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Around The Conference Table: Week 9
Last few weeks
This season we go around our writers for their takes on the other conference games that went on in prior gameweek.
5 Washington @ Stanford (Stanford loses 33-42)
TD_24 - Washington defense sucks again? Oregon now looks like the team to beat in the Pac. Big Game looks stressful.
Bk97 - Another game in which Washington barely survives against an opponent that should be severely overmatched.
Christopher_h - This game was very much in doubt all the way to the end, and UW continues to look mortal against teams they should be blowing out.
8 Oregon @ 13 Utah (Oregon wins 35-6)
TD_24 - This.....this is beyond scary. You don't just do that to the Utes in SLC. I fear Oregon.
Bk97 - Utah's home winning streak has ended in catastrophic fashion. Oregon seems to be on an inevitable path to a rematch with UW for the Pac-12 title. And with how well Oregon has been playing since that first matchup, I think they would be favored to win.
Christopher_h - I know Oregon lost a close one to Washington, but there is no doubt in my mind that Oregon is the best team in the conference. This game may have been interesting if Utah were fully healthy on the offensive side of the ball, but Oregon's offense overwhelmed Utah's defense--their strength--and Utah's offense obviously didn't stand a chance. What was surprising here was just how dominant Oregon's lines were; bullying Utah in the trenches is no joke.
11 Oregon State @ Arizona (Arizona wins 27-24)
TD_24 - Arizona may just be for real. But Jonathan Smith what the hell was that fake field goal attempt at the end of half???????
Bk97 - Is Arizona...actually kinda good now?
Christopher_h - I'm a big fan of QB Noah Fifita, who has usurped the starting role from Jayden de Laura. DJ Uiagalelei threw some really nice balls in this one, but the Arizona offense ultimately got the better of the OSU defense. The Arizona defense is quietly underrated.
Colorado @ 23 UCLA (UCLA wins 28-16)
TD_24 - UCLA's defense is absolutely terrifying. They just get everyone off schedule in a bit of mass chaos.
Christopher_h - This game was probably closer than it should have been, but wow, what fantastic play at defense by Travis Hunter (a week after his great offensive play but poor defensive play). I think Travis Hunter knew where Ethan Garbers wanted to throw the ball before Ethan Garbers did. As expected, though, the UCLA defensive line easily outmatched Colorado's offensive line (an issue that's not going to be easily fixed by importing new transfers, sorry Prime), and largely bottled up Shedeur Sanders.
Washington State @ Arizona State (Arizona State wins 38-27)
TD_24 - Suddenly Wazzu may be the most winnable game left on the schedule.
Bk97 - Cam Ward has regressed from elite to pretty good while the Wazzu defense is collapsing (38+ points and 500+ yards in each of the last three games). Missing USC and Utah, their schedule looked pretty favorable this year but they seem unable to take advantage.
Christopher_h - WSU started the season off strong, but man have they fallen off a cliff recently, dropping their 4th straight game (as opposed to Cal, who has dropped 3 straight since their narrow win over ASU). Teams are starting to figure out their offense, and they've got some exploitable holes in the secondary. That Wazzu game is looking more winnable, but it'll still be a tough matchup for Cal's defense.
Any other thoughts?
TD_24 - All roads to the title game tend to die in the desert.
Christopher_h - Cal was the better team last Saturday, and USC doesn't belong in the top half of anyone's power rankings. It would be the biggest miscarriage of justice for USC to luck their way into a conference title game at this point.