Washington State 30, USC 27
This was a decidedly a non-WSU game, which is why the result is so exciting for the Cougars. USC brought WSU to their sloppy level and they still won. The game started slow for both teams, with neither team moving the ball well on offense, and then the game opened up. Partially due to turnovers and mistakes, the offenses started to move a little better. Ronald Jones remains a top 10 back in the country (but only the 3rd best running back in the conference), and it is an absolute mystery why Clay Helton and Tee Martin didn't feed him the ball more. Luke Falk continues to be a spread offense maestro, but his WRs are not quite Gabe Marks or River Cracraft quality. Other than some extremely athletic plays by Rasheem Green and Uchenna Nwosu, the offensive line did well enough to let WSU win, and win on the ground, too. Jamal Morrow destroyed USC and averaged 15.2 yards per carry (on only 6 carries). But like I said, the story here isn't Wazzu's offense. It's the defense that carried the win. They constantly flustered Sam Darnold in the secondary and Jahad Woods had a coming out party for this game. Woods was everywhere, and made the game-winning strip sack on Darnold to end the game. The Cougars with a defense are a scary team, and given that CU plays both of these teams, this game should be important film study. These are probably the top two teams remaining on the Buffs' schedule, and both showed pretty big weaknesses and strengths. USC is a sloppy team that has great talent up front, and the Cougars have a middling WR unit and an offense that's more stagnant than usual. But they have a good defense now. So that's weird.
Stanford 34, Arizona State 24
I have no idea what to make of Arizona State this year. It looks like the Sun Devils just sleepwalked into a 1-2 record (with an uninspiring victory over New Mexico State) and then woke up for conference play. Beating Oregon in the desert? Playing Stanford close-ish despite giving up 301 YARDS to Bryce Love? What is happening?! This sport is weird. So, basically, ASU's offense controlled the game. 8/15 on 3rd down conversions, 22 to 17 on 1st downs, a 3 minute time of possession advantage on STANFORD, and all this despite losing the turnover battle. I can't tell is that is because the Stanford defense is worse than expected (probably) or ASU's offense is much better at controlling the ball than expected (probably also). I would bet that the main thing to take away from this is that the Sun Devil offensive line is very good and jealous-inducing. Now, enough with the flattery, because they still lost this game by ten. Bryce Love ran all over them, and a more competent quarterback could easily take advantage of that passing defense.Stanford pretty much did whatever they wanted.
Oregon State 7, Washington 42
This game was your typical drubbing. Not too much to be gleaned here. Poor Oregon State is going to have a few games like this in 2017.
Oregon 45, California 24
The game went about as expected, with Oregon possibly overperforming, but the real story is the injuries at an already thin quarterback position for the Ducks. Justin Herbert is out for at least a month, his backup Taylor Alie is also injured, and true freshman Braxton Burmeister is the last man standing. The good news, at least this week, is that it doesn't matter who the quarterback is when you have Benoit, Tony Brooks-James, and Royce Freeman in your backfield. The Ducks ran all over California, who managed less than 30 yards on the ground in return. That's the difference in this game. And also the fact that Cal straight up dropped a punt into Oregon's hands. It was a mix of physical domination and foot-shooting for the Golden Bears, who come to Boulder in late October.
Good Weeks: WSU, Oregon
Okay Weeks: UW, UCLA, STAN, ASU, CU
Bad Weeks: Cal, OSU, USC
Byes: Arizona (CU's next opponent), Utah