USA Today Sports

Around The Pac 12 - Week 9

Our weekly look around the league with observations on each of the games that Pac 12 teams played over the weekend...

Oregon 54

Arizona State 35

-- Oregon is getting better, but man, ASU's defense is just bad. How can a Todd Graham coached defense be this bad? Just makes you wonder if his players have tuned him out.

-- Oregon had 413 yards in the first half and scored on their first five drives of the game. ASU's defense is terrible.

-- Justin Herbert looks much more poised and in control than he did when he made his first start against Washington. Again...it could be the terrible defenses he's been facing, but I think it's more than that. He's a talented kid with a lot of playmakers at his disposal.

-- Oregon RB Tony Brooks-James has taken the torch from Royce Freeman and run with it...pun intended. He had 132 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries and he added 39 more yards on two receptions as well.

-- Seems weird to say, considering how good the Ducks have been over the past decade, but Saturday's win over ASU is Oregon's first conference win of the season. Wow.

-- ASU freshman QB Dillon Sterling-Cole, who UW was after pretty heavily, looks like he's stating to figure things out a bit. He completed 21 of his 38 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown and he also ran for a score. He did look like a freshman throwing three interceptions on the day, but still, the better he gets...the scarier the Sun Devils will be.

-- Kalen Ballage has definitely taken over the role that D.J. Foster had for so many years with ASU. Ballage totaled 62 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while also hauling in six receptions for 105 yards and he also threw two passes including one that went for a touchdown.

-- This game was ASU's sixth-straight conference road loss. 

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Stanford 34

Arizona 10

-- Talk about a yawner. I only watched two series in this game before I turned it off. 

-- Christian McCaffrey got his first two scores in a true road game ever on Saturday night and he finished with 23 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns. McCaffrey also had four receptions and another score. He's starting to look like the tailback we all knew he was or thougth he could be and the rest  of the conference had better take notice, although...he did it against Arizona whose defense is not good at all.

-- Brutal stat line for Brandon Dawkins -- 5 iof 15 (that's not a typo) for 116 yards through the air with a touchdown and an interception -- but he did manage to rush for 65 yards on the night as well.

-- For the first time since 2004, Arizona is 0-5 in conference play.

-- You have to believe that Rich Rodriguez's seat is at least getting warm. His team is terrible and they don't have a lot in the cupboard for future teams either. 

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Washington State 35

Oregon State 31

-- For the first time since 2002, the Cougars are 5-0 in conference play.

-- For the first time since 2003, the Cougars have won six games in a row. 

-- Was completely blown away by WSU's lack of effort and preparation in the early part of the game. They were down 21-0 before they woke up.

-- OSU RB Ryan Nall the best running back you've never heard of in the conference. He's big, he's strong and he runs behind his pads. He's a load to take down. If he's healthy when the play Oregon, he'll rush for 250 yards.

-- Luke Falk's statline is pretty impressive - 33 of 46 for 415 yards and five scores with no interceptions -- but he just continues to get blasted on a pretty regular basis. Will he make it to the Apple Cup?

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USC 45

Cal 24

-- While USC looks like they are surging, a big reason this game got out of hand was because Cal's defense is just awful. There were gaping holes all night for USC to run through and the Trojans finished with 398 yards on the ground and that was without their top rusher -- Justin Davis -- who missed the game with an injury. Yikes.

-- The only reason this game was close from a score standpoint was because of USC not taking care of the ball. Freshman QB Sam Darnold had two fumbles that set up Cal touchdowns and his interception was a bad decision as well. 

-- Even with all of the turnovers, Darnold still looks like he's going to be a great one for the Trojans. He's tough and he, for the most part, makes good decisions. He also adds the threat as a runner although they prefer him to make plays with his arm rather than his legs.

-- Cal took some shots down the field, but their wideouts either dropped the passes or they weren't able to connect. Does that continue to happen going forward or will they start hook up and hurt defenses? Only time will tell.

-- Cal's secondary is decimated with injuries. When you have a former quarterback -- Luke Rubenzer -- starting at safety...ugh...not a good sign.


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