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Around The Pac 12 - Week 2

It was an intriguing weekend for the Pac 12. One team that some expected to be a contender for a Pac 12 title fell to 0-2 while a couple of others bounced back from big losses the week before and there was a record-setting day by Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage...

Arizona State 68

Texas Tech 55

-- I will own it right now…I hate this kind of football. People say it’s boring watching 10-7 games that dominated by defense, but how is it fun watching two teams just run up and down the field without anyone being stopped? That’s just boring and it’s not really football. Now…get off my lawn!

-- Let’s talk about RB Kalen Ballage for a second. Eight touchdowns is ridiculous and it tied the NCAA record for TDs in a game. That’s impressive. What’s even more impressive is that he did it in just 15 touches.  Hey Texas Tech…you might want to key on Ballage…I think he’s probably going to get the ball.

-- Once ASU finally figures out how to use N'Keal Harry, watch out. He’s the next Julio Jones in my opinion. Big, physically gifted and competitive – Harry has it all.

-- Without the heart and soul of its defense – LB Salamo Fiso – the Sun Devils couldn’t stop anything that Texas Tech was trying to do. Fiso has missed the first two games with a suspension for violating “team standards” so we’ll see how much better their defense can be once he gets back. Without him they’ve looked lost. 


USC 45

Utah State 7

-- Thought there might be more of a hangover from the loss to Alabama game, but didn’t show as the Trojans went out and dominated the Aggies.

-- I keep wondering how long Clay Helton will play both Max Browne and Sam Darnold. Against these “lesser” teams they can get away with it, but once they start league play, you have to believe he’ll settle on one.

-- Adoree Jackson is so good with the ball in his hands. It appeared effortless when he broke free for the 72 yard punt return. He’s a special player.

-- Losing Toa Lobendahn is going to hurt the Trojans as time goes on. He was one of the best players up front for them and he made all of the calls.


Oregon 44

Virginia 26

 -- Royce Freeman looks like he’s in midseason form. He trucked a couple of tacklers and showed good speed in running away from them down the sidelines on his one long touchdown run. I still think he’s the best RB in the conference and he’s got first round talent.

-- Free agent signee Dakota Prukop seems to be settling in nicely with his new team. He looked solid and showed the ability to put the ball right where it needs to be. He’s not running it as much as some thought he would, but that may change once the Pac 12 schedule starts in two weeks.

-- Pharaoh Brown could wind up being a real nice addition to the Oregon offense. They didn’t get much from the tight end spot last season, but this year, I expect him to be a nice redzone threat for the Ducks. His touchdown reception vs. Virginia was his first since his gruesome knee injury back in 2014.

-- I doubt allowing an average of 390 yards per game was what Oregon had in mind when they hired Brady Hoke to take over and “improve” their defense. Hard to say if things can improve much with better offenses on the horizon, but it had better change if the Ducks want to get back into the CFB playoff picture.


Colorado 56

Idaho State 7 

-- While putting up 597 yards and 56 points on offense was impressive, the fact that Colorado allowed just 96 yards on defense is an even more eye-popping stat. They hadn’t allowed less than 100 yards in close to 20 years.

-- As good as they’ve looked, is this just a matter of them playing two pretty bad teams? We’ll find out how good this team can be when they face Michigan this coming weekend. I don’t expect them to win, but if they can keep it within 10 points, then Colorado is for real. Either way…this team isn’t the cakewalk they used to be.

-- Sefo Liufau has really taken to new OC Darrin Chiaverini’s offense and seems to have a real comfort-level running it. He’s looked about as good as we’ve seen him look since he was a prep in Tacoma.


Utah 20

BYU 19

 -- This game was a fun one to watch. Back and forth, tough defense, a gutsy call by BYU to go for two to win it, a big stop by Utah. It had it all.

-- Troy Williams got off to a decent start, but three picks isn't going to get it done in Pac 12 play. 

-- Utah's front four is active and tough. They allowed 143 on the ground to BYU, but the Cougars really had to work for it. Nothing comes easy against the Utes up front defensively.

-- Before the season, we said that it would be a committee approach for the Utes as far as the running game was concerned and that's exactly what happened on Saturday. Three players -- Troy McCormick, Zack Moss and Joe Williams -- each had at least 10 touches and the accounted for 146 of Utah's 169 yards on the ground.




-- The Bruin faithful have to be concerned about what they have seen out of their team the first two weeks of the season. Their run defense is pretty bad and it could wind up being even worse if Eddie Vanderdoes is lost for any significant time with after he left with an injury.

-- Their defense let UNLV hang around and it was a one-score game entering the fourth quarter.

-- UCLA’s offensive line is still struggling. It’s almost impossible for them to run inside and that does not bode well for the future of the offense.

-- Coming off of a three interception performance vs. Texas A&M,Josh Rosen was mostly efficient even if he still isn’t living up to the lofty projections some, including yours truly, have heaped on him. He finished the day 23 of 38 for 267 yards with one touchdown.

-- The 31-yard touchdown run by Sotonye Jamabo was impressive as he actually probably ran for over 70 yards on the play. He still looks much slower than I saw as a prep and does not look like the dynamic runner I expected to see when he signed. 


Boise State 31

Washington State 28

-- Boise State did everything they could to hand the game to the Cougars, but the Cougs couldn’t take advantage.

-- The clock management by both teams in the final five minutes was abysmal. BSU, up 10 with four minutes left, decided to run up-tempo and snapped the ball with 15 seconds or more left on the play clock, eventually giving the ball back and allowing the Cougars a chance to tie it late

-- Mike Leach did his part as well, not calling a timeout after Luke Falk fumbled out of bounds.

-- Boise State did a good job of bottling up Gabe Marks for most of the game, but they let him get free for a 33 yard touchdown from Falk when Boise State inexplicably didn’t run time off the clock.

-- Shalom Luani gave the Cougs a puncher's chance with two interceptions off of BSU QB Brett Rypien.

-- I realize Leach isn’t big on balance, but only 40 yards on the ground isn’t going to cut it. You have to be more than just a passing team.

-- I was very impressed with the play of wideout Tavares Martin. With Marks a bit dinged up and shut down for the most part, Martin stepped up and showed he's the heir apparent to the mantle of number one wideout for Washington State. He caught everything thrown his way, he showed toughness across the middle and he got separation consistently. If he can continue that productivity it will really helpthe Cougar offense moving forward.


San Diego State 45

Cal 40

-- Same old story with Cal -- good offense, terrible defense. They still haven't figured out how to be consistent tacklers and it showed as they were torn up by SDSU on the ground to the tune of 334 yards and three touchdowns. Donnel Pumphrey was the mian culprit as he had a career-high 281 yards and three scores on just 29 carries and on one run, he left a trail of Cal players laying on the ground after breaking at least five tackles.

-- Davis Webb has found his favorite receiver, but as solid as Chad Hansen has been -- he totaled 14 receptions for 190 yards and a score vs. the Aztecs -- Webb needs to find other targets to go to.

-- Webb threw for 522 yards and five scores, but he also had three interceptions and he threw the ball 72 times. With just 82 yards on the ground, the Golden Bears have to hope they can find a running game in the very near future.


Arizona 31

Gramblin 21

-- This game shouldn't have been close and at the end of the first half, Grambling led 21-3. The problem? It was supposed to be Arizona's easy game, but nobody told Grambling.

-- Anu Solomon in a knee brace is bad news for the Wildcats. While Brandon Dawkins showed some natural running skills, but he leaves a lot to be desired as a passer. 

-- Like a lot of Pac 12 schools, Arizona's tackling was terrible. There were a couple of players who were pulled due to their inability to bring Grambling ballcarriers down. Top Stories