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Pac-12 Football: Week Five in Review

Here’s exactly what you need to know about what went down in week five of Pac-12 college football.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Washington
Washington Huskies defensive back #26 Sydney Jones celebrates with the students on the field at Husky Stadium after a 44-6 win over Stanford
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON, THE NEW KING OF THE PAC-12

Now, No. 5 Washington looks like a national championship team. The Huskies obliterated Stanford, last season’s Rose Bowl champion, 44-6.

With two Cardinal starting cornerbacks injured, Washington was predicted to dominate in the air, but they took command on the ground instead. The Huskies combined for 214 rushing yards compared to Stanford’s 29 total. Sophomore Jake Browning threw for three touchdowns without a pick and sophomore Myles Gaskin earned his first 100-yard game of the season and had two touchdowns.

The loss was embarrassing for Stanford. Before Friday night, the Cardinal hadn’t given up more than a touchdown. In this game alone, they gave up six. Star junior running back Christian McCaffrey was held to just 49 yards and left Seattle without a touchdown. The total is McCaffrey’s lowest in a game since Dec. 30, 2014. Also, McCaffrey still has yet to score a touchdown in a Stanford uniform in a true away game.

Being a top-five team, the Huskies will have to earn every win with the entire nation’s eyes on them, starting with next week on the road at Oregon.

USC’s QB SWITCH IS A HUGE SUCCESS

He’s just a freshman and has started only two games, but looks like the perfect fit for the Trojans who desperately needed someone to step up and win games.

Sam Darnold embarrassed the Sun Devils secondary as he ignited the offense with 352 passing yards and three touchdowns. The three scores were all caught by junior wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster who connected with Darnold for 123 yards. He’s a big quarterback at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, but he can maneuver around linebackers with no problem. Darnold has yet to be sacked this season and was barely touched by the Sun Devil defense.

USC hits the road next week against No. 21 Colorado to take on their fourth ranked team this season.

Arizona State v USC
#14 quarterback Sam Darnold of the USC Trojans escapes defensive pressure
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

BIGGEST SURPRISE: WASHINGTON STATE... RUNNING THE BALL?

The Cougars, usually known for their passing offense, outran the No. 1 rushing offense in the Pac-12, Oregon.

Junior Luke Falk blew up in the passing game as he completed 75 percent of his passes for 371 yards and a touchdown. The run game lit up for the cougars collectively as they carried the ball for 280 yards and six touchdowns. If Washington State could have an offense this proactive all season, they can seriously compete with the rest of the Pac-12 North.

Washington State may be 2-2, but they’re 1-0 in Pac-12 play and still have plenty of time around their season. It should be a tough test for the Cougars next weekend against the No. 15 Stanford Cardinal.

Oregon v Washington State
James Williams #32 of the Washington State Cougars carries the ball
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

FOUR TEAMS FROM THE PAC-12 IN THE AP TOP-25

The Pac-12 finally seems to be earning its respect after the fifth week of college football. Seven teams in the Pac- 12 have been ranked this season and now four stand in top-25. Three teams received votes including UCLA (56), Arizona State (4) and California (3).

No. 21 Colorado jumped into the rankings and look like a complete football team. The Buffaloes’ freshman quarterback Steven Montez has combined for 626 passing yards at six total touchdowns in his first two starts.

No. 24 Utah dropped six spots from No. 18 after a 28-23 road loss to California. The Utes play at home against Arizona next week and should win easily. Defensively, Utah is among the best in the Pac-12 as they held the Golden Bears to their lowest scoring game all season.

No. 5 Washington did everything right on Friday night to move up five spots. On defense, Washington held McCaffrey to his worst game in two seasons, and looked strong on offense as they put 44 points on the fifth-best defense in the Pac-12.

No. 15 Stanford did not look like themselves in Seattle as they dropped nine spots down in the rankings. The Cardinal will show if they can turn things around next week against Washington State who just came off of their best offensive performance of the year.