The favorites held serve in the Pac-12 for Week 8.
Washington State gave Oregon a battle for a half, but the Ducks simply had too much firepower on offense for the Cougars. Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday set a FBS record for pass attempts, but the Cougars were unable to run the ball and committed five turnovers.
Stanford got back into the win column with a solid 24-10 win over UCLA. The Cardinal showed no ill-effects from last week’s upset loss at the hands of Utah, as quarterback Kevin Hogan and a strong defensive effort erased any hopes the Bruins had of winning.
Arizona State got a huge win against Washington, while Oregon State handled California to improve to 6-1.
USC lost at Notre Dame, but Arizona knocked off Utah and Colorado beat Charleston Southern 43-10.
Pac-12 Post-Week 8 Power Rankings
Oregon (7-0, 4-0): Quarterback Marcus Mariota is a little human after all. The sophomore committed his first turnovers of the season in Saturday’s 62-38 win over Washington State, but Mariota still finished with 327 passing yards and two touchdowns, along with 67 yards and one score on the ground. Oregon’s defense gave up 559 yards but a good chunk of that total came with the outcome no longer in doubt. The Ducks played without running back De’Anthony Thomas for the third consecutive game. However, the junior is expected to return for the Week 9 matchup against UCLA. Next Week: UCLA
Stanford (6-1, 4-1): After an upset loss at Utah, the Cardinal bounced back into the win column with a 24-10 victory over UCLA. Stanford’s defense held the Bruins to just 10 points and 266 yards, well below the Bruins’ season averages of 45.8 points and 547 yards per game. Quarterback Kevin Hogan and running back Tyler Gaffney led the Cardinal’s offensive effort, but the highlight of the day was provided by receiver Kodi Whitfield on a 30-yard touchdown catch. Stanford travels to Corvallis to take on Oregon State this Saturday, followed by a Pac-12 North showdown against Oregon on Nov. 7. Next Week: at Oregon State
Arizona State (5-2, 3-1): The 53-24 win over Washington was the best victory Arizona State has recorded under second-year coach Todd Graham. The Sun Devils dominated the Huskies – a team that nearly beat Stanford in early October – by averaging 6.3 yards per play on offense, and limiting Washington’s offense to just 212 yards. Arizona State’s defense has struggled to stop the run this year but held Bishop Sankey to just 22 yards on 13 carries. The Sun Devils’ offense gashed the Huskies for 585 yards, with running back Marion Grice rushing for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona State heads into the bye with momentum, but a Nov. 23 showdown against UCLA looms large for the Pac-12 South title. Next Week: Bye Week
UCLA (5-1, 2-1): The Bruins lost to Stanford for the third time in less than a year. UCLA’s offense was held in check by the Cardinal defense, managing just four yards a play and converting only 5 of 15 third-down attempts. Quarterback Brett Hundley was harassed all night by Stanford’s defense and finished with 192 passing yards on 24 completions. UCLA’s offensive line has been hit hard by injuries, and this group suffered another setback with Simon Goines and Conor McDermott unable to finish against Stanford. The Bruins have to quickly regroup, as a trip to Eugene awaits this team on Saturday night. Next Week: at Oregon
Oregon State (6-1, 4-0): If it wasn’t for the loss against Eastern Washington in the season opener, there’s a good chance the Beavers would be ranked among the top 10-15 teams in the nation. Oregon State won its sixth game in a row with a 49-17 victory at California on Saturday night. Quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks connected 13 times for 232 yards and one score against the Golden Bears, and both have been among the top-10 players in the Pac-12 this season. The schedule will get tougher for Oregon State, but this team has rebounded nicely after the opening week loss to Eastern Washington. Next Week: Stanford
Washington (4-3, 1-3): The Huskies have played one of the toughest three-game stretches in the nation, and the cumulative effect of matchups against Oregon and Stanford might have caught up to Washington in Saturday’s loss at Arizona State. The Huskies were outgained 585 to 212 by the Sun Devils, with running back Bishop Sankey managing only 22 yards and one score on 13 attempts. Quarterback Keith Price was sacked seven times and left the game early with a thumb injury. Back-to-back games against California and Colorado should allow Washington to get back into the win column, but the November schedule features games against UCLA, Oregon State and a matchup against rival Washington State. Next Week: California
USC (4-3, 1-2): The Trojans move up a spot in the power rankings, but it’s by default, as they deserve to be ranked a spot ahead of Arizona after beating the Wildcats on Oct. 10. USC had plenty of chances to knock off Notre Dame on Saturday night, but the Fighting Irish found a way to hold on to a 14-10 victory. The Trojans did not convert a third down after the opening drive, and kicker Andre Heidari missed two field goals. As if the loss wasn’t enough, the Trojans’ injury report continues to grow, as receiver Marqise Lee was injured once again and tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble won’t play next Saturday. Next Week: Utah
Arizona (4-2, 1-2): The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak with a 35-24 win over Utah. Running back Ka’Deem Carey led the way for Arizona’s offense, recording 236 yards and one touchdown on 40 attempts. Quarterback B.J. Denker was efficient, completing 18 of 30 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown. The Wildcats’ defense also held Utah to 157 passing yards and forced two turnovers. With Colorado and California up next, Arizona has a chance to build momentum before playing UCLA, Oregon and Arizona State in November. Next Week: at Colorado
Utah (4-3, 1-3): A week after an upset win over Stanford, the Utes fell short on the road in a 35-24 loss to Arizona. Not only was the defeat costly to the Utes’ bowl hopes, quarterback Travis Wilson suffered a hand injury and his status for Week 9 is uncertain. Utah’s defense entered Week 8 ranked third in the Pac-12 against the run, but the Wildcats ran for 300 yards on 58 attempts. The Utes play three of their next four games on the road, including matchups against USC and Washington State that will likely decide whether this team gets to six wins or finishes at 5-7. Next Week: at USC
Washington State (4-4, 2-3): It was a record-setting night for the Cougars in Eugene. But breaking records isn’t always a good thing. Washington State managed to hang with Oregon for a half, but the Ducks pulled away in the final two quarters for a 62-38 win. Quarterback Connor Halliday set a FBS record with 89 pass attempts, but the junior tossed four picks, including one that was returned for a touchdown. The Cougars have lost three out of their last four games and were outscored in back-to-back matchups against teams from Oregon by a combined score of 114-62. Next Week: Bye Week
Colorado (3-3, 0-3): The Buffaloes cruised to an easy 43-10 win over Charleston Southern, in a game that was scheduled due to the canceled Fresno State contest from Sept. 14. Freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau was solid in his first start, completing 14 of 20 passes for 198 yards and one score. Liufau wasn’t the only freshman making an impact, as running back Michael Adkins rushed for 137 yards and four scores on 13 attempts. The Buffaloes need three wins to get bowl eligible, but the schedule isn’t easy the rest of the way. Next Week: Arizona
California (1-6, 0-4): The Golden Bears dropped their fifth straight game on Saturday, suffering a 49-17 loss to Oregon State. California’s offense hasn’t struggled to move the ball this season, but turnovers and the rushing attack has been a huge issue. Against the Beavers, the Golden Bears committed four turnovers and averaged just 2.9 yards per carry. The defense remains a work in progress with injuries and transition, and California has allowed every opponent to score at least 30 points this year. With Washington, Arizona, USC, and Stanford remaining, the Golden Bears’ best shot at a victory could be the Nov. 16 date at Colorado. Next Week: at Washington
Pac-12 Week 8 Recap and Awards
- by Braden Gall
Offensive Player of the Week: Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
In a time of need, Stanford coach David Shaw turned to his power rushing attack to get his team back on track against No. 9 UCLA. And the senior tailback rewarded his coach in a big way by rushing 36 times for 171 yards and two critical second-half touchdowns. Stanford is still in control of its own destiny, and Kevin Hogan got excellent production from his entire supporting cast on offense against the Bruins.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jordan Richards, Stanford
The Cardinal defense was physical and disruptive all afternoon against Brett Hundley and the Bruins. The junior defensive back intercepted the all-everything quarterback twice to help lead Stanford to a big win. Richards added 10 tackles and another pass break up to his stat sheet as well.
Team of the Week: Stanford
The Cardinal bounced back in a big way after falling to Utah last weekend by getting back to basics against previously unbeaten UCLA. The defense was suffocating and the offense ran the football with aggressiveness and physicality. It was a typical Cardinal performance and the in re-establishes Oregon and Stanford are still the top two teams out West.
Coordinator of the Week: Derek Mason, Stanford
UCLA's Heisman-contending quarterback Brett Hundley came into the game 11th in the nation in passing efficiency (165.0) and eighth nationally in total offense (345.8 yards per game). The Bruins were fifth nationally in total offense (547.0 yards per game) and seventh in scoring offense (45.8). Mason's physical defense held UCLA to just 10 points and 266 yards of offense, and, in particular, made life miserable for Hundley. The Bruins quarterback threw two interceptions, was sacked four times and mustered just 219 yards of offense.
Freshman of the Week: Michael Adkins II, Colorado
The Buffaloes haven't had many chances at wins, but Mike MacIntyre's bunch took advantage by topping an unbeaten Charleston Southern with relative ease. Adkins has seen his work load increase over the last few weeks and he had his best performance against the Buccaneers. He rushed for 137 yards and four touchdowns in Colorado's third win of the season.
• Bishop Sankey, the nation's leading rusher entering Week 8, was held to a season-low 22 yards on 13 carries by Arizona State. It dropped him to eighth nationally in rushing. As a team, Washington rushed for minus-5 yards against the Sun Devils.
• Arizona State's Marion Grice, the nation's leading scorer at 15.0 points per game entering Week 8, extended his lead by scoring three touchdowns in the win over Washington. He carried 21 times for 158 yards and caught four passes for 37 yards.
• Washington State's Connor Halliday set an NCAA record with 89 attempts, passing Drew Brees' previous records of 83 set in 1998. His 58 completions tied an NCAA mark he now shares with Andy Schmitt of Eastern Michigan (2008). Halliday also threw for a Pac-12 record 557 yards, breaking Andrew Walter's mark of 536 yards set in 2002.
• Sean Mannion (481 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions) gets most of the headlines but wide receiver Brandin Cooks is the best player no one knows about. He caught 13 passes for 232 yards and his 12th touchdown of the season. His 76 receptions are nine ahead of No. 2 nationally (Justin Hardy, 67), his 1,176 yards are 152 yards ahead of No. 2 nationally (Mike Evans, 1,024) and his 12 receiving touchdowns lead the nation as well.
• Utah's Travis Wilson injured his right hand late in the first half in the road loss to Arizona. His replacement Adam Shulz threw for 142 yards and a TD.
• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed 40 times for 236 yards and a game-clinching 44-yard touchdown over Utah.
• Oregon State has won six straight games and is 4-0 in the Pac-12 since losing to Eastern Washington at home after crushing Cal 49-17 on the road.
• Oregon's Marcus Mariota threw another 32 passes and scored another three times without throwing an interception. Mariota has scored 28 total touchdowns without an interception in 2013.
• USC lost in South Bend for the first time since 2001 after winning five straight over Notre Dame on the road. The two teams didn't a score a point in the final 31 minutes of action.