USA Today Sports

Around The Pac 12 - Week 12

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

Colorado 38

Washington State 24

-- After the first two weeks of the season, did anyone think that WSU would be in the position they are right now? I would wager most of the fanbase thought their team was done. 

-- You have to feel good for Sefo Liufau. A local boy (Tacoma) who was thrown to the wolves early on and really took a beating, both physicall and mentally, as the Buffloes built up the roster around him. It's all paying off now. He missed a couple of wide open wideouts on long passes that could have put this game away early, but he showed a steady hand and was the difference in the game as he scored three touchdowns on the ground and finished with 108 yards rushing while going 27 of 41 for 345 yards.

-- The targeting call on Colorado safety Afolabi Laguda was iffy at best. After watching the replay and slow motion, he led with his shoulder and delivered a big blow, but I really think it should have been overturned. He'll now miss the first half of this weekend's crucial game vs. Utah. Will the Buffs miss him? Luckily they face a relatively anemic passing offense led by Troy Williams.

-- Luke Falk usually is pretty good about spreading the ball around, but in the Cougars' game with Colorado, 10 receivers managed to catch passes.

-- This was the 23rd time that Falk topped 300 yards passing in his career.

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Stanford 45

Cal 31

-- Chad Hansen is a very good receiver, but his game is about route-running and not necessarily his speed. However, in the first quarter, he took a quick slant and bolted 70 yards for a TD. He finished the day with seven receptions for 114 yards and two scores. The play showed that he might have more speed than people give him credit for, but it also showed the lack of athleticism and speed that Stanford has in their secondary.

-- Is the light finally coming on for Keller Chryst? Sure seems like it might be. He finished the day 13 of 23 for 198 yards with two touchdowns while running for another score.

-- Christian McCaffrey had a huge game -- 284 yards and three touchdowns on the ground -- and showed why he is considered one of the most dangerous players in the country when healthy.

-- Big ups to former Mountlake Terrace LB Devante Downs as he led Cal with 14 tackles on the day. Downs has had an excellent junior season and should be one of the leaders of Cal's defense next season.

-- Stanford's win is their seventh-straight in the series and is tied for the longest streak in the series.

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Oregon 30

Utah 28

-- It's hard to figure out what happened in this game. Utah couldn't stop Oregon's offense at all and they allowed the Ducks to go for 575 yards of offense which was nearly 75 more than their per-game average.Utah also struggled to get it done offensively vs. what had been a porous Oregon defense 

-- Royce Freeman seems to be rounding back into the runner we thought he was heading into the season. He rushed for over 100 yards for the second-straight week and really was the workhorse up front for Oregon.

-- Heck of a catch by Darren Carrington to win the game. One foot down in the corner of the endzone from 17 yards out with :02 left in the game. Wow. 

-- Utah looked like the best team in the Pac 12 South midway through the season, but now they could wind up third in the South depending on what happens this weekend.

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USC 36

UCLA 14

-- UCLA looked like they were going to make it a game when they took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but they couldn't even get close to scoring the rest of the night. 

-- The Bruins' running game is absolutely pathetic. It's hard to understand how you can have that many four and five star players recruited to play along the offensive line and this is the product they throw out there every week?

-- Was letting Noel Mazzone go to Texas A&M the right call? Kennedy Polamalu sure seems to be in over his head.

-- These pundits talking about a three-loss USC squad going to the playoff are just off their rocker. There is no way a three-loss team makes it into the playoff...even if they win the Pac 12. 

-- The last comment notwithstanding, USC is currently playing the best football in the conference and they are the most-dangerous team in college football aside from Alabama. 

-- Not to make a uniform comment, but I love the tradition of USC and UCLA eachg playing in their home jerseys when they face each other. 

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Oregon State 42

Arizona 17

-- Oregon State QB Marcus McMaryion had a huge night for the Beavers going 16 of 19 for 265 yards and five touchdowns. If that performances isn't an indictment of Arizona's defense, I don't know what is.

-- It seems like I say how much I like Ryan Nall every week, but man is he impressive as a runner. He's tough and he can separate once he gets into the open field. Watch out for him as a junior next year.

-- It'll be really interesting to see what happens with Rich Rodriguez following their game with ASU next week. They aren't favored to win and and if they lose this game, they will be winless in conference play. How can the Wildcats not at least look at what else is available. The problem is they are way down in the pecking order for the teams that currently are looking for a new head coach.

-- The Civil War should be an interesting game. Both teams seem to be playing pretty well or, at least in Oregon's case, playing much better than they had been, and Oregon State is at home and hasn't beaten the Ducks since 2007.


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