points as they did in this game when they faced the Vikings in 2014. Back to the drawing board for the Cougars.