Orac's Blog
Pac-12 and the Next Best 3, Week 5: Results

Game of the Week

Washington 31, Utah 14

This game came down to outstanding performances from Keith Price (22-30, 226 yds 3 TD, 1 INT) and Chris Polk (29 carries, 189 yds) and a bit of misfortune for Utah. The Utes starting quarterback Jordan Wynn (12-17, 149 yds 1 TD, 1 INT) injured his non-throwing shoulder and did not play the second half. His replacement, Jon Hays had a rough go of it, losing a fumble and throwing an interception. But the true killer for Utah was their non-existant running game. Washington's beleguered defense held the Utes to a net 17 yards on the ground. An impressive performance by the Huskies that, with Oregon's bye this week, leaves them in sole possession of second place in the North division. It's Utah's second conference loss, but with one of those defeats coming at the hands of ineligible Southern California the Utes are still in the hunt for the South division title. Next week's showdown with Arizona State will be crucial.

Washington State 31, Colorado 27

A thrilling comeback for the Cougars as they scored two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes to come away with the win. Marshall Lobbestael (32-49, 376 yds 3 TD, 1 INT) continues to impress as the starting quarterback. Coach Wulff would do well to keep him as the starter even though original starting quarterback Jeff Tuel is throwing again and may be in playing shape. For Colorado, they played well but like the California game the defense was unable to hold a lead until the very end.

Southern California 48, Arizona 41

Whatever happened to Southern California's defense? Granted, Arizona quarterback Nick Foles is a top player (41-53, 425 yds 4 TD 2 INT) but in the past the Trojans would never have allowed such a result. Fortunately, SC quarterback Matt Barkley outdueled Foles, going 32-39 for 468 yds, 4 TD 1 INT. The two teams combined for almost 1200 yards in offense so defense was lacking all around. But this team is not representative of the Trojans of old. They will need to do much better if they want to realize their role as a conference spoiler going forward.

Arizona State 35 , Oregon State 20

The Beavers got off to a hot start, capitalizing on Arizona State turnovers but were unable to hold their lead much into the second half. But they were unable to contain their own mistakes to pull off the upset. OSU redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Mannion was 40 of 66 for 341 yards but he also threw 4 INTs. On top of Arizona State's 3 INTs it was a sloppy game, but ASU's defense ultimately made the difference. The Sun Devils effectively get to play for the South division title against Utah next week. Oregon State will hope for their first victory at home against Arizona.

Stanford 45, UCLA 19

Close enough. Andrew Luck (23-27, 227 yds 3 TD 0 INT) did nothing to quiet the Heisman talk. He even caught a pass for 13 yards as Stanford beat a scrappy UCLA team. Richard Brehaut had a decent day, going 18 of 33 for 202. Stanford still has a few defensive issues to work out. UCLA's offense seems to finally be on the right track. But they still have numerous issues that will likely cost Rick Neuheisel his job at the end of the season.

The Next Best 3

Wisconsin 48, Nebraska 17

As predicted, Wisconsin was good. Scary good. Their offensive leaders were the real deal, and once they'd taken a lead on the Cornhuskers there was no looking back. Wisconsin took away Nebraska's running game and Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez was unable to bring them back with his less than accurate passing, despite throwing the ball well in the first half. Wisconsin will almost certainly figure into the National Championship discussion going forward. As for Nebraska, welcome to the B1G. I don't know what you heard prior to joining, but they play serious football in the Big Ten.

Alabama 38, Florida 10

Once again, as expected. Florida started well, throwing the ball deep for an early score. But then Alabama asserted itself on both sides of the ball, knocking Florida quarterback John Brantley from the game and letting Trent Richardson run wild. Were the Gators overrated? Let's see what the polls say tomorrow.

Clemson 23, Virginia Tech 3

So much for a close finish. Clemson's defense completely stymied the Hokies. Three ranked teams in a row. ACC fans have to be looking forward to the game with Georgia Tech later this month.

Orac's Picks: 8-0 That's almost certainly never going to happen again.
Comment #1 has been removed
October 2, 2011  04:27 AM ET

Very well-written blog Orac.
Or, to put the compound modifier after the noun, your blog is very well written.

My point is that I'm a stickler for proper grammar (my own, not other people's) and after reading your post I realized it was grammatically near perfect.
After rereading it I counted only 1 missing comma!

Some of these games ended not long after you posted this.
How on earth did you manage such a comprehensive evaluation of all these games in such a short period of time without any dumb grammar mistakes?

October 2, 2011  01:54 PM ET

That's easy, Rabbit. I wrote the results as the later games were being played. I also had that 45 minute hole that TnerB had such trouble filling... ;-)

Anyway, the Game of the Week gets the most coverage. Everything else takes much less time. As for that missing comma, I'm going to have to hunt that puppy down and put a leash on it.

October 3, 2011  01:08 PM ET

8-0. Impressive!

October 5, 2011  05:44 PM ET

Wisconsin is good, no doubt, but they appear on a course to the Rose Bowl where either Stanford or Oregon will show they have too much offense for the Badgers.

October 5, 2011  10:44 PM ET

Really nice work, Orac.

By the way, the Gators are definitely overrated now, with a true freshman QB.


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