The trend of beautifully odd football has come to a halt in Week 4 as we open up conference play, but it was still a very entertaining Saturday. Most of the teams that were favored come out on top, and some stars emerged on the Pac-12 stage.
Here is my recap of what we saw on Saturday from the Pac-12 Conference.
Utah Slugs Past Washington State 24-13
The first game of the Cameron Rising era wasn't one to remember for the sophomore in terms of offensive production. Rising threw for 137 yards, but it was the Utes' defense that carried him to the win.
Jarrett Guarantano started for the injured Jayden de Laura, and the Utes' defense made him uncomfortable all day long. He threw three interceptions and was sacked eight times, including three times by Van Fillinger. On top of all of that, the Cougars lost Max Borghi to an arm injury in the first half.
Freshman Karene Reid burst onto the scene for the Utes with a 15-tackle performance. He was all over the field, recording a sack, a tackle for loss, and an interception. The Utes' linebacker corps looks to have added another star next to Devin Lloyd, who also had a sack, an interception and three tackles for loss.
This was a sloppy game for both offenses. Lincoln Kennedy, the analyst for this game on Pac-12 Network, said it best by saying "does anybody want to win this game?" Both teams turned the ball over three times, but no turnover was bigger than Clark Phillips III picking off Guarantano and taking it back for the game-sealing score. Phillips has had the Cougars' number, as he recorded a pick six against WSU for the second year in a row.
Utah had its third different 100-yard rusher in its first four games as TJ Pledger went for 117 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries.
WSU - At Cal (1-3) at 2:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
Utah - Bye
No. 24 UCLA Outlasts Stanford 35-24
Stanford came into this game coming off of two wins in which the offense put up more than 40 points (yes, I know one of those was against Vanderbilt). David Shaw's team put up a valiant effort against UCLA, but it was the Bruins' dynamic trio of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Zach Charbonnet, and Kyle Philips that clinched the big road victory.
DTR accounted for four touchdowns — two through the air and two on the ground. He appeared to injure his throwing arm multiple times in the second half, including on his 75-yard TD strike to Philips on the Bruins' first snap of the fourth quarter.
Charbonnet finally carried the load on the ground, rushing a season-high 23 times for 118 yards and a score.
Philips continued to be a big play machine against the Cardinal, catching five passes for 120 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. He now has 233 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games. The junior was also a factor as a punt returner, picking up 74 yards on three returns, including a 59-yarder to give the Bruins great field position.
For Stanford, Tanner McKee continues to prove he is poised enough to lead the Cardinal as their starting quarterback. He threw for another three touchdowns and has yet to turn the football over this season.
The Cardinal needed a big-play receiver, and they appeared to get two with Elijah Higgins and Bryce Farrell both going for touchdowns of more than 50 yards. Higgins had a career-high 103 yards on five catches. The two receivers came up big when Stanford trailed 21-7 in the second half, but when UCLA retaliated with a go-ahead touchdown, the Cardinal couldn't find the end zone.
UCLA - Home vs. Arizona State (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. PST on FS1
Stanford - Home vs. No. 3 Oregon (4-0) at 12:30 p.m. PST on ABC
Washington Picks Up Big OT Win Over Cal 31-24
Two weeks into the season, it looked like Jimmy Lake's seat was scorching as the Huskies went 0-2 for the first time since they went 0-12 in 2008. It looked like wins were going to be very hard to come by, but Saturday's game was a bit of a confidence booster for the program and its fans.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first quarter before the Huskies pulled ahead with two touchdown drives to go in front 21-7. Down 24-10 in the third, Chase Garbers and the Cal offense came alive for a quick 75-yard drive on five plays, capped off by a throw from Garbers to Damien Moore for the touchdown.
Cal's defense stepped up as well, allowing just three Huskies points in the second half. Garbers led the Bears down the field again for a game-tying touchdown drive. Garbers accounted for 390 total yards of offense and three touchdowns.
In overtime, Sean McGrew, who made his season debut for the Huskies, scored his second touchdown to give UW the 31-24 lead. Cal appeared primed to tie the game with the ball on the one-yard line, but Moore was smashed by Cameron Williams and Jackson Sirmon, losing the ball before he could reach the end zone. Ryan Bowman picked up the loose ball, sealing Washington's crucial victory.
Cal - Home vs. Washington State (1-3) at 2:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
Washington - At Oregon State (3-1) at 6:00 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
No. 3 Oregon Uses Fourth Quarter Burst, Five INTs to Beat Arizona 41-19
For more than three quarters, Ducks fans were biting their nails against a team the No. 3 team in the country should have wiped out easily. The Ducks led 24-19 with 1:36 left in the third quarter, leading to the most nervous "Shout" at Autzen Stadium in quite some time. Oregon used a 17-0 burst in the fourth quarter to seal the deal and improve to 4-0.
Arizona's offense finally improved in all aspects, minus Jordan McCloud's five interceptions. The Ducks' defense picked off five passes for the first time in nearly 22 years, but they gave up 435 yards of offense to a team that was struggling brutally to move the ball the last two weeks.
Arizona ran for over 200 yards after rushing for just 238 yards through the first three games. The Wildcats had the ball for just under 38 minutes and had several long drives, but McCloud kept throwing picks to prevent them from cutting further into the lead.
Five Takeaways from No. 9 Oregon's 24-17 Win Over California
There was a lot to digest after the Ducks' heart-pounding victory on Friday night in Eugene.
No. 9 Oregon Survives California 24-17 in Nail-Biter
The Ducks defense made a massive red zone stop after a go-ahead touchdown by Anthony Brown
Anthony Brown has continued to play clean football for the Ducks, as he threw three more touchdowns to bring his TD-to-INT ratio to 7-0 this season. We didn't see much of CJ Verdell, who carried the ball just 11 times for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Kayvon Thibodeaux made his return to the field in the first half but left after just a few snaps. Mario Cristobal confirmed that he did not re-aggravate his ankle injury and that he should be good to go next week.
Bennett Williams played like a superstar for the Ducks, recording eight tackles and picking off two passes, one of which was returned 68 yards for a touchdown that gave Ducks' fans some relief. Verone McKinley III is primed for an All-American season, as he logged his FBS-leading fourth interception of the season.
Arizona - Bye
Oregon - At Stanford (2-2) at 12:30 p.m. PST on ABC
Oregon State Stuns USC 45-27 for First Win in Coliseum in 61 Years
Maybe Clay Helton wasn't the problem?
It's hard to say, but few coaches would have had an answer for Oregon State on Saturday, who was playing with fire at the Coliseum for one of the biggest wins in the Jonathan Smith era.
USC and Oregon State exchanged touchdowns and interceptions on the first five drives of the game, with USC leading 14-7 midway through the second quarter.
Then, USC punted on back-to-back drives, and both Beavers drives began at their own 8-yard line.
The Beavers went 92 yards and scored touchdowns on both drives to flip the script. Chance Nolan had three touchdown passes in the first half, including a big 36-yarder to Tre'Shaun Harrison just before halftime, entering the locker room with a 21-17 lead.
The way that the Beavers came out of the second half on both sides of the ball should frighten the other 11 Pac-12 teams. They scored three touchdowns on their first three drives of the third quarter to take a commanding 42-17 lead, and USC couldn't catch up.
Oregon State punished the Trojans' defense with 322 rushing yards. The Beavs picked off Kedon Slovis, who returned from injury, three times. At its best, this Oregon State team could play a big role in how the Pac-12 standings turn out come December.
Oregon State - Home vs. Washington (2-2) at 6:00 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
USC - At Colorado (1-3) at 11:00 a.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
Arizona State Routs Colorado 35-13
There's good and bad news for the Buffs. They found some offense, churning 183 yards on the ground against a very good Sun Devils defense.
The bad news is that the defense that held Texas A&M to just 10 points got decimated by Arizona State. If that's not enough, Brendon Lewis continues to struggle as the Buffs' starting quarterback, throwing for just 67 yards. He hasn't thrown for more than 102 yards this season in four starts.
After Arizona State took an early 14-0 lead with touchdowns by Jayden Daniels and Rachaad White, Colorado actually inched closer with a field goal before halftime and a touchdown drive to kick off the second half. But the Sun Devils just couldn't be stopped in the second half, scoring touchdowns on three of the next four drives to take control of the game.
Daniels ran for two scores, and White had over 100 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns.
Colorado - Home vs. USC (2-2) at 11:00 a.m. PST on Pac-12 Network
Arizona State - At No. 20 UCLA (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. PST on FS1
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