What a thrilling week for the conference of champions. Many down to the wire games across the five games this weekend, including the No. 9 Oregon Ducks hanging on for dear life against the worst team in the Pac-12.
Let's take a look at what happened in the Pac-12 this weekend.
No. 9 Oregon Survives California 24-17 in Thriller
What an absolute rollercoaster for Ducks fans at Autzen Stadium. The 1-4 California Golden Bears had a top-10 team on the ropes for the entire night.
Travis Dye was dominant for the Ducks early, getting the first four touches of the game and five total touches on the Ducks' first drive, which resulted in a 49-yard field goal from Camden Lewis, who might deserve an award for how much of a rock star he's been this season after a rocky start to his college career.
Cal marched right down the field on the ensuing drive and took a 7-3 lead on a Chase Garbers touchdown pass to Jake Tonges.
The next Ducks drive would be a symbol of how the rest of the game would look. Anthony Brown missed on a couple of throws and ran for no gain on third down, and the boos began to rain down from the crowd. The boos increased when he dumped it off to Dye on a fourth down attempt that came up short.
After the Golden Bears' touchdown drive, the Ducks' defense locked in. They held Cal to 75 total yards of offense on the next four drives to close out the first half after giving up 75 on the first drive alone. But the Ducks' offense couldn't capitalize on most of those stops.
Kris Hutson lost a fumble after the Ducks' defense forced a turnover on downs, and Brown fumbled the ball back to Cal after the Golden Bears' punted. Sandwiched in between was an 11-yard touchdown run by Dye that was created by a couple of chunk plays to Devon Williams, who had his best game of the year with four catches for 67 yards.
The Cal offense took a 17-10 lead after tying the game with a field goal and a touchdown on consecutive drives. Oregon's offense struggled at the beginning of the second half with back-to-back punts, causing Ducks fans to boo louder than ever.
But the offense would come alive after Cal took the lead. Brown found Jaylon Redd for a 20-yard score to tie the game, capping off a 62-yard drive on five plays. The Ducks' defense began to create more pressure on Garbers thanks to the return of Kayvon Thibodeaux in the second half after missing the first half due to a targeting call against Stanford.
The defense gave the ball back to the offense with a chance to take the lead, and it appeared like it would be a tough task after an offensive holding call resulted in a first-and-20 at their own 35. Dye caught a pass for 39 yards to convert, and Byron Cardwell moved the Ducks inside the Cal 10-yard line. Brown ran it in himself for an 11-yard touchdown to take a 24-17 lead.
Cal's 18-play drive to attempt to tie the game fell short at the Oregon two-yard line after Garbers threw an incomplete pass on fourth down while being pressured by Noah Sewell and Verone McKinley III. When the Ducks needed it the most, they got clutch plays from both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter.
The win reasserts Oregon as the leaders in the Pac-12 North, but a matchup against UCLA in Pasadena awaits.
California - Home vs. Colorado (2-4) at 12:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
Oregon - At UCLA (5-2) at 12:30 p.m. PST on ABC
Colorado Blanks Arizona 34-0 in Battle of Pac-12 South Bottom-feeders
Arizona has now lost 18 games in a row. That's pretty much all you need to know about this game.
Colorado didn't need much offense to win this game, although Brendon Lewis did have his best game of the season (12-of-19, 248 yards, 2 touchdowns). The Buffaloes also scored a touchdown on a blocked punt and another on a pick-six from Carson Wells.
Brenden Rice emerged as a potential top receiver for the Buffs. He recorded a career-high 111 yards on just three catches, including a 62-yard touchdown on a beautiful throw from Lewis.
Colorado's defense had a great day, holding Arizona to just 280 yards of offense and picking off a pair of throws. Arizona started Gunner Cruz and also put in Will Plummer in the second half after Cruz's interception was returned for a touchdown.
The Buffaloes led 6-0 at halftime and poured it on in the second half, fueled by a blocked punt for a touchdown and a pick six on consecutive Arizona drives.
Arizona - Home vs. Washington (2-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN2
Colorado - At California (1-5) at 12:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
de Laura Excels Once Again as Washington State Defeats Stanford 34-31
It feels like long ago that Stanford upset Oregon. The Cardinal were thumped by Arizona State and lost in a nail-biter to a rising Washington State team in back-to-back weeks after the thrilling victory.
Stanford got off to a great start, scoring on each of the first three drives to take a 13-0 lead. Benjamin Yurosek caught a 45-yard touchdown from Tanner McKee to open up the game.
Then, the Cougars' offense came to life, cutting the lead to 13-7 after a Travell Harris touchdown from Jayden de Laura and another touchdown on the next drive from de Laura to Calvin Jackson Jr. to tie the game as the extra point was blocked.
Washington State's defense gave the ball right back to the scorching offense after Justus Rosters forced a fumble from Nathaniel Peat inside the Stanford 10-yard line, and de Laura threw his third touchdown of the first half, this time to De'Zhaun Stribling to go up 20-13.
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The Cougars extended the lead in the third quarter on a Max Borghi touchdown run, but Stanford would roar back with two straight touchdown drives, including a two-point conversion, to take a 31-27 lead.
de Laura came in clutch for the Cougars on the next drive, pushing the ball down the field with a 41-yard completion to Jackson and a 17-yarder to Stribling to move into the Stanford red zone. Borghi punched it in with 90 seconds remaining to take a 34-31 lead.
McKee had picked apart the Cougars' defense all game, throwing for 273 yards and two touchdowns, but on the final drive, the Cougars' pass rush got to him and changed the game. He was sacked twice on the final drive, including a strip sack by Quinn Roff and Ron Stone Jr. as Brennan Jackson recovered the ball to secure the impressive victory in Pullman.
de Laura has continued to impress as the Cougars' starting quarterback, throwing three touchdown passes in each of his last three games.
Stanford - BYE
Washington State - Home vs. BYU (5-2) at 12:30 p.m. PST on FS1
UCLA Uses Clutch Fourth Quarter Plays to Top Washington 24-17
UCLA's offense was once again unstoppable, and Washington continues to reel.
The story of the game for the Bruins was about fourth down. The Bruins converted all three of their fourth downs, and two of them came at crucial times in the game. The first was at the one-yard line where Dorian Thompson-Robinson ran it in to give UCLA a 17-3 lead.
Washington would climb back with a touchdown drive capped off by a Dylan Morris strike to Rome Odunze from 26 yards out. The Huskies tied the game with a long drive ending with a Morris one-yard score.
UCLA's third fourth-down conversion was also converted by Thompson-Robinson, who kept a drive alive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown pass to Greg Dulcich.
The Huskies had plenty of time to get back into striking distance with 8:19 left, and they moved into UCLA territory, but Morris threw his second interception of the game with 4:50 remaining. Morris now has eight interceptions this year, three more than anyone else in the Pac-12.
The Bruins just needed to pick up a couple of first downs and the game was won. They were lifted once again by their running game - Zach Charbonnet picked up 131 yards and DTR had 87 yards and a touchdown.
UCLA - Home vs. No. 10 Oregon (5-1) at 12:30 p.m. PST on ABC
Washington - At Arizona (0-6) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN2
Utah on the Rise: Utes Upset No. 18 Arizona State 35-21
The Cameron Rising era has the Utah Utes off to a 3-0 start in Pac-12 play, none more impressive than a two-touchdown win over a top 20 team.
Arizona State's offense picked up where it left off last week against Stanford, taking a 21-7 lead on three total touchdowns by Jayden Daniels. Utah's offense scored on its first drive after Rising ran it in for a nine-yard touchdown, but it wouldn't score again in the first half as the Sun Devils led 21-7 at the half.
In the second half, it was all Utah. Arizona State had allowed 26 second-half points all season long coming into this game, and Utah put up 28 points on Antonio Pierce's defense in the second half.
After throwing two interceptions in the first half, Rising was nearly perfect in the second half, completing 13 of 15 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns — both to Brant Kuithe.
The Utes' defense held Arizona State to just 82 yards in the second half. Utah's run game alone amassed that total with 145 yards in the second half. Tavion Thomas finished with 84 yards and a touchdown, while Rising rushed for 59 yards and a score and TJ Pledger had 49 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona State - BYE
Utah - At Oregon State (4-2) at 4:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
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