Washington beats Utah 31-24: Huskies Tested in Salt Lake City, Remain Undefeated
The No. 4 Huskies (8-0, 5-0) faced their “biggest threat” so far this season against No. 16 Utah (7-2, 4-2) and came away with a win. Washington is a perfect 8-0 for the first time in 24 years and a 5-0 in conference play for the first time in 19. The road to a perfect regular season is just four games away for the Huskies, and it seems extremely doable for UW. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, the Huskies have an 80.55 percent chance at winning out.
Washington trailed 17-14 midway into the third quarter and gave up 213 rushing yards to the run-hungry Utes. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning had his worst performance of the year throwing for just 186 yards and was picked off for the first time in five weeks against Arizona. The Utes didn’t commit a turnover and possessed the ball six minutes longer than their opponent and still lost the game. The Huskies were truly tested and survived. Washington takes its perfect record to Berkeley next week to face the California Golden Bears (2-3, 4-4) who have yet to lose a game at home this season.
Arizona Without a Win in Pac-12 Play
The Wildcats (2-6, 0-5) have lost five straight games against teams who have either been ranked or were previously ranked this season and travel to No. 25 Washington State (6-2, 5-0) next week to play another frightening opponent. Arizona has went bowling four seasons in a row and needS win out to become bowl eligible.
For the first time since week one, Arizona had their top two QB’s sophomore Brandon Dawkins and junior Anu Solomon back on the field. The Wildcats still put up just 10 points. Dawkins struggled completing just five of 15 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Solomon came in for Dawkins in the third quarter and didn’t complete a pass. The Wildcat offense needs time to regroup and become efficient again. The good news for UA is they have time. None of its quarterbacks will graduate this season and impressive running back Nick Wilson will be back for his senior year.
Oregon’s Future Looks Bright With Rookie QB
True freshman quarterback Justin Herbert has blown the minds Duck fans and might just be the perfect piece to turn around Oregon’s season. He broke the school-record for the most total yards in a game (512) against the Sun Devils, and the Ducks have put up 103 points in their last two games in Herbert’s second and third starts.
Last season, Oregon began 3-3. Then the Ducks won their last six regular season games in a row to earn a trip to the Alamo Bowl. This season, at 3-5, the Ducks may still have enough fire power to launch themselves into postseason. With such an explosive quarterback, Oregon’s offense has become more balanced, but still just as effective on the run. Sophomore Tony Brooks-James has emerged as the top running back on the Ducks with 572 yards and eight touchdowns on the run. Brooks-James has managed two 100-yard rush games in a row with a TD in each. Oregon should give USC’s defense a battle with its newly assured offense.
Pac-12 in the Rankings
The week 9 College Football Playoff rankings are not released until Tuesday, Nov. 1, but four Pac-12 teams placed in the AP top 25, and one other received votes. No. 4 Washington, No. 16 Utah, No. 21 Colorado and No. 25 are all ranked. USC just missed the polls after a 45-24 ensuring victory over California on Thursday night. The Trojans rank at No. 27 as they received 40 votes.
No. 4 Washington – The Huskies had trouble in Utah as they won by only a punt returned touchdown. Playing at California on ESPN this Saturday will determine whether Washington is full of true road warriors or not.
No. 16 Utah – The Utes actually bumped a spot up in the rankings after losing their second contest of the season. Senior running back Joe Williams is on a tear running for over 170 yards in each of his last three games. Utah should surge in the rankings if they stay hot against Arizona State and Oregon.
No. 21 Colorado – Fresh off a bye week, the Buffaloes jumped two spots in the Pac-12 rankings and currently sit at first place in the Pac-12 South. Colorado is favored by ESPN an average of 74.88 percent at winning its last four games this season and begin its four game stretch a home game against a struggling UCLA.
No. 25 Washington State – Finally the Cougars have cracked into the top 25 as they’ve maintained a perfect 5-0 Pac-12 record. Washington State did have trouble on the road at Oregon State, but look to make a statement win at home against Arizona this Saturday.
Pac-12 Standings: click here
Ap Top 25: click here