Around The Conference Table: Week 2
This season we go around our writers for their takes on the other conference games that went on in gameweek.
Southern Utah @ Utah (Utah won 73-7)
TD_24 - Utes mad. Utes definitely didn't play bad.
Avinash - Start pencilling in Utah vs. USC as the Pac-12 game of the year. This team is going to be mad as hell the next month about the Florida game.
Christopher_h - Didn't watch this yet, but looks like Utah took out last week's frustration out on SUU.
Wazzu @ Wisconsin (Wazzu won 17-14)
TD_24 - This Washington State defense is legit. So much depth and rotations on the defensive line that can get the job done.
AvinashCal at Washington State is shaping up to be the Spiderman pointing at Spiderman meme. Two well-respected defensive coordinators capable of some impressive OOC wins...but boy will offense be a huge question mark.
Piotr T Le - Wisconsin out Coug-ed the Cougars, one of the achievements of the blood moon week.
Christopher_h - Great job by Washington State, but Wisconsin has some serious issues on offense, particularly at the QB position.
Colorado @ Air Force (Colorado lost 10-41)
TD_24 - The Buffs are bad. I took Air Force -17.5 with confidence, especially playing in Colorado Springs.
Avinash - Colorado has given up 355 rushing yards per game, last in the nation, which is 84 yards clear of next-to-last place. Colorado managed 51 passing yards and converted one third down against Air Force. This is a very sad football team.
Piotr T Le - We're all Cal fans and we have our share of issues but at least we're not Buffs fans. Yikes
Bk97 - Is it too soon to think that the Buffs have a reasonable chance of ending the season winless?
Christopher_h - Colorado is alone at the bottom of the Pac-12. To be fair, the heavy rain would favor a team like Air Force that never throws the ball at all, but Colorado's defense was bullied by Air Force.
Portland State @ UW (UW wins 52-6)
TD_24 - The Huskies are taking care of business. They have a big litmus test next week when Michigan State comes to Seattle.
Avinash - Jaden Casey completed a pass in this game! Good for him. On the bad side, Washington looks like a competent football team again. I don't think we can win with 20 points or less anymore.
Christopher_h - Haven't seen it yet, but UW is favored over Michigan State next week after cruising by far less talented teams like Kent State and Portland State. I guess we'll see if UW is for real next week.
Alabama State @ UCLA (UCLA won 45-7)
TD_24 - DTR gets a bit banged up, Ethan Garbers cleans it up. Stay tuned in case there is a slight QB controversy if DTR can't play.
Avinash - Ethan Garbers got into this game in the second quarter! Zach Charbonnet didn't play. This is a very unserious game and the month for the Bruins, whose hardest game is against South Alabama next week.
Bk97 - The acres of empty seats in the Rose Bowl reflect how awful this OOC slate is. I don't think we're going to learn anything meaningful about the Bruins until Washington visits on September 30th.
Christopher_h - I was wondering where Laviska Shenault's brother went after leaving Colorado. Still going to be a couple weeks before UCLA plays a real team-- Bowling Green, Alabama State, and South Alabama has to be the softest Pac-12 OOC schedule in recent history. Hoping South Alabama can harvest some of that Sun Belt upset magic, though.
ASU @ Oklahoma State (ASU lost 17-34)
TD_24 - Well ASU put forth a good effort but they simply are too decimated at the moment to win these types of games. They can have some Pac 12 road upsets however.
Avinash - Just want Herm Edwards to keep surviving and thriving, keep doing what you're doing Herm! Arizona State is only 25 more cliched speeches and 450 early morning tee times away from getting to the next level, you've got this.
Christopher_h - Oklahoma State is a good team (one play short of the playoffs last year), so there's no shame in losing this one. ASU did better than I expected after so many talented players jumped ship this off-season, but it looks like ASU is at least in the top half of the Pac-12 South-- that is to say, still a solid team.
USC @ Stanford
TD_24 - I tried telling everyone this USC offense is legit. Could actually drop 50 on anybody on any given week.
Avinash - Now that's how you turtle. USC put up a 42-14 lead at half and started running clock after that. The defense is still pretty porous and likely preventing a full sweep of the conference, but the Farmers also showed a lot more pluck and creativity offensively. Stanford is far away from being good with that defense, but if this offense keeps playing like this they can probably score an upset or two this season.
Piotr T Le - Sadly for another year Team Meteor has failed to appear during this game
Bk97 - USC destroyed the LSJU defense with simple plays like screens simply because their athleticism and talent on offense is on another level. I'm not ready for the rise of the USC death star.
Christopher_h - This game was not nearly as close as the score may appear... USC scored 5 TDs on their 5 drives in the first half, before easing off the gas. USC's defense is suspect, but I'm guessing (like Lincoln Riley did at Oklahoma) that most teams won't have the horses on offense to keep up.
Eastern Washington @ Oregon (Oregon won 70-14)
TD_24 - The Ducks were mad. And they finally didn't play bad.
Avinash - Huh, the best recruited team in the conference the past half-decade is apparently not toast. I think Oregon still has better odds than we'd like to consider to win the Pac-12 because they get Utah at home and avoid USC, but next week's game vs. a very mission-driven BYU squad will probably be telling as to where they stand talent and coaching-wise.
Christopher_h - I really liked former EWU QB Eric Barriere, but I figured that without him, they were probably in trouble.
Oregon State @ Fresno State (OSU won 35-32)
TD_24 - Game of the night by far. The balls on Jonathon Smith to go for it as time expired and Jack Colletto going crazy in these goal to go situations. Also some very big Jeff Tedford PTSD rang through this game. Hopefully more Pac 12 teams go out to Fresno to play.
Avinash - Add Jack Colletto to the list of Beavers who will likely haunt all Pac-12 fans in our nightmares. Jeff Tedford attempting and missing a long field goal instead of going for it to potentially seal the game, then calling timeout to make Oregon State put the offense on the field for the game-winning touchdown, and somehow it's not his most painful loss to Oregon State. The Bears remember.
Piotr T Le - Tedford continues to respect and fear the Beaver.
Bk97 - Great comeback win for the Beavs in a venue notorious for taking down Pac-12 teams. With neither team achieving a double-digit lead and three lead changes in the final two minutes, this was probably the best game of the week that no one watched. The OSU defense had moderate success pressuring Haener, but they struggled on plays when they couldn't generate pressure. A bowl berth seems likely, but a top-half finish in the conference is possible if they achieve more defensive consistency.
Christopher_h - This was a very evenly matched game and had a great finish. Props to OSU for going for the win with 3 seconds left instead of taking the FG to send it to overtime. I like Chance Nolan, but his receivers need to stop dropping so many easy catches. I think OSU is good, not great, and will probably be 1-2 games above bowl eligibility.
Mississippi State @ Arizona (Arizona loses 17-39)
TD_24 - Arizona is improving but too many mistakes from Jayden De Laura doomed them here. They had chances to tie and take the lead and they certainly need to clean it up with North Dakota St next week.
Really, really praying Cal gets this version of Jayden de Laura. we get the good version and we could lose our fifteenth straight heartbreaker. We get this version and we could ... probably still lose, but we might win!
Christopher_h - This game just looked like Mississippi State was the far more talented team. Mike Leach would hate it, but they could have run 10+ yards on every play if they wanted. After the announcers constantly hyped up the Arizona receivers, they had a number of drops and miscues. Jayden de Laura tried to improvise a whole offense, and just seemed to be on a different page than everyone else. Big test against perennial FCS champs NDSU coming.
Any other thoughts?
TD_24 - Cal is 2-0 and unscathed. Not how I wanted to be here but here's to a good game in South Bend.
Avinash - Notre Dame's defense is really good, and their offense is very confusing. Sound familiar? I really don't have a single clue what will happen in this one. South Dakota State nearly upset Iowa, then barely held off UC Davis. I'm now rooting for a Cal vs. Iowa sicko bowl game that will end college football as we know it as we ascend toward a higher plane of existence.
Piotr T Le - I didn't get to catch most of the games due to ONE CAL FAN WHO DECIDED TO GET MARRIED DURING THE FOOTBALL SEASON. smh
Christopher_h - That was 100% an interception by Craig Woodson. If the defender has both hands wrapped around the ball tucked into his chest, reaching one arm in after the defender has already hit the ground and rolled with the ball doesn't suddenly make it a simultaneous catch. Get out of here, refs.