Weekend Thoughts (Bye Week)

Washington had a bye week, so there isn't a lot to talk about as far as the Huskies are concerned. However, it was another wacky weekend in the Pac 12 as Washington State ended an eight-game losing streak to USC with an improbable 10-7 win over the Trojans in Los Angeles...

Washington Gameday Observations...

-- Since the Huskies didn't play, I have nothing for you other than the say that the coaches were very active on the recruiting trail with Steve Sarkisian visiting commits Erik Brown and Drew Lewis to watch their games (Peter Sirmon was also at Lewis' game) and they were also on the field for the Emerald City Kickoff Classic to watch Budda Baker, Henry Roberts (2015) and Cameron Saffle (2015) play the late game on Saturday night.

Pac 12 Weekend Observations...

-- First off, you have to give Washington State credit. Those guys battled all game long, especially on defense, but with that said, USC might have the worst quarterback situation in the entire conference and yes, I mean THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE. Cody Kessler and Max Wittek might have been four-star recruits coming out of high school, but neither looked competent enough to play for an FCS program, much less storied USC. This might be a lack of confidence by Lane Kiffen and his staff in what either player could do. Neither handled pressure well, neither seemed confident in themselves or their protection and both made huge errors (Kessler's pick-six and Wittek's interception to basically seal the deal) that cost the Trojans the game.

-- As far as Washington State is concerned, Cougar fans have to be ecstatic about the way their defense played on Saturday. Their front seven could wind up being one of the best in the conference if they can stay healthy. Ioane Gauta and Destiny Vaeao are both monsters up front for the Cougars and then throw in All-Conference LB Darryl Monroe and under-rated Justin Sagote and WSU has something going on defense. The problem is, they may be limited with how far they can go by, ironically, their offense. The offense only scored three points against the Trojans and Connor Halliday still is throwing too many passes to the other team. If he doesn't fix the issue he will either be replaced or the Cougs will fail to reach a bowl game for the 11th straight year.

-- Cal is just bad. Defensively they cannot stop the run and they lack speed on that side of the ball...BIG TIME. With Avery Sebastian lost for the season due to an Achilles tear, the Bears were woeful in run-support and not much better against the pass vs. Portland State who ran roughshod through their defense for a 553 yards, 245 of which was on the ground. Offensively, they are relying on Jared Goff to be their savior. Last weekend the freshman hit on 33 of his 51 passes for 485 yards and two scores. Goff throws a nice deep ball and he's pretty accurate. However, he's a statue and Portland definitely got pressure on him at times.

-- If I am a defensive coordinator that faces Arizona, I stack the box to stop the run and take my chances at playing man outside. The Wildcats' quarterback, B.J. Denker, looked awful throwing the ball, but he's a good runner and with KaDeem Carey, arguably the best running back in the conference if not the country, they make a very formidable tandem to try and defend on any given play.

-- Oregon State's uniforms look really cool (save for the continuation of the helmet stripe on their facemask), but man they are a very inconsistent team. Hawaii made too many errors and didn't take advantage of their opportunities and that led to what appeared to be a pretty easy OSU win. The Beaver defense isn't particularly fast and they aren't that big. Both opponents they have played this year have gashed them when running up the middle.

-- Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon all showed why they were thought to be the top three teams in the conference. Yes all played inferior competition, but they overwhelmed their opponents and this early in season, that's really what you want to see.

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