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Around the Pac 12 - Week 1

It wasn't a stellar weekend for the Pac 12 with five conference teams losing their first game of the season. Here's a look at what we saw in the 10 other games from the weekend...

Eastern Washington 45

Washington State 42

-- Two years in a row to a FCS team?

-- Every year of the Mike Leach era starting off with a loss?

-- All I can say is wow.

-- How do you let Cooper Kupp, the best player in FCS and the most prolific receiver in FCS history, get free for close to 300 yards receiving and three scores?

-- I thought that WSU’s defense played well down the stretch last season, but this year it looks like they have no clue what they are doing.

-- Someone over there needs to recruit speed on defense. There is absolutely no speedsters in the secondary.

-- I thought that Hercules Mata'afa looked pretty good. He flies off the edge. Pac 12 schools are going to need to gameplan for him.

-- I expect the Cougars to be better this weekend vs. Boise State, but will they be good enough to beat the Broncos on the Blue Turf? You know Brett Rypien will have some extra motivation to get the win.

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Texas A&M 31

UCLA 24

-- UCLA looked okay, but their offensive line leaves a lot to be desired. They were manhandled up front by the Aggies’ defensive linemen.

-- Josh Rosen still looks like the top QB in the 2018 NFL Draft, but you can definitely see some chinks in his armor.  He struggled when he was flushed from the pocket, missing a few guys that had broken open. He also threw three pretty bad picks.

-- As good as Rosen is, I doubt UCLA wants him throwing the ball 46 times a game.

-- Was very unimpressed with Sotonye Jamabo. Just 91 yards and 23 carries? He looked slow and tentative.

-- We’ll have to see how good the Texas A&M offense is, but they went for almost 450 yards on the Bruins’ defense. I doubt that happens when they get into SEC play.

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Alabama 52 

USC 6

-- Well the Clay Helton era got off to a fantastic start vs. Alabama.

-- This was the worst-ever opening week loss in USC history.

-- There are already some calls for his head among some in the Trojan family.

-- Helton sure looks like he’s in over his head. Yes, Alabama is very good, but USC was never able to find their rhythm at all in any facet of the game.

-- There were a ton of blown coverages and very little in the way of pressure after Jalen Hurts took over.

-- QB Max Browne really struggled in his first start, finishing 14 of 29 for 101 yards and an interception.

-- Even more frustrating was USC’s lack of a running game. Ronald Jones is one of the best backs in the country and the Trojan offensive line is one of the most talented, but they were just not able to muster much in the way of a ground game and then they had to abandon it early in the second half when Alabama started to pull away.

-- Here’s a not so bold prediction…Sam Darnold, the freshman who also saw snaps on Saturday, will be the starter before the sixth game of the season.

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Stanford 26

Kansas State 13

-- The Cardinal are notorious for looking bad the first week of the season, but they were able to hang tough and get a hard-fought win over Kansas State.

-- Ryan Burns was solid if unspectacular, going 14 of 18 for 156 yards and a score. He should only gain confidence as the season progresses.

-- It was just another day at the office for Christian McCaffrey – 126 yards and two scores on the ground, 40 yards receiving, 16 yards on punt returns and 28 yards on one kick return. The guy is just special.

-- The biggest concern has to be their lack of productivity on offense in the second half save a big 41-yard run by McCaffrey. Up until that point late in the fourth quarter, the offense had generated just 30 yards of offense with their five offensive possessions ending in four punts and a fumble.

-- Stanford’s front seven definitely took advantage of a young Kansas State offensive line getting eight sacks including one that went for a safety.

-- With that said, the defense didn’t look as physical as they have in years past. We’ll see if that continues or if it was just new starters getting their feet under them.

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BYU 18

Arizona 16

-- Anu Solomon got the start, but you have to believe he’s far from safe after going 20 of 30 for 213 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

-- During the game we saw the same old Solomon as he held the ball too long and took four sacks as well as getting hit at least another dozen times on passes.

-- Nick Wilson continues to be one of the more underrated tailbacks in the conference and he finished with 138 yards and two scores on 17 carries.

-- I really like Paul Magloire and what he brings to the table. He’s strong against the run and finished with a team-leading 10 tackles and two tackles-for-loss on the day.

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Minnesota 30

Oregon State 23

-- While Minnesota isn’t a great team, they are solid and Oregon State hung with them and had a chance to win it at the end. They have definitely improved and will be a much tougher out during the season.

-- Darell Garretson was a nice get for the Beavers. As long as they can keep him upright, he was sacked four times on Saturday, he should be able to keep them in games.

-- The Beavers will need to work on their run defense as they allowed 213 yards and four scores. A big factor was Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner and his 76 yards and two scores. Can they be better against other running quarterbacks, particularly their in-state rival’s signal-caller Dakota Prokup.

-- Keep an eye on Ryan Nall. The 6’2”, 235-pounder had 13 carries for 71 yards and he hauled in eight receptions for another 80 yards in the loss.

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Colorado 44

Colorado State 7

-- The Buffaloes came to play and they put it to their in-state rivals by racking up almost 600 yards of offense.

-- A lot of people wondered whether Sefo Liufau would be back in time for the start of the season after he suffered a leg injury late in the season, but he showed no ill-effects of his injury running for 66 yards while hitting on 23 of his 38 attempts for 318 yards and a touchdown.

-- Devin Ross (eight catches, 97 yards, one touchdown) and Bryce Bobo (five, 99) look like they will be able to fill the big shoes left by the graduation of Nelson Spruce.

-- Their defense still doesn’t have a lot of speed, but they were able get pressure on the CSU quarterback and cause them to go 12 for 29 for just 63 yards and two interceptions.

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Utah 24

Southern Utah 0

-- I thought Troy Williams looked okay in his first start, but the offense really didn’t do much after halftime and they were pretty average in the first half as well.

-- With Devontae Booker gone, the Utes need to find a runner, but it looks like it might wind up being by committee instead of just one runner. Against an overmatched defensive line for Southern Utah they managed just 138 yards.

-- The Ute defense is for real. They allowed just 158 yards of offense – 42 yards passing, 116 on the ground – and really were never threatened by their opponent.

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Oregon 53

UC-Davis 28

-- It wasn’t surprising to see the Ducks put up big numbers on offense, but their defense still has a long way to go.

-- The Ducks allowed almost 400 yards, over 300 of which was through the air, of offense to UC-Davis.

-- There were blown assignments and there was still lots of confusion in the secondary.

-- Dakota Prukop looked solid, but then again, it was against UC-Davis. We’ll see how he looks vs. Virginia and Nebraska in the coming weeks and that’s when we’ll be able to form a more reasoned opinion of him.

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Arizona State 44

Northern Arizona 13

-- Northern Arizona quarterback Case Cookus had a big night going 23 of 33 for 369 yards, but the Sun Devils buttoned things up in the redzone and didn’t allow a touchdown until the final quarter of the game when the outcome had already been decided.

- N'Keal Harry looks like the real deal. He’s huge and very athletic. It’s not normal to see a young man that big be able to accelerate like he does. His numbers weren’t huge – four receptions for 31 yards and one carry for 34 yards and a touchdown – but you can expect him to put up some big numbers this year.

-- Manny Wilkins looked okay in his first start finishing 20 of 27 for 180 yards and an interception, but he did lead the team with 89 yards and a touchdown. He’s more of a threat with his legs right now, but that could change as he gets more comfortable in the starting role.

-- Tim White is one of the most underrated players in the conference. He’s got it all and they will figure out different ways to get him the ball. He’s electric with the ball in his hands and he can take it the distance on any play.


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