Welcome to Back with the Pac: Week 7 where we look at the most unpredictable conference in college football! The main event of the weekend was Oregon vs Washington which lived up to all of the hype. Week 7 proved again that there is no clear favorite in either division, and it will be an exciting finish to the college football season.
In the game of the week, Oregon outlasted Washington 30-27 in overtime. It was an impressive win for the Ducks, and most importantly, one that keeps them in the division race. For a moment, it appeared as if Oregon would squander another chance at beating a ranked opponent at home. However, Washington put the worries of the Oregon fans to rest. The Huskies missed a field goal at the end of regulation, and were only able to convert a field goal in the first part of overtime. Oregon capitalized and they were able to walk away with the victory. The only other North team in action was Cal, but they weren’t really in action. Cal was defeated 37-7 by UCLA giving them their first win of the season. It was an ugly performance from the Golden Bears especially after their game against Arizona the previous week.
USC vs Colorado was easily the biggest game of the weekend in the South. USC’s talent outlasted Colorado giving the Trojans a 31-20 win. USC is in the driver’s seat for the division with the win, but Utah might have something to say about that. In an usual Friday night game, Utah dismantled Arizona 42-10. Utah was supposed to win this game handily, and they did. Utah has quietly put themselves in a strong position to win the South. Despite that, the biggest news of the night was that Arizona QB Khalil Tate re-injured his ankle and was forced out of the game. Tate hasn’t looked the same this season, but he is Arizona’s best chance at winning a football game. Without Tate, expect more struggles to appear for the Wildcats. As mentioned earlier, UCLA handled Cal giving Chip Kelly his first win as a Bruin. UCLA has been playing better, and it will be interesting to see how they play against a struggling Arizona team at home this weekend.
Best Performance of the Week: Oregon Ducks
Oregon needed this win, and they deserved this win. The Ducks looked like the better team on the field for most of the game. Once again the offense, led by Justin Herbert, was balanced and potent. The defense played solid throughout the entire game which gave them chances to win. Most importantly, Mario Cristobal appears to be a significant upgrade over Willie Taggart. Oregon appears to be on the rise in the Pac-12 once again.
Worst Performance of the Week: California Golden Bears
Losing by 30 points at home is never acceptable. Neither is losing to a team at home that has yet to win a game during the season. Combine both of those and you get the California Golden Bears performance this past weekend! The offense turned the ball over five times against UCLA which allowed the Bruins to control the game. It was an ugly performance in all facets of the game at home against a win less team. Hey, at least the uniforms looked good.
Upcoming Game of the Week: #25 Washington State vs. #12 Oregon
For the first time, ESPN College GameDay is finally headed to Pullman! For more information on why that is important check out this awesome article by Andy Jones here http://studentunionsports.com/college-football/college-gameday-is-finally-going-5o-pullman-washington/ajones
This fact alone would be reason enough to make this my game of the week. Despite that, this is the best game in the conference next week. Oregon needs to keep winning to stay in the division race, but Washington State will look to make a statement with their own big win. Pullman is a historically tough place to play and it should be a difficult game for both teams. The game will also be on a national stage, and everyone around the country can see how exciting Pac-12 football is!