The “Air Raid” offenses of Washington State and California were force to stay on the tarmac, due to the suffocating defenses Stanford and Washington respectively put applied to them.
Washington State averages 534.7 of total offense per games were held to 266 of total yards against Stanford. Washington State QB Connor Hallliday threw for a season low 289 yards. You have to tip your cap to Stanford defense that kept a vise grip on the receivers of the Cougars, and didn’t allow a single yard of rushing. In fact, the Cougars rushed for negative 26 yards on the ground.
Cal’s momentum was lost from them in their second possession when Jared Goff fumbled the ball trying to jump over the pile to sneak in for a touchdown on a 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line that was recovered and returned for a touchdown by Washington Huskies’ LB Shaq Thompson, who by the way has 4 touchdowns returns on defense via an interception and fumbles. Huskies’ quarterback Cyler Miles was very efficient going 22-29, 273 yards and 3 touchdowns; something that you would have saw Jared Goff do. Goff may have threw for more yards but the costly turnovers that lead to 14 points for Washington really hurt Cal and took the crowd out of the game early.
The final score wasn’t nearly indicative to how one-sided the game between Oregon and UCLA turned out to be. Yes it ended up being a 12 point victory for the Ducks, but the game was pretty much over at the end of the 3rd quarter when Oregon was up 35-10, but history has told us this season in the PAC-12 there isn’t any margin of victory too great to overcome in certain about of time. Also, when there is dissention amongst the Head Coach Jim Mora and Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich shown on the sidelines, that ended with Mora having to calm Jeff Ulbrich down; that may be a clear indication of the frustration of what is or is not going on on the field.
All the bounces seem to be going the Ducks way, and nothing could be more apparent when Oregon QB Marcus Mariota mishandled a fake hand off and the ball bounced back into his hands allowing him to run for a clear path 23 yard touchdown untouched.
UCLA had so many miss opportunities to keep the game close, for example, early in the 2nd quarter UCLA had the chance to bring the game back even when Brett Hundley’s pass to Devin Fuller was tipped by Oregon linebacker Tony Washington, that kept UCLA from getting into the end zone. Washington gave Hundley fits early in the game as well forcing a sack fumble giving the Ducks an early opportunity to get on the scoreboard, which Mariota took full advantage of; scoring on the Ducks’ first chance after the turnover with a 13 yard run for a touchdown.
The question going into the game last Saturday was; how will the offensive lines for both Oregon and UCLA protect their respective quarterback? Brett Hundley was under duress for most of the game. The majority of his carries were actual scrambles due to the Oregon pressure. UCLAs high powered offense was relegated to nothing but a sputter against Oregon in the 1st half of the game. In fact, most of UCLA’s total yards on offense came in the 4th quarter when Oregon let off the gas a bit when they increased the lead to 42-10, after a Royce Freemen 2 yard touchdown run.
The only bright spot for the Bruins in the game was running back Paul Perkins who rushed 21 times for 187 yards on the ground, and the fact that Hundley was able to feel some of the pressure and took advantage with his legs instead of being indecisive in the pocket.
Sometimes actions do speak louder than words and what you see in the stat sheet does tell the story; USC and Arizona brought those theories to the forefront. USC running back Javorius Allen had a field day running the ball with 26 carries 205 yards on the ground with 3 touchdowns. In a passing league like the PAC-12 conference, that had to be demoralizing to Arizona.
Arizona QB Anu Solomon countered that performance of Allen with a good one of his own throwing 43 completions for 395 yards and a touchdown. Of course, most of the stats were because the Wildcats were in catch-up mode, down 15; 28-13 at the star of the 4th quarter.
The story is when you watched the game you can see Arizona was having trouble caroling Javorius Allen, and you would have though he had ran for more yards. If you didn’t look at the stat sheet, you would‘ve thought he threw for close to 400 yards because of the pressure USC put on him and they were able to get the ball in the end zone.
But the stats can tell a story; 2 for 5 in field goal attempts for Arizona. Arizona kicker Casey Skowron missed a game winning 36 yard field goal after the Wildcats was able to cut the lead down to two when Anu Solomon found Cayleb Jones for a 12 yard touchdown pass, and miraculously recovered the onside kick to give them a chance to win, but pushed it to the right on the second attempt after USC called timeout.