Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week eight of the college football season...

Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week eight of the college football season...

-- Cal had been playing with fire the past couple of weeks with QB Jared Goff throwing interceptions (five vs. Utah in a loss) and questionable defense and it all came to a head against UCLA who blitzed and battered the junior signal-caller.  He didn’t throw any picks, but he just couldn’t make the plays he needed to in order to get the win.


-- UCLA’s Josh Rosen continues to look much further ahead and most freshman quarterbacks at this stage of his development. He had a monster game, going 34 of 47 for 399 yards with three scores. The thing about Rosen is, you see him for a couple of series and you say “ok, I can see it, but he’s not there yet” and then he busts out with some NFL throws that make your jaw drop. He’s a special kind of quarterback talent.


-- I will give Cal’s defense credit for the fact that they are not as bad as many thought they would be this year. They aren’t a good defense, allowing 26.7 points and 420 yards per game, but they are light-years better than they were the past couple of seasons.


-- Utah’s Travis Wilson finally looked like the Travis Wilson we were all used to. Instead of the poised trigger-man who made good decisions and big plays when his team needed them most, Utes fans saw the “old” Wilson, indecisive with limited athleticism. His four interceptions, three by LB Cameron Smith were just killers.


-- Utah’s run defense is really, really good. They held the Trojans to just 116 yards on the ground. Their “run fits” are very precise and they all seem to be well coached on fundamentals. It’s really impressive to watch.


-- Boy would I hate to be Oregon State right now. I have a feeling Devontae Booker is going to go off on the Beavers this coming weekend after being held to a season low 62 yards and no scores last weekend against the Trojans.


-- Give it up to the Cougs. Their offense continues to put up points, something they have always done, but now their defense is making just enough plays to get them wins.


-- Say what you want about the performance by Luke Falk, and he did have a big day going 47 of 62 for 512 yards and six touchdowns, but Arizona’s defense was absolutely woeful. They weren’t even close in coverage and they couldn’t make tackles when they were close.


-- Rich Rodriguez is in a bind. He doesn’t have a quarterback anymore as Anu Solomon looks lost. Jerrard Randall is a threat as a runner, but he’s not much of a passer and he really struggles when teams figure that out.


-- Congrats to Colorado for breaking their 14-game conference losing streak with an old-school 17-13 win over Oregon State.


-- It was good to see former Mount Si QB Nick Mitchell out on the field. I always wondered how he would do at the next level and now we’ll actually get to see it although Beavers head coach Gary Andersen said he will rotate with Seth Collins for the rest of the season.  What’s that old say? “If you have two quarterbacks, then that means you don’t have a quarterback”. This could very well be the case for the rest of the season. Combined, Mitchell and Collins went 13 of 31 for 199 yards. Not numbers that will instill confidence moving forward.


--Which coordinators in the Pac 12 could be on the hot seat by the end of the season? Jonathan Smith? Don Pellum? Justin Wilcox? There might not be a lot of turnover among the head coaches in the conference, but the coordinator spots could wind up seeing a ton of movement. How many will leave by choice? How many will be forced out? December and January should be a pretty intriguing time in the conference coaching circles.



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