Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week 11 of the college football season...

Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week 11 of the college football season...

-- I will admit it…I thought Washington State was getting lucky seeing teams like Oregon when they were missing Vernon Adams and Darren Carrington or Arizona which was missing several key defensive players, but they have become a reincarnation of the “Cardiac Kids” and are seemingly finding different ways to win each week.

 

-- Say what you want about Luke Falk, he’s tough as nails. That hit he took when Jacob Tuioti-Mariner slammed him to the turf was nasty. Most quarterbacks seem to not be able to recover from something like that, but after missing the rest of the half, he came back and showed his leadership skills in leading the Cougs to the win.

 

-- You don’t see a quarterback like Josh Rosen throw the ball 57 times, completing 33 of them, for 340 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions very often. He even said after the game that he’s never scored that many points in a game where only two touchdowns were scored.

 

-- How about Arizona? Most had written the Wildcats off for the rest of the season. Well, all they did was go out and beat number 10 Utah 37-30 with a gutty performance by QB Anu Solomon who seems to have recovered his confidence. All Solomon did was go out and throw for 277 yards and two scores and a pick while also rushing for a team-high 86 yards and another score. The ironic thing was that backup Jerard Randall, who isn’t much of a passer, hit WR Nate Phillips for the winning touchdown in the second overtime. By the way, it was the only pass Randall completed in the game.

 

-- How about the fortunes of the Trojans. USC looked like they were headed down the drain with all of the off-the-field stuff involving Steve Sarkisian, but Todd Helton has rallied his troops and now they are tied atop the Pac 12 south and they control their own destiny since they hold the tie-breaker with the Utes.

 

-- The road for USC isn’t easy by any stretch. They travel to Oregon this weekend and then take on UCLA to finish the regular season. If they win out though, they will be the South’s representative in the Pac 12 Championship Game.

 

-- The Oregon/Stanford game was epic. Take away any rooting interest you had, that was a great game. Big plays, a few big defensive plays, but in the end, it was call by a defensive coordinator that eventually won the game.

 

-- The blitz by Oregon on the two-point try by Stanford was a great call by Duck DC Don Pellum. If he doesn’t make that call, Kevin Hogan has enough time to wait for his tight end to break open and the Cardinal ends up tying that game. Instead, the quarterback is rushed, isn’t able to place the ball correctly and the Ducks escape with a hard-earned win.

 

-- When was the last time Oregon ran under 50 plays? When was the last time they ran under 50 plays and won? Stanford dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 43 minutes. That is ridiculous. Just goes to show you how reliant on big plays Oregon was in the game. Three of their touchdowns went for over 45 yards and they added seven other big plays, plays greater than 30 yards, that didn’t result in scores.

 

-- Do not sleep on Oregon State QB Nick Mitchell. He doesn't have a lot of help around him right now, but he's going to wind up being a pretty good quarterback down the road for the Beavers. He completed 50% of his passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns and he also rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown, but Oregon State just isn't very good an they ended up losing to Cal 54-24. Mitchell has a very good arm and he's got good height, but he definitely needs to add some pounds in order to take the inevitable pounding he'll have to endure behind the OSU offensive line.

-- Jared Goff had a monster game against Oregon State, going 26 pf 37 for 453 yards with six touchdowns and a pick.

-- Everyone seems to be "getting well" against the Oregon State defense of late. In their seven-game losing streak, the OSU defense has allowed just under 40 points and just over 540 yards per game. 

-- Four intriguing games on the conference docket this weekend. The marquee game is USC traveling to Oregon. I like the Ducks in that one, but if they come out flat against the Trojans, that could spell some trouble. UCLA travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah. The Utes will be licking their wounds while the Bruins are hopping mad about their last-second loss to Washington State. The Bruins are getting 1.5 points, but I think they win outright. Stanford hosts Cal in the annual "Big Game". The Cardinal should be able to handle the Golden Bears who have beaten the bad teams, but have yet to play well against one of the top three teams in the conference. Stanford by 20. Lastly, I think ASU has finally found its stride. They are home against in-state rival Arizona and they should be able to do enough to get the win. 


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