We are officially halfway through the 2017-18 campaign, so let’s take a look at how the Pac-12 conference shook up during week six.
Washington State won its first road game
Quarterback Luke Falk led his team to a 33-10 victory in Eugene after ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gave Oregon a 67.2% chance to win. The Cougars outmatched the Ducks in almost every aspect of the game solely because of how banged up Oregon is which is why I picked Washington State to win. WSU beat Oregon because they held the Ducks to under 300 total yards of offense, the Cougars won the turnover battle and Falk had his way with Oregon’s defense.
Stanford knocked off Utah
Stanford upset a Utah team that didn’t face a tough test until the Cardinal on Saturday. There was also a new quarterback on both teams. Keller Chryst was back from injury for the Cardinal and senior captain Troy Williams was back under center for the Utes. Neither quarterback played great, but that’s expected when you have someone coming off an injury or in Williams’ case — starting his first game of the season. Williams was the starter last year, but lost the job to Huntley during team camp over the summer. Bryce Love was a key factor in Stanford’s 23-20 win over Utah as he rushed for over 150 yards for the sixth time this season and added another touchdown to his resume.
Washington smacked Cal, but what does this do for their chances at making the College Football Playoff?
Washington easily defeated Cal 38-7 behind solid performances from quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, but the question is does UW have the strength of schedule to make a case for the College Football Playoff? Outside of their Pac-12 schedule, the Huskies played Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State. Not the type of non-conference schedule that is going to impress the CFP Committee.
Washington does play Stanford and Washington State who are both ranked as of right now, but if one of those teams fall out of the rankings, then that leaves only one ranked opponent on UW’s schedule and doesn’t make their case for the playoff very strong compared to other ACC, SEC, Big 10 or even Big 12 schools.
Arizona QB Khalil Tate had a career day in win over Colorado
Arizona sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate made his case to be the starting quarterback on Saturday after he broke the FBS single-game rushing record for a quarterback with 327 yards and four rushing touchdowns on only 14 carries! Khalil replaced starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins after he was injured on a late hit out of bounds early in the first quarter. Khalil was also very efficient through the air as he completed 11 of 12 passes for 142 yards and one passing touchdown in Arizona’s 45-42 victory over Colorado.
No. 5 Washington – The Huskies are up one spot from last week after their 38-7 win over Cal. Quarterback Jake Browning threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns and Washington’s defense proved once again why they are a top-ten defensive unit by only allowing one touchdown against a Golden Bears team with a lot of weapons on offense.
No. 8 Washington State – The Cougars proved they can win in a hostile environment this weekend when they beat the Ducks in Eugene on Saturday. Luke Falk continued his Heisman campaign as he threw for 282 yards, which is more yards than Oregon’s entire offense accumulated. Oregon has taken some major blows to its offense, but only ten points scored has to be some sort of record low for the Ducks. The Cougars defense deserves credit too as they won the turnover battle and justified why they are a top-25 defense in the country.
No. 13 USC – The Trojans are up one spot from last week after a 38-10 win over Oregon State. Quarterback Sam Darnold had his way through the air as he threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns, but did add an interception. Ronald Jones II had a productive day on the ground for the Trojans as he rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown — averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
No. 23 Stanford – Keller Chryst got his first start since suffering a shoulder injury against UCLA. Head coach David Shaw used Chryst and sophomore K.J. Costello, but Chryst led the way as he completed seven of 14 passes for 106 yards. Running Back Bryce Love had another great performance for the Cardinal and has yet to be held to under 150 yards rushing this season. Love has scored a touchdown in every game this season and is making a very good case for himself to win the Heisman. If Love continues to play at this level then he might just win it.