With Oregon and Stanford on bye in Week 10, it was a relatively quiet Saturday in the Pac-12.
However, the spotlight shifts to the Pac-12 on Thursday night, as the Ducks and Cardinal meet to stay alive in the national title picture.
Arizona State easily handled Washington State on Thursday night, improving to 6-2 this season. The Sun Devils appear to have a slight edge on UCLA for the top spot in the South Division.
USC continued to improve under interim coach Ed Orgeron, defeating Oregon State 31-14 in Corvallis on Friday night.
Arizona picked up a tough win at California, while UCLA defeated Colorado to round out the Week 10 action in the Pac-12.
Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Oregon (8-0, 5-0): The Ducks were on bye in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Stanford. Oregon-Stanford was pegged as the Pac-12’s No. 1 game this preseason and nothing has changed that outlook. The Ducks lost 17-14 to the Cardinal in Eugene last year, but Oregon has claimed two out of the last three meetings in this series. Next Week: at Stanford (Thursday)
Stanford (7-1, 5-1): The Cardinal had a bye in Week 10 and host Oregon in one of the biggest games of college football’s 2013 season on Thursday night. Stanford won in Eugene last year, but the Ducks have claimed two out of the last three games in this series. In Oregon’s last trip to the Farm, the Ducks handled the Cardinal 53-30. Next Week: Oregon (Thursday)
Arizona State (6-2, 4-1): Behind quarterback Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 42-14 halftime lead against Washington State and held on for an easy 55-21 win. Kelly finished with seven touchdowns, including five through the air on 22 completions. Running back Marion Grice had a quiet night, rushing for 94 yards on 18 attempts against the Cougars. The Sun Devils’ defense also delivered a strong performance, as Washington State managed most of its yards and points with the outcome no longer in doubt. Arizona State has won three in a row, and with four games remaining, is a slight favorite over UCLA to win the Pac-12 South. Next Week: at Utah
UCLA (6-2, 3-2): After back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon, UCLA desperately needed a win to keep pace with Arizona State in the South Division. The Bruins did just that on Saturday, beating Colorado 45-23 to snap a two-game losing streak. Quarterback Brett Hundley turned in an efficient performance, throwing for 273 yards and two scores, while adding 72 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. UCLA’s defense forced only one turnover and generated one sack, but this unit held the Buffaloes to just 10 points in the final two quarters. Next Week: at Arizona
Washington (5-3, 2-3): The Huskies had an off date in Week 10 and are set to host Colorado in Week 11. The bye week came at a good time for coach Steve Sarkisian’s team, as Washington played Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and California in consecutive weeks without an off date. Sarkisian has the Huskies on the right track, but can Washington finally win more than seven games under his watch? Next Week: Colorado
USC (6-3, 3-2): For the most part, interim coach Ed Orgeron has pushed all of the right buttons for USC since he was promoted to replace Lane Kiffin. The Trojans turned in an impressive performance on Friday night against Oregon State, scoring a 31-14 victory in Corvallis. Both sides of the ball delivered for Orgeron, as the offense had a balanced attack, rushing for 242 yards and passing for 247. Running backs Silas Redd and Javorius Allen chipped in over 100 rushing yards, while quarterback Cody Kessler was an efficient 17 of 21 for 247 yards. Oregon State recorded 369 overall yards, but the Trojans picked off quarterback Sean Mannion three times. Even with a shorthanded roster, it’s not out of the question USC finishes with nine wins this year. Next Week: at California
Oregon State (6-3, 4-2): After six consecutive victories, the Beavers have lost back-to-back games. Making matters worse for coach Mike Riley’s team is the upcoming schedule isn’t going to get any easier: at Arizona State, Washington and at Oregon. For the second week in a row, Oregon State’s passing attack struggled to get on track. Quarterback Sean Mannion was sacked only twice but tossed two picks and was pressured throughout the night. The Beavers’ defense struggled with tackling and allowed 242 rushing yards to USC. The bye week comes at a good time for Oregon State, which should allow Riley and the coaching staff to regroup before a tough three-game stretch to finish the season. Next Week: Bye Week
Arizona (6-2, 3-2): With Saturday’s 33-28 win over California, the Wildcats are bowl eligible for the second year in a row under coach Rich Rodriguez. The Golden Bears gave Arizona more of a fight than some may have anticipated, but Arizona used a balanced attack on offense to hold on for the five-point win. Running back Ka’Deem Carey topped 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, and quarterback B.J. Denker threw for 261 yards and added three rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats play their next three games at home, including a chance to play spoiler in matchups against Oregon and UCLA. Next Week: UCLA
Utah (4-4, 1-4): The Utes had a much-needed bye on Saturday. Quarterback Travis Wilson will benefit the most from the off week, as the sophomore was dealing with a hand injury prior to the bye and completed eight passes (and four picks) in his last two games. Getting Wilson back on track will be huge for the Utes’ bowl hopes. Next Week: Arizona State
Washington State (4-5, 2-4): The Cougars have been in a bit of a slide since beating California 44-22 on Oct. 5. Washington State lost to Arizona State 55-21 on Thursday night, which dropped coach Mike Leach’s team to 4-5 overall. The Cougars were unable to get their offense on track early on, and the defense had no answer for the Sun Devils’ balanced attack. Washington State is on bye this Saturday and closes out the 2013 season with games against Arizona State, Utah and Washington, with two victories needed to get bowl eligible. Next Week: Bye Week
Colorado (3-5, 0-5): The Buffaloes dropped their fifth straight game, losing 45-23 at UCLA on Saturday. However, Colorado gave the Bruins a battle and trailed only by eight points going into halftime. Freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau had a solid performance on the road, completing 25 of 36 throws for 247 yards and one score. The Buffaloes’ defense struggled to stop UCLA, as the Bruins averaged 7.2 yards per play and converted 6 of 11 third downs. Colorado needs three wins to get bowl eligible, which will be difficult with USC, Washington and a road trip to Utah remaining. Next Week: at Washington
California (1-8, 0-6): The Golden Bears losing streak reached seven games on Saturday, as Sonny Dykes’ team lost 33-28 to Arizona. Although Dykes certainly won’t be happy with a loss, California’s five-point defeat is its smallest margin of 2013. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff threw for 289 yards and four scores but tossed two interceptions. The Golden Bears’ defense kept Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey out of the endzone and held the offense to five yards per play. Saturday’s loss was a step in the right direction for California, and the Golden Bears need to build on that over the final three games. Next Week: USC
Pac-12 Week 10 Recap and Awards
by Braden Gall
Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
USC's Javorius Allen (133 yards, three touchdowns) played well for the Trojans. Arizona's B.J. Denker (305 total yards, four touchdowns) was huge on the road against Cal. But it's hard to argue that the Sun Devils quarterback wasn't the best player in the league this weekend. Late on Thursday night on the road, Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns and more than 300 yards of total offense against Washington State. He threw for 275 yards and five scores while rushing for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground while leading his offense to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 game with at least 50 points. Kelly is third in the league — ahead of Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley — with 313.9 yards per game in 2013.
Defensive Player of the Week: Devon Kennard, LB, USC
The former five-star recruit missed all of last year with an injury and it appears he is starting to round into all-conference form. Kennard posted a career-high two sacks in the upset of Sean Mannion and his potent Beavers passing attack. He added four total tackles. He has seven quarterback take downs on the season, trailing only Trent Murphy (9.5) and Tony Washington (7.5) in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the league at 323.0 yards allowed per game.
Team of the Week: USC
With an interim head coach and a depleted roster in a stadium where it hadn't won at in nearly a decade, the Trojans got an unexpected Pac-12 road win. The defense played excellent football against a high-flying Beavers offense without Morgan Breslin, Su'a Cravens and Anthony Brown. The running game and return of Marqise Lee delivered on offense despite missing Kevin Graf and Randall Telfer. USC won it's third straight Pac-12 game and became bowl eligible. Interim coach Ed Oregeron is now 3-0 in Pac-12 since taking over for Lane Kiffin and it puts USC squarely in the divisional race, one game behind Arizona State.
Coordinator of the Week: Clancy Pendergast, USC
Oregon State boasts one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, and Pendergast's unit shut it down. On the road, the Trojans allowed just 277 yards passing to the No. 3-rated pass offense in the nation and only 92 yards on the ground. USC forced three Sean Mannion turnovers and held star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to just six receptions and 88 yards. USC is leading the Pac-12 in total defense (323.0 ypg) and has held Utah and Oregon State to a combined 570 yards after allowing over 500 to both Arizona State and Arizona.
Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
For the second week in a row, Wright gets top honors after a terrific showing in a Wildcats win on the road. Wright posted a career-high 11 total tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in the five-point win over Cal. He is 11th in the Pac-12 in tackles (7.5 pg) and is No. 3 among freshman (Addison Gillam, Cameron Walker). The Wildcats are bowl eligible and one game back of the Sun Devils in the South Divison with games left with both UCLA and Arizona State at home. USC's Leon McQuay II gets a mention for six tackles and two pass break-ups against Oregon State in place of star freshman Su'a Cravens.
• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, rushing 32 times for 152 yards against Cal. B.J. Denker stole the show again, scoring four times and accounting for more than 300 yards of offense.
• USC's Javorius Allen (16) and Silas Redd (22) combined for 38 rushing attempts and 273 yards against Oregon State. Marqise Lee returned with five receptions, 105 yards and a touchdowns.
• UCLA's Devin Fuller touched the ball four times on offense and scored on three of them. He caught two touchdowns in three receptions and scored on his only rushing attempt. He totaled 107 yards from scrimmage.
• UCLA didn't have an injured Eric Kendricks, and tailback Jordan James returned to action. James carried six times for eight yards.
• UCLA's Brett Hundley was excellent against Colorado, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 72 and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).
• The South Division went 3-0 against the North Division this weekend.
• Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks lead the nation with 14 touchdown connections this season.