There is a new No.1 team in this week’s Pac-12 power rankings after a dominating performance by Washington State in their win over Oregon.
Every team in the Pac-12 played this past week, as the party got started on Thursday night when the Stanford Cardinal took on the Arizona State Sun Devils. The marquee matchup of the weekend came between Washington State and Oregon, with the North Division still up in the air.
With the Ducks getting knocked off by the Cougars in Pullman, there is a new No. 1 team in this week’s Pac-12 power rankings.
The Oregon State Beavers lost their fifth straight game on Saturday, as they were blasted at home by the California Golden Bears. The Beavers were expected to be one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 this season, and they have been just that, although they have seen some bright spots, like running back Jermar Jefferson.
Added to the Doak Walker list earlier in the week, Jefferson had to deal with a hamstring issue all week and ended up rushing only twice for 34 yards. The freshman came into the game fourth in the country in rushing yards per game, and without him in the lineup, the Beavers offense really sputtered.
Not only did Jefferson deal with an injury, but the Beavers lost starting quarterback Conor Blount early in the contest. With Jake Luton unavailable, Oregon State had to turn to Jack Colletto, and Cal took advantage of the lack of experience under center. Oregon State has a lot of work to do to be competitive in the Pac-12, but guys like Jefferson should have the fan base fired up for next season.
The Arizona Wildcats went into their matchup against UCLA without star quarterback Khalil Tate, who was injured last weekend against the Utah Utes. While losing Tate is a devastating blow to the Wildcats offense, backup Rhett Rodriguez stepped up in a big way last weekend in his first college action and played well against UCLA on Saturday night as well.
Rodriguez threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns against the Bruins in this one, as Arizona’s offense had no issues moving the ball. Star running back JJ Taylor rushed for over 150 yards on under 20 carries, finding the end zone once, but it was the defense who failed to show up against the Bruins and backup quarterback Wilton Speight.
Speight came in relief for the injured Dorian Thompson-Robinson, throwing two touchdown passes in the second half, in what was his first action in a very long time. The loss was the second in a row, and third in four games for the Wildcats, who many liked as a sleeper in the Pac-12 this season. They play host to the Oregon Ducks this weekend.