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Pac-12 Recap: College Football Week 3

How did week 3 go?

NCAA Football: Oregon at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The third week of college football has come and gone and with it’s passing we reflect on the events that unfolded. Around the Top 25, Alabama fell behind by three touchdowns before storming back over Ole Miss. Michigan State did just enough and the Spartans held off Notre Dame (note: don’t call it an upset). Louisville proved that they are legit with a 63-20 dismantling of No. 2 Florida State. Meanwhile the Pac went 8-2 versus non-conference opponents with a few surprises (and one conference match-up).

Arizona State survived UTSA 32-28

The UTSA Roadrunners came to play and out worked the Sun Devils for three quarters. After struggling for the entire first half, ASU gave up a touchdown to start the second half and appeared ready to give in to the Conference USA opponent. However, ASU “sparked” a comeback behind Demario Richard and their running game. Highlights:

Michigan challenged by Colorado 45-28

The Buffalos put up a fight and Michigan struggled early. Colorado held a two touchdown lead in the first quarter (twice) and pushed ahead by four in the third quarter behind a 70 yard touchdown pass from Sefu Liufau. Liufau had to be carried off the field after that play and was noticeably limping when he returned (continued hits upon more hits by the Michigan defense didn’t help). Jabrill Peppers provided the kill shot with this electrifying return:

Washington rolled Portland State 41-3

A game over after the first possession, Washington dominated its third straight game against an overmatched opponent. QB Jake Browning finished 12-19 for 163 yards and 4 TD and RB Myles Gaskin carried 13 times for 93 yards and a TD. From the looks of things, the Huskies probably won’t be challenged until week 5. Highlights:

Nebraska slipped past Oregon 35-32

The second most interesting Pac-12 game for Beaver fans was a dead heat for most of the game. Ducks star RB Royce Freeman went down with an apparent leg injury in the second series and the Oregon offense couldn’t seem to get up to full speed without him. Oregon made some interesting calls with respect to point-afters (they went for two) and Nebraska did just enough to squeak by. Mike Riley’s defense again proved to be susceptible to mobile quarterbacks, with QB Dakota Prukop rushing for 97 yards, but it was Brady Hoke’s defense giving up some plays to Tommy Armstrong Jr., including the clinching 34 yard TD scamper, that sealed the game. Oregon got the ball back at mid-field seeking a FG to tie, but a (questionable) penalty pushed them out of FG range and the Nebraska D sacked Prukop to cement the outcome (note: I’m happy Nebraska won — more so that the Ducks lost — but the late penalty should have been a no-call in my book). Highlights:

Washington St defeated Idaho 56-6

After a couple of weeks of letdowns, the Cougars finally beat a team they expected to heading into the season. Luke Falk finished 21/26 for 226 yards and 3 TDs but still looks scared to make a mistake this season (compared to the gunslinger he was in 2015). Not much else to say in a game where the point differential was 50 points...WSU dominated (as they should have). Highlights:

UCLA escaped BYU 17-14

In a defensive slug-fest, the Bruins defense proved just good enough to pull out the victory. Josh Rosen had an effective game, going 26/40 for 307 yards, but the UCLA rushing game was lacking, managing only 50 yards. The Bruin defense held the Cougars to 273 total yards but will face a much better offense featuring super-stud and all-everything Christian McCaffrey next week. Highlights:

Utah rushed past San Jose St 34-17

QB Troy Williams threw for 257 yards and a TD and RB Zack Moss led the Ute rushers with 95 yards and a TD in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated after Utah got over their early “Holy War Hangover”. Utah rushed for 201 yards with an average of 5.4 yards per carry and San Jose St coughed up three turnovers. Highlights:

Arizona (bear)downed Hawaii 47-28

QB Brandon Dawkins filled in for injured starter Anu Solomon to the tune of 235 passing yards with a TD to go with 3 TDs on 118 rushing yards and the wildcats looked solid against the Rainbow Warriors. Perhaps the biggest surprise from this game was touted Arizona freshman, Tyrell Johnson, made an appearance and scored a TD. Oh, and this was the Wildcat’s 600th program win. Highlights:

Cal upset Texas 50-43

Texas put up points early and led by double-digits in the second quarter before the Golden Bear defense discovered they could also get stops (surprise). QB David Webb played consistently well throughout. Webb’s statline: 27/40, 396 yards and 4 TDs. Jared Goff’s replacement seems to have built immediate chemistry with WR Chad Hanson, who racked up 12 receptions for 196 yards and 2 TDs. Texas had an opportunity to tie the game with a touchdown late, but QB Shane Buechele was sacked and the Longhorns were forced to punt. Cal’s Vic Enwere appeared to ice it with a run up the middle, but pulled a Fiesta Bowl Chad Johnson move (go to 29:21). There was no instantaneous recovery, and thus Cal kept the ball and ran out the clock. That play and highlights:

Stanford beat USC 27-10

Stanford was better. The Cardinal were better offensively and defensively and looked like the Pac 12’s best team. There were no stupid penalties, no boneheaded “DOHs”, and the result fell in line with the better team winning fairly comfortably. How do you stop McCaffrey? USC can now officially tell you that leaving him uncovered DOES NOT work — with the expected result of a a 56 yard TD reception by the Hesiman candidate. On the day McCaffrey had 165 yards and a TD rushing and 73 yards and a TD receiving. Highlights: