Around The Conference Table: Week 5
reestablishing the connection
This season we go around our writers for their takes on the other conference games that went on in gameweek.
Washington @ UCLA (UCLA wins 40-32)
ShadowSandrock - I'm honestly still not sure what is a mirage here. My gut is that UW was more overrated than we thought (looking at you Sparty) which also makes me think that UCLA is also a bit of a mirage, but the Pac12 may be entirely smoke and mirrors this year, so who cares. Still, it is kinda wild that this game ended up as close as it was. UW should have had to forfeit after DTR tricked those two defenders into each other like a cartoon.
TD_24 - DTR and the UCLA offense looks good. Will it look as good after Utah and Oregon? Stay tuned.
Avinash - Washington finally hit the talent wall from Jimmy Lake's departure. UCLA's team speed on both sides overwhelmed them for three quarters. The Huskies did manage a solid comeback though, so the good news for UW is they have really good coaching in place to put them in positions to win. But the Bruins are looking like they are a member of that core four who can compete for the title. Super-senior DTR is just in pure command of the Chip Kelly offense now and is very locked in. A huge battle with Utah looms.
Bk97 - Flashbacks to every time Cal plays in the Rose Bowl and gets steamrolled by the UCLA offense. It's going to be a dread-filled week if we're 5-6 going into the season finale against the Bruins.
Christopher_h - UCLA dominated this game early with some uncharacteristically poor play from the UW secondary. UW did make a late comeback, but UCLA was bailed out by some questionable ref calls ruling that "forward progress was stopped" to keep the clock running late in the game when UCLA was playing keep-away. Come on refs, why protect the B1G team with bogus calls?
Rob Hwang - I still can’t tell what this game told me? Is UW not as good as we thought or is UCLA a lot better than we thought?
ASU @ USC (USC wins 42-25)
ShadowSandrock - Delayed dead cat bounce? Lincoln Riley is like Super Saiyan Sonny Dykes.
TD_24 - USC goes through the motions and wins. Wazzu and Utah the next two weeks has my intrigue.
Avinash - Great teams cover. Good job on the Sun Devils to hang around as long as possible with the squad they have. But Caleb Williams is currently far and away the best player in the conference. The Trojans have one solid test left against a very good Wazzu team before we learn if they are actual playoff contenders at Utah. But they need to figure out their defense.
Bk97 - ASU looked pretty good in the first half. Then they tallied 2 yards over the next 20 minutes.
Christopher_h - USC looks a lot like a Sonny Dykes team, hoping to score on every drive and win a turnover or two on defense to get the edge in possessions. ASU kept up in the first half, but when the score started getting away from them, they weren't able to get enough out of the passing game to keep pace with USC the entire game. Shout-out to the ASU player who squirted his water on USC QB Caleb Williams on the sideline, though. I love the pettiness.
Rob Hwang - I don’t THINK ASU will go 1-11, but the chance is still there until they win. Nevermind. Their next two games are Stanford and Colorado. They WILL win atleast one right? Right…?
OSU @ Utah (Utah wins 42-16)
ShadowSandrock - I want to be able to hate on Kyle Wittingham, but I can't. He is just so good and it is so frustrating. Really really glad we miss Utah this year. OSU is still legit though and I don't like it.
TD_24 - Chance Nolan has had a rough few weeks. The defense certainly tried.
Avinash - Oregon State outgained Utah in this game. But their quarterbacks are not good at the moment and it could sink a promising season. I feel a bit better about Cal's chances in this game, but it's getting dicey to place our hopes on a win in Corvallis. The Bears really need to score an upset in their next three games post-Colorado to ease the pressure of having to win that one.
Bk97 - Chance Nolan, u ok? That's a lot of interceptions recently.
Christopher_h - Really rough go of it for OSU QB Chance Nolan. Hoping he's okay injury-wise. OSU is a good team that's not going to get the respect it deserves, but it will be a must-win game for Cal if they want to go to a bowl game.
Rob Hwang - Oregon State may have concerns at QB not due to play, but health wise and if Nolan is unable to go we might see more of a double attack with Gulbranson and Coletto. If there’s an offensive mind in the conference that could make it work, it’s probably Johnathon Smith.
Stanford @ Oregon (Oregon wins 45-27)
ShadowSandrock - I think the yellow pants make everyone look faster. It feels like there's something to learn here..... Stanford is bad though and I'm feeling good about the place tickets I got for the Big Game this year.
TD_24 - This score is not indicative of the game. Oregon wiped the floor with these boys. But Casey Filkins looks solid.
Avinash - Bo Nix might be shedding the memes. He is perfect for Oregon at the moment and breaking personal records all over the place. If it weren't for penalties this could've been an easy 60 for the Ducks. And more importantly for the Ducks, all their biggest games are at home. Their biggest question is their very shaky defense, which continues to give up explosive play after explosive play.
Bk97 - It seems like the LSJU MO this season is to let the other team score 4 TDs and then start scoring enough to try to make the game look more respectable. Down 31-3 this week, then they lost 45-27. Last week: down 30-7, then finished 40-22. Against USC: down 28-7, then finished 41-28.
Christopher_h - Stanford's defense is terrible, they just could not defend the edges at all and Oregon was up 31-3 at halftime. As bad as Stanford's offense is, I respect that they're at least trying to do something different on offense.
Rob Hwang - Good lord Stanford looks bad.
Colorado @ Arizona (Arizona wins 43-20)
ShadowSandrock - Yeah, we better be game planning for UW this week. The CU game should be a get right game for us.
TD_24 - Cal facing a new head coach and defensive coordinator in Boulder? That will give me a little anxiety.
Avinash - COLORADO IS FREE! COLORADO IS A FREE BUFFALO! I'd say Arizona definitely has the offensive juice to upset someone. And hey it's Dennis Dixon...err... Bo Nix coming to town this week.
Bk97 - It's a shame we won't be able to make a bunch of dumb Karl Dorrell moustache jokes next week.
Christopher_h - Probably going to save most of my thoughts for my preview articles, but the general gist of it is that Colorado absolutely cannot tackle, and so even routine plays go for big yards against them. All of Arizona's receivers had monster games, cutting up the Colorado defense like a hot knife through butter. Colorado doesn't trust their freshman offense enough to do much offensively either.
Rob Hwang - Colorado looks REALLY beatable. Arizona bounces back and looks like a very good quality win.
Any other thoughts?
Avinash - At least UNLV continues to look like a quality win. I know UC Davis has had a hard FCS schedule, but that 1-4 start is tough given how unimpressive that win was.
Bk97 - I am not looking forward to the back half of Cal's schedule. Except for LSJU, those teams are all well equipped to win a shootout. We...are not.
Christopher_h - I just want to watch Cal in a bowl game. That's all. Barring that, it'd be really nice if Cal could spoil USC's playoff hopes, which I'm sure would send them into a tailspin. They're just going to get Oklahoma'd in the playoffs anyway.
Rob Hwang - Has anyone seen my one ring? I got it in the mail from this Sauron dude last week.