Another exciting week of college football is in the books, and it produced perhaps the best play I've ever seen in #15 Ole Miss' defeat of #2 Alabama:
MY GOODNESS. I'm not ruling out divine intervention on that one. Better luck next time, Alabama.
The Pac-12 fared very well, with all of the conference teams playing non-conference opponents winning and Stanford defeating #6 USC in the first Pac-12 game of the year. For the first time since 1921, every member of the conference is at least 2-1 after 3 weeks.
This week brings us our first bye, and to the disappointment of fans everywhere, Washington State will not be playing this week. The Cardinal road win over USC was the highlight of the week, as USC was the heavy favorite. QB Kevin Hogan actually showed signs of life, and it now appears Stanford has finally gotten some steam behind them. I sure wouldn't want to play them anytime soon! Oh, right.
Stanford (2-1, 1-0) will be hitting the road again this week, this time up to beautiful Corvallis to take on the Beavers (2-1) in Oregon State's second Friday game of the year. We've seen Stanford show their potential, or lack thereof, in the respective games against USC and Northwestern. At this point, it's looking likely that Hogan will be out with a sprained ankle after getting designated as "questionable." Stanford head coach David Shaw mentioned the possibility of playing two backup QB's in the event that Hogan sits. In unrelated news, Stanford may have a difficult time generating any offense. As the famous saying goes, "if you don't have one, you have none."
Hogan actually played through his ankle injury last week, but the sprain visibly hobbled him. Oregon State's chances of winning essentially depend on who will be playing QB. If he doesn't play, expect Stanford to unleash unhealthy doses of RB Christian McCaffrey. Catch this one tomorrow at 7:00 pm PT on Fox Sports 1.
Nicholls State (0-2), is back in the Pac. Fans may remember the Beavers 77-3 thrashing of Nicholls State in 2012, when the game was postponed to later in the season. Similar results may occur when the Colonels take on Colorado (2-1) in Boulder. Colorado exacted revenge on, Colorado State last week in a 27-24 win, and will now be out for more blood against the utterly rudderless Nicholls State football team. They will kickoff at 10:30 am PT on the Pac-12 network to start the Saturday.
The first conference game on Saturday will be a zesty matchup between Cal (3-0) and Washington (2-1). Cal will be looking to continue their hot start to the season and show that they are a force to be reckoned with. Jared Goff has been nothing short of tremendous this season, and has been the talk of the town amongst NFL scouts. If there is one chink in the armor of Cal, it's their defense. Texas' very porous offense put up 44 points on them. That is a problem. If the Huskies can capitalize on that, perhaps they can put Cal's golden season on hold. This game starts at 2:00 pm PT on the Pac-12 network.
The battle of the undefeated will go down when #9 UCLA (3-0) travels ever-so-slightly south to take on #16 Arizona (3-0) at Arizona Stadium. This one has attracted ESPN Game Day, and a national, over the air prime time audience. (Wonder if Herbie has ever encountered the 'Zona Zoo?)
The Bruins are currently the favorites to win, but there are still some concerns. True freshman QB Josh Rosen has struggled as of late, especially last week when he threw three interceptions against BYU. Rosen has shown promise this season (evident in UCLA's opener when he threw for 351 yards,) so it will be tough to say which player will be seen against the stout Arizona defense. Arizona's stud linebacker Scooby Wright is nursing a knee injury and is questionable to play. Their defense has stayed afloat since Wright has been out, but they will be put to the test against a legitimate opponent in UCLA. Whether or not Wright sees the field will be a huge x-factor for the Wildcats. Tune in at 5:00 pm PT on ABC.
In another barnburner, #18 Utah (3-0) will travel to Autzen Stadium to take on #13 Oregon (2-1). Both teams will be entering with question marks at quarterback, with starting quarterbacks Travis Wilson and Vernon Adams both missing last week's game. While it's usually a pretty big deal to have a missing quarterback, Utah and Oregon will likely be just fine either way. As long as Utah has DeVontae Booker healthy, their offense should be ship shape. Backup Kendal Thompson has also shown that he can run the offense well. Oregon is so stocked at the skill positions that it doesn't really matter who the signal caller is. As long as they have a pulse, the Oregon system will prevail. Being at home, Oregon will probably win this game, but it will be a close one. Utah has looked very impressive this year and will surely bring the heat. Catch this one at 5:30 pm PT on Fox.
#19 USC (2-1, 0-1) will close out the day with a matchup at Arizona State (2-1). ASU has struggled so far this year and may find it difficult to keep up with USC. USC will be hungry for vengeance after a championship-dashing loss to Stanford. They also have JuJu Smith-Schuster; give me the team with JuJu. Watch this one on ESPN at 7:30 pm PT.
Here's the complete schedule, complete with adjustments for East Coast Bias Time (Even ESPN started posting the correct local times!):