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Week 7 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

Arizona+running+back+DJ+Williams+is+tripped+up+by+a+Washington+defender+in+a+narrow+home+loss+on+Sept.+30+in+Tucson.+The+Wildcats+lost+the+game+24-31.
Mason Kumet
Arizona running back DJ Williams is tripped up by a Washington defender in a narrow home loss on Sept. 30 in Tucson. The Wildcats lost the game 24-31.

Week 7 of the Pac-12 football season was full of excitement with several close games and a few one-sided affairs. Out of the seven ranked teams in the conference, only three emerged victorious.

The No. 7 University of Washington edged past No. 8 University of Oregon, cementing their position as the top team in the conference. Meanwhile, No. 15 Oregon State University beat No. 18 UCLA, and the No. 16 University of Utah easily won against the University of California Berkeley.

The University of Arizona put up a dominant performance against No. 19 Washington State University on the road, while No. 10 USC struggled against the No. 21 University of Notre Dame.

In the only unranked matchup of the weekend, Stanford University made a historic comeback, overcoming a 29-0 halftime deficit to stun the University of Colorado Boulder in double overtime.

No. 7 Washington 36No. 8 Oregon 33

Michael Penix Jr.’s late touchdown pass lifted No. 7 Washington past No. 8 Oregon 36-33 in a thrilling matchup between two top-10 teams.

No. 7 Washington (6-0, 3-0 in Pac-12):

With their victory, the Huskies moved to 6-0 and remain the sole unbeaten team in the Pac-12. The Huskies led most of the night but trailed late in the fourth quarter. However, a defensive stop gave the Huskies the ball at midfield, and Penix led Washington’s game-winning 53-yard drive in only 33 seconds to give the Huskies the lead with less than 2 minutes left. Penix threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Rome Odunze hauled in eight receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The Huskies will look to remain unbeaten when they host ASU on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: Washington rose to No. 5 in the Week 8 AP Poll

No. 8 Oregon (5-1, 2-1 in Pac-12):

The Ducks failed to convert on fourth down three separate times, including one in the red zone to end the first half and one in the closing minutes while at midfield, which set the Huskies up for their game-winning drive. Meanwhile, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix had a stellar night, throwing for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Nix led the Ducks into field goal range in the closing seconds, but Camden Lewis’s game-tying kick soared right of the uprights. In addition to Nix’s passing, the Ducks found success running the ball, as Bucky Irving led the Ducks with 22 carries for a season-high 127 yards and a touchdown. The Ducks will look to bounce back when they host Washington State on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 12:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: Oregon fell to No. 9 in the Week 8 AP Poll

No. 15 Oregon State 36No. 18 UCLA 24

Oregon State jumped out early and never looked back, as the Beavers cruised past UCLA 36-24 in a matchup of two top-25 teams.

No. 15 Oregon State (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12)

The Beavers scored 36 points against a UCLA defense that had not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points throughout the first six weeks of the season. Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers had three pass-catchers haul in over 80 receiving yards; wide receivers Silas Bolden and Anthony Gould and tight end Jack Velling combined for 257 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The Oregon State defense intercepted three passes, including one by Ryan Cooper Jr., who returned it for a 67-yard touchdown. The Beavers’ next matchup is on Saturday, Oct. 28, when they travel to Tucson to face Arizona after both teams get their bye weeks

Editor’s note: Oregon State rose to No. 12 in the Week 8 AP Poll

No. 18 UCLA (4-2, 1-2 in Pac-12)

The Bruins surrendered a season-high 36 points in their loss against the Beavers. UCLA quarterback Dante Moore struggled, connecting on only 42% of his pass attempts for 165 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Ball security has been an issue for Moore lately, as the freshman quarterback has thrown six interceptions in his last three games. The Bruins did find success running the ball, rushing for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Carson Steele led the way for the Bruins, rushing for 110 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. UCLA travels to Stanford to face off against the Cardinal on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: UCLA fell to No. 25 in the Week 8 AP Poll

No. 16 Utah 34Cal 14

Utah‘s running game led them to a 34-14 victory over Cal, following two games of offensive struggles

No. 16 Utah (5-1, 2-1 in Pac-12):

After scoring a combined 21 points in the last two matchups, the Utes’ offense came to life, scoring a season-high 34 points and rushing for a season-high 317 yards. Sione Vaki led the ground game for Utah, rushing for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Vaki, the starting safety on the team, played both sides of the ball and collected four tackles. Running back Ja’Quinden Jackson led Utah with 22 carries, rushing for 94 yards and one touchdown. Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes avoided turning the ball over, throwing for 128 yards. The Utes will look for their offense to repeat when they face No. 18 USC on the road on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m.

Editor’s note: Utah rose to No. 14 in the Week 8 AP Poll

Cal (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12):

Cal’s defense struggled to stop Utah‘s run, as the Golden Bears allowed a season-high 317 yards on the ground. Cal’s quarterback, Fernando Mendoza, threw for 149 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. In addition to struggling in the air, the team’s running game also suffered, gaining only 66 yards — their lowest total of the season despite averaging 217 yards in their previous six games. Running back Jaydn Ott, the team’s top rusher, averaged 111.2 yards per game entering the contest but only rushed for 46 yards on a season-low eight carries. The Golden Bears will look to use their bye week to fix their mistakes before they host No. 18 USC on Saturday, Oct. 28. 

Arizona 44No. 19 Washington State 6

Arizona bounced back from two close losses to top-10 teams with a dominant 44-6 win over No. 19 Washington State.

Arizona (4-3, 2-2 in Pac-12):

The Wildcats were firing on all cylinders offensively and defensively; Arizona nabbed its first two interceptions of the season, forced one fumble, and outgained the Cougars 516-234 in total offense. Noah Fifita played mistake-free football, connecting on 79% of his passes for a career-high 342 yards. In addition to their impressive air attack, the Wildcats also found success on the ground, rushing for 174 yards and scoring five touchdowns. Rayshon Luke rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries, while fellow running back Jonah Coleman rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Coleman also caught four passes for a team-high 98 yards. The Wildcats have an extra week to prepare before their next game at home against No. 12 Oregon State on Saturday, Oct. 28th at 7:30 p.m.

No. 19 Washington State (4-2, 1-2 in Pac-12):

The Cougar offense fell flat for the second straight week after coming out strong to open the season. After scoring on their opening possession, Washington State could not put more points on the board, as the offense could not get into any rhythm as the Arizona defense locked down both their air and ground attacks. Cameron Ward threw for 192 yards and turned the ball over twice in the Cougars’ blowout loss to the Wildcats. Washington State failed to run the ball, rushing for only 35 yards, as they rank toward the bottom of the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing yards per game. The Cougars will be tested again as they travel to face No. 9 Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 12:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: Washington State fell out of the Week 8 AP Poll but received 11 votes

Stanford 46Colorado 43 2OT

Stanford completed the largest comeback in program history, overcoming a 29-point deficit at halftime to beat Colorado 46-43 in double overtime

Stanford (2-4, 1-3 in Pac-12):

Stanford snapped their seven-game Pac-12 losing streak with a historic comeback win over Colorado. Down 29-0 at halftime, the Cardinal scored on each of their final eight drives to stun the Buffaloes in double overtime. Quarterback Ashton Daniels threw for a career-high 396 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Elic Ayomanor also had a record-breaking night with 13 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Ayomanor‘s 294 receiving yards are a new school record, breaking Troy Walters’ 278 yards against UCLA in 1999. Stanford will host No. 25 UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m

Colorado (4-3, 1-3 in Pac-12):

The Buffaloes seemed to have an easy win against Stanford after leading 29-0 at halftime. However, a terrible second half caused Colorado to blow their largest lead in school history, surpassing their previous record of 28 points against the University of Kansas in 2010. Two-way star Travis Hunter had a great performance in his return after missing the last three games. He caught 13 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns and made a season-high five tackles. Shedeur Sanders, the Colorado quarterback, threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns, but his one costly interception in the second overtime allowed Stanford to kick a game-winning field goal on their next drive. The Buffaloes are now 4-3 and will rest during the bye week before facing No. 25 UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 28, hoping to get back on track.

No. 21 Notre Dame 48No. 10 USC 20

No. 10 USC struggled to keep pace with No. 21 Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish handed the Trojans a 48-20 loss for their first of the season

No. 10 USC (6-1, 4-0 in Pac-12):

Like last week, the Trojans fell behind early; however, this time, they could not claw their way back, as the Fighting Irish shut down one of the nation’s top offenses. Reigning Heisman Trophy-winner Caleb Williams played one of his worst games, throwing for a season-low 199 yards, one touchdown and a career-high three interceptions. All three of Williams’ interceptions led to Notre Dame touchdowns, as the Irish scored 28 points off of the Trojans’ five turnovers in the game. The Trojans picked up their first loss of the season but remain undefeated in conference play and will look to remain undefeated when they host No. 14 Utah on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m.

Editor’s note: USC fell to No. 18 in the Week 8 AP Poll

Pac-12 Power Rankings:

  1. No. 5 Washington (6-0, 3-0 in Pac-12) ↑1
  2. No. 9 Oregon (5-1, 2-1 in Pac-12) ↓1
  3. No. 12 Oregon State (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12) ↑1                                                                        
  4. No. 18 USC (6-1, 4-0 in Pac-12) ↓1
  5. No. 14 Utah (5-1, 2-1 in Pac-12)
  6. Arizona (4-3, 2-2 in Pac-12) ↑2
  7. No. 25 UCLA (4-2, 1-2 in Pac-12) ↓1
  8. Washington State (4-2, 1-2 in Pac-12) ↓1
  9. Colorado (4-3, 1-3 in Pac-12)
  10. Cal (3-4, 1-3 in Pac-12)
  11. Stanford (2-4, 1-3 in Pac-12) ↑1
  12. ASU (1-5, 0-3 in Pac-12) ↓1
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