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Pac-12 College Football Week 8 Notebook

Where the conference faces its reality

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the shortest notebook so far this season. Why, you may ask? Well, there’s not much to look at here. Blowouts, bad games, lots of byes, and there was only one interesting game this week. So not much to look at here. Therefore, I will make fun of teams.

UCLA 31, Oregon 14

Every week in conference play is contest between Jim Leavitt and CU to see who misses last year’s seniors more. Oregon’s front seven was a sieve and Josh Rosen did more than enough to secure victory here. Oregon is understandably cratering on offense without Justin Herbert or Talor Alie, but with Herbert expected back next week, they may get back to their old self. Of note, Jaelen Phillips showed flashes of his consensus five-star ability. He is going to be scary for the next two years.

Arizona State 30, Utah 10

What has gotten into Arizona State? Their defense is salty now, and it isn’t against scrubs, either. Well, Utah’s QB was a scrub on Saturday, but at least part of that was due to the Sun Devils. Taking Todd Graham away from any meaningful responsibilities has paid off well. I’m still not crazy impressed with their offense outside of N’keal Harry, but that defense can carry them to a decent bowl game this year. Tashon Smallwood is blowing up backfields and Christian Sam is a great MLB. I’m envious. On Utah’s side, they need to figure out why their trenches are not as dominant as usual. They can’t lean forward for 4 yards like they used to, despite Zack Moss’s talent.

Notre Dame 49, USC 14

How is Sam Darnold going to get USC out of this one?

Arizona 45, California 44

The Pac-12’s lord and savior has arrived, and his name is Khalil Tate. Yes, Bryce Love is putting up ridiculous numbers and Phillip Lindsay is right behind him, but not one moves like Tate does. He’s got the panache, style, and complete lack of defense around him to fully represent the Conference of Champions. But to the actual game. Arizona kept it on the ground for the most part, and almost every runner had success. Zach Green and J.J. Taylor both scored on Cal, as well as Tate. For Cal, they exploded on offense in the second half. Arizona’s defense folded like your friendly neighborhood paper, and Ross Bowers took advantage. Patrick Laird is as slippery as they come as tailback, and they almost pulled off the comeback. They made the correct/baller call and went for two in overtime for the win, but the was knocked away at the last second by Arizona LB Colin Schooler. Heartbreak for the Bears, who will be tired coming into a snowy Boulder on Saturday.

Byes: Oregon State, Washington, Stanford