Stanford crippled Oregon's title hopes for a second straight season.
UCLA won a critical Pac-12 South elimination game in Tucson. The USC Trojans quietly have won three straight and looked impressive against Cal. And Arizona State survived a scare in Salt Lake City.
But Week 11 in the Pac-12 belonged to Stanford. David Shaw's bunch put together what is arguably the most impressive performance by any team in the nation when it handled Oregon with surprising ease on Thursday night.
There will be an obvious theme in this week's Pac-12 superlatives.
Offensive Player of the Week: Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford
The Cardinal's win over Oregon was decidedly defensive but Gaffney literally carried his offense on Thursday night. He set a Stanford single-game record by rushing 45 times, breaking Tommy Vardell's previous record of 39 attempts set in 1991. Gaffney finished with 157 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 15 yards. It was the Stanford tailback's fourth straight 100-yard effort, his third straight game with at least 145 yards and his fifth straight game with a rushing touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Week: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
Skov is one of the nation's best leaders and proved it in a big way for the second straight year against Oregon. He posted nine tackles, two tackles for loss and forced two fumbles for a defense that has done now twice what no one else in the nation can seem to do — stop Oregon. The Ducks posted season lows in yards (312), yards per play (5.4 ypp), points (20) and first downs (17). Skov had 10 tackles against the Ducks last season.
Team of the Week: Stanford
There are plenty of big stories out West this weekend but none can compare to the clinic Stanford put on Thursday night against Oregon. For the second straight season, the physical running game and suffocating defense kept the Ducks grounded. The Cardinal pounded the Ducks defense 66 times for 274 yards on the ground while the defense shutdown a banged-up Marcus Mariota. Stanford now has wins over five ranked teams, including every other top Pac-12 contender (Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, Oregon State) with a trip to USC coming up next.
Coordinator of the Week: Derek Mason, Stanford
If the Cardinal defense continues on its torrid pace over the final month of the season, Mason might be a lock for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. Stanford totally stuffed the Ducks, holding Oregon scoreless for the first 50 minutes of play on Thursday night. Mason's unit held OU to less than 100 yards rushing (62) for the first time since LSU held the Ducks to 95 yards in the 2011 season opener. Stanford has 15 sacks in the last three games and has given up a total of 42 points to Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State combined over that span.
Freshman of the Week: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
In a key road division win, UCLA star freshman linebacker Myles Jack posted one of the most impressive stat lines of the season. He is 14th in the league in tackles and fourth among freshmen after posting eight tackles, one for loss, in addition to forcing fumble against a stellar Arizona rushing attack. But what made this performance special was the fact that he played both ways, rushing six times for 120 yards and a 66-yard touchdown. It was an old-school performance and maybe Jim L. Mora has found a stopgap for his depleted running back corps. Jack may have put himself in the lead for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year with his performance on the road Saturday night.
Pac-12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings:
|Rank||Team||LW||Record||This Week||Next Week|
|1||(2)||8-1, 6-1||W, Oregon, 26-20||at USC|
|2||(1)||8-1, 5-1||L, Stanford, 26-20||Utah|
|3||(3)||7-2, 5-1||W, Utah, 20-19||Oregon St|
|4||(4)||7-2, 4-2||W, Arizona, 31-26||Washington|
|5||(5)||6-3, 3-3||W, Colorado, 59-7||at UCLA|
|6||(6)||7-3, 4-2||W, Cal, 62-28||Stanford|
|7||(7)||6-3, 4-2||Bye||at Arizona St|
|8||(8)||6-3, 3-3||L, UCLA, 31-26||Washington St|
|9||(9)||4-5, 1-5||L, Arizona St, 20-19||at Oregon|
|10||(10)||4-5, 2-4||Bye||at Arizona|
|11||(11)||3-5, 0-5||L, Washington, 59-7||Cal|
|12||(12)||1-9, 0-7||L, USC, 62-28||at Colorado|