Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has finally got the monkey off his back, leading Oregon to a convincing win over Stanford. With this win Mariota has all but booked his ticket for New York for the Heisman and possibly put Oregon in a slot in the College Playoff.
Stanford had to have felt like they ran into a buzz saw in Autzen Stadium. The top ranked defense in the conference and 2nd ranked scoring defense in the nation allowed 45 points on the board and seem to have no answer for Mariota and running backs Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner.
Mariota had 258 yards in the air and 85 on the ground with 4 total touchdowns. In addition, Freeman and Tyner combined for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns.
You can’t match field goals for touchdowns, and that’s what Stanford was faced with. Stanford had trouble getting into the red zone, only getting there 3 times. The power running game and offensive line which has dominated the Ducks in the pass was non-existent. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was the Cardinal’s leading rusher with 42 yards, and most of those happened on scrambles to get out of trouble.
Oregon is now in control of their own destiny with a game at No. 17 Utah this week and finish out the season against Colorado and rival Oregon State.
Speaking of teams that control their own destiny, Arizona State continues to make their case with an overtime thriller against Utah. Both teams came in to the game with a 6-1 record looking to get sole position of the top spot in the PAC-12 South division.
In a game that was dominated by the defenses, Arizona State was able to open the score up a bit when Sun Devils’ quarterback Taylor Kelly was able to find his All-American receiver Jaelen Strong for a 6 yard touchdown pass midway through the 2nd quarter to give Arizoona State a 13-3 lead. But Utah was able to drive in close for kicker Andy Phillips to add 3 more on the board just before halftime.
In the second half Utah was able to put their clamps on the Sun Devils’ offense only allowing 158 total yards. Utah quarterback Travis Wilson only put up 57 yards passing, but the Utes were able to jump on the back of their running back Devontae Booker, who had 146 yards on the ground with a receiving touchdown.
The teams were tied by the end of regulation. Utah was given first crack to put points on the scoreboard, but their nearly automatic kicker Andy Phillips missed his first attempt at a 35 yard field goal, but Head Coach Kyle Whittingham called a timeout right before the snap. So Phillips was given another opportunity and couldn’t capitalize; opening the door for the Sun Devils to win with any type of score. Arizona State wasn’t able to move the ball and kicker Zane Gonzalez came in kicked a 36 yard game winner.
It looks like UCLA will not be in the Playoff hunt but they are still in contention for a shot at the PAC-12 South division and possibly the PAC-12 Championship game with a win over Arizona; putting them in the same boat with Utah and Arizona at 6-2; one game behind Arizona State.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley looked to be back to his old self; having an effect on the game using both his arm and his legs going 19/26 189 yards and a touchdown; with 24 carries for 131 yards on the ground.
The UCLA defense looked as good as I seen since they played Arizona State; holding the Wildcats’ running game to under 100 yards rushing and keeping freshman QB Anu Solomon under control after his 1st quarter touchdown to receiver Cayleb Jones.
Arizona couldn’t really get anything going especially on 3rd down to keep the drive going. The Wildcats were 6 for 20 on 3rd down throughout the game, and when they had scoring opportunities they didn’t take advantage. A 13 play drive ended with a missed field goal. A 11 play drive ended with a blocked field goal attempt. And a breakdown in coverage allowed Brett Hundley to find receiver Jordan Payton for a 70 yard touchdown pass.
In the end there were too many mistakes for Arizona to overcome.