If you enjoy back and forth offenses that can get up and down the field then you would have loved the game between Oregon and Cal. There was 1,150 yards of combined offense between the two teams and 14 touchdowns.
Cal thought they would change things sup by playing both quarterbacks in certain situations. Back up QB Luke Rubenzer was brought in the game in short yardage situations and was somewhat effective rushing 10 times for 48 yards and 2 timely touchdowns. Jared Goff was 32/52 for 360 yards and 2 touchdowns.
But there was too much offense for Oregon for Cal to stop. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota was his typical self; throwing for 326 and 5 touchdowns. There was just too much Freeman and Marshall that Cal had to contend with; running back Royce Freeman kept his strong freshman season on track rushing 22 times for 115 and 2 touchdowns; while running back turned receiver Byron Marshall had 4 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown.
The key to the momentum swing in the way of the Ducks was the 24 yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Dwayne Stanford right before the end of the first half; it spilled over into the 3rd quarter where the Ducks scored two more touchdowns to extent a 10 point lead to 24 and Cal just couldn’t recover.
When you hear about Stanford you think about how good their defense is, having the top defense in the PAC-12, and on Saturday they didn’t disappoint holding the Oregon State Beaver offense to 221 yards of total offense.
The offense has been inconsistent all season; one game they are clicking and the stars are aligned correctly. When they score 20 or more points they win; less than 20 they lose. The offense was able to get into the endzone 4 times putting up 38 points on the Beavers the most they have scored since week 1against UC-Davis.
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion, one of the talented quarterbacks in the PAC-12 conference just couldn’t get anything going against the Stanford defense. Mannion was only allowed 122 yards.
One of the true surprises of the PAC-12 mid way through the season has to be the Utah Utes. Relentless scrappers that fight and play until the final whistle blows, shows why they are in contention for the PAC-12 South title defeating USC 24-21in a hard fought back and forth game that went down to the last second.
Playing until the whilste blows wasn’t more evident they the second play of the game when Cody Kessler threw a swing pass to Darreus Rogers that was called a lateral, but there weren’t any USC players aware that the whistle didn’t blow and Utah’s Davion Orphey showing good awareness scooped the ball up and returned it a touchdown.
Cody Kessler did have a proficient game going 24/32 for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns to WR JuJu Smith and Darreus Rogers. But the Trojan offense wasn’t the phase of the team that was putting points on the board. Late in the second quarter, down 10-7, DB Adoree Jackson took the kick return back 100 yards for a touchdown to give USC a 14-10 lead at the half.
In the second half, Utah would look to their playmakers running back Devontae Booker and QB Travis Wilson to lead them to victory and their defense to keep the game close. Booker’s 24 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter put the Utes in the lead going into the 4th, and after Cody Kessler found Darreus Rogers in the back of the endzone for a 4 yard TD pass early in the quarter to give the Trojans a 21-17 lead; Travis Wilson had one more chance late in the game with 2 minutes to put his offense in scoring position.
Wilson would do exactly that leading the Utes on an 11 play 73 yard drive capped off with a 1 yard game winning touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay.
The Utes control their own destiny winding down the season, and they have four tough games coming up to have a chance to claim their first PAC-12 South Division title.
Other notable victories; both Arizona and Arizona State won easily to stay at one lose in the conference and overall. And UCLA had to go into overtime to get the win against Colorado with a 8 yard touchdown run by Brett Hundley to seal the victory.