USC won the first official Pac-12 Conference game (despite the fact that we had already played against Cal)
If you're only interested in our opponents the week we're slated to play them, then this piece isn't for you. This is a look at all
12 13 of our opponents in 2011 and how they did from week-to-week. Eventually, this will be a measure of our schedule strength, but since there's a pretty good chance we're not playing for a BCS bowl this season, it's just a friendly update about those teams that we'll be facing at some point. Also, with us playing Cal in '10 and this season, OSU is the only Pac-12 team we don't know anything about, so I figured we should follow them a bit so we know what to expect when we face them finally in 2013. And because they're important too.
The Hawaii Warriors (1-1)
They fell way behind early, and were never able to battle all the way back. They got close, but they could never regain the lead from Washington, who had to recover an onside kick to preserve the victory. Moniz threw for 333 yards and had a rushing TD, but Hawaii had two kicks blocked, a bunch of penalties, a fumble in the redzone and lots of dropped passes. This was a winnable game for them, but they couldn't quite make it happen. They face UNLV this week in the first of their conference matchups. Remember, they were picked to win the WAC by the conference coaches.
Follow the jump to see just how many other Pac-12 teams have fared as poorly as we have thus far!
The California Golden Bears (2-0)
Well, they beat us in overtime. I know they certainly weren't expecting this kind of game from us. And next week they get an easy game against Presbyterian (hooray for lower level teams!) which they had better win.
The Colorado State Rams (2-0)
They suffered a number of big injuries, but the biggest was to Linebacker Mychal Sisson, who is their very talented linebacker. They still have Mike Orakpo there, but the loss of Sisson is huge. They have won against two weak opponents, and they haven't necessarily played that well in either win. Pete Thomas threw 3 picks in this game, and they have a lot of work to do in order to hope to keep up with us. On the bright side for them, Raymond Carter ran for 100 yards and two TDs. Next up, our Rocky Mountain Showdown.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)
They won, but only barely. It came down to the final minute against the Toledo Rockets (yeah...them), but OSU managed to keep the lead. Bauserman was the only QB this time around (Braxton "The Future" Miller didn't get in at all), and he was okay, but nothing special. They used the tight end a lot again, and managed to just get over 100 rushing yards in the game. This matchup seems better and better for us. They play Miami this week before we head to the Horseshoe to see if we can snag what should be our second win of the season.
The Washington State Cougars (2-0)
They absolutely dominated UNLV 59-7, only allowing at TD on a kickoff return late in the fourth quarter. Marshall Lobbestael (who is playing in place of Jeff Tuel who will most likely miss our matchup with them) played very well, was getting the ball out quickly, and completed 75% of his passes for 361 yards and 5 TDs. Their defense was aggressive and effective. Interesting fact: through two weeks, the Cougars are actually leading the country in points per game w/ 61.5. They get SDSU this week before they begin their conference play in Boulder.
The Stanford Cardinal (2-0)
They started slow, but Andrew Luck and the Cardinal found their rhythm in the second half and got all aspects of their team rolling by that time. They beat Duke 44-14, but they still have some concerns that will be tested against Arizona in their first conference game this week. If their offensive line can improve as the season goes on, they will be very dangerous this year.
The Washington Huskies (2-0)
Keith Price was mostly great, though a couple of his mistakes made it easier for Hawaii to come back. They capitalized on the Warriors' mistakes, Price threw 4 TDs and Chris Polk did what he does best. They only managed to sack Moniz twice, but they did enough to Keep Hawaii from outscoring them. They have a big game this week at Nebraska that will tell us whether their offensive & defensive lines are ready for big-boy football or not.
The Oregon Ducks (1-1)
They bounced back with a dominant win against Nevada. Darron Thomas had 6 TDs in 3 quarters of play with a RIDICULOUS 15.5 YPA (yards per attempt) average. LaMichael James scored on a reception, a run and a return and the freshman Thomas had a huge game. Their defense played pretty well, though they still want more from them. They get a tuneup game this week vs. Missouri State before starting their Pac-12 slate @ Arizona.
The Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0)
What an exciting game! But boy do they make a lot of mistakes, mostly on defense. Their tackling is pretty good in the secondary, but their linebackers are up and down in this area. Vontaze Burfict is amazing at times, but also doesn't finish plays and is over-aggressive at times. Osweiler looks pretty darn good and can make some plays with his feet. They are very good at spreading defenses out. Cameron Marshal could lead the Pac-12 in rushing if his offensive line could open holes for him on a regular basis. It was nice to see a Pac-12 team win a game against a ranked opponent. This week they've got another BCS level opponent, Illinois.
The USC Trojans (2-0)
The Trojans win the first official Pac-12 game against Utah by blocking a FG at the end of the game and returning it for a TD to preserve their lead. It was a close game, and one that could have gone the other way (if not for the officiating and some bad reactions to pressure by Jordan Wynn), or it could have seen USC put them away (if not for mistakes and some phenomenal Defense). Either way, the Trojans have a conference victory against an opponent that I still think will be pretty good. We still don't know about Lane Kiffin, but he impresses nobody yet. Next up they've got the Syracuse Orange.
The Arizona Wildcats (1-1)
Firstly, Oklahoma State is a pretty good team. But still, this game was rough for the Wildcats. They couldn't tackle, and they gave up all sorts of YAC (yards after catch & contact). And while missing Juron Criner (who will be out for a few weeks after an appendectomy) hurt them, his presence wouldn't have made enough of a difference to get the win. He'll be back by the time we face them (though he's made a habit of finding ways to miss time), which makes them a much tougher team. But Nick Foles still gets rattled. Yes, he threw for nearly 400 yards, but he only connected on one TD and wasn't able to put his receivers in a position to make plays. Their running game is still nonexistent. And on Defense, the Wildcats Secondary was very leaky. They got little to no pressure on Okie State, and had very few tackles for a loss. Next up? Stanford.
The UCLA Bruins (1-1)
Even UCLA has a better record than us right now? Yech. They were tied against SJSU going into the fourth quarter, and they are lucky that they were playing a pretty bad team. Otherwise they probably wouldn't have gotten the W here. Brehaut was okay, but not great in the game, so it will be interesting to watch how many snaps each QB gets this week against Texas, but their running game was better. Franklin was solid, but Derrick Coleman was very good, running for 135 yards in the second half. Their defense looks very vulnerable to short passes and underneath routes.
The Utah Utes (1-1)
A tough loss for the Utes (though not as tough as ours), and one that they feel like they should have won. Jordan Wynn was solid, but also let the pressure get to him (he's a Sophomore, though, so it's not unexpected). USC's defense was very good and their defensive line in particular played very well, which gave Utah fits on offense. Utah is definitely experiencing the better-competition-each-week thing that people were talking about all offseason, but many were expecting them to get blown out by USC, and that definitely didn't happen. Also, don't mention Pac-12 officiating to a Utes fan after this game...Next up they've got their rivalry game against BYU.
***the Oregon State Beavers*** (0-2)
Yeah...they got absolutely dominated by Wisnconsin. 0-35...ouch.