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Week 8 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

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Mason Kumet
Arizona football freshman linebacker Dominic Hanger gets some practice catches in before the sold out home game against the University of Washington on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Tucson. The Wildcats lost the game 24-31.

Week 8 of the Pac-12 football season only had four matchups, as four teams — including the Arizona football teamwere on their bye week. However, two of the four games went down to the wire and set up for thrilling finishes. 

The No. 14 University of Utah rallied late to beat No. 18 USC with a last-second field goal as time expired. ASU gave the No. 5 University of Washington a scare, as the 28-point favorites managed to win by only one possession at home

The No. 8 University of Oregon overcame a slow start to beat Washington State University, while No. 25 UCLA cruised past Stanford University

No. 14 Utah 34No. 18 USC 32

No. 14 Utah stunned No. 18 USC with a last-second field goal to beat the Trojans 34-32, extending their winning streak over USC to four games.

No. 14 Utah (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12)

The Utes were in control for most of the game, leading by 14 points in the third quarter. However, the Utes found themselves trailing late in the fourth quarter but were able to march downfield in the closing seconds to hit a game-winning field goal to knock off the Trojans. Utah’s third-string quarterback Bryson Barnes had an excellent performance, throwing for a career-high 235 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 57 yards and another touchdown on 10 carries. Sione Vaki, who plays both offense and defense for the Utes, also had another impressive game with five catches for a career-high 149 yards and two touchdowns while tacking on 68 rushing yards on nine carries. The Utes will look to stay hot when they host No. 8 Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 12:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: Utah rose to No. 13 in the Week 9 AP Poll.

No. 18 USC (6-2, 4-1 in Pac-12)

USC‘s championship hopes took a hit with their second straight loss. Although they rallied from a 14-point deficit, their defense couldn’t contain Utah, who currently ranks second from last in the Pac-12 in total yards. Caleb Williams, last year’s Heisman winner, struggled again, throwing for under 260 yards for the third straight game while failing to throw any touchdown passes for the first time since 2021. On a brighter note, Trojan receiver Tahj Washington led the team with five receptions for 112 yards. USC will look to snap their two-game skid when they face off against the University of California Berkeley on the road on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.

Editor’s note: USC fell to No. 24 in the Week 9 AP Poll.

No. 9 Oregon 38Washington State 24

Bo Nix made history with his 54th career start as a quarterback, breaking the NCAA record. He also helped No. 9 Oregon secure a 38-24 win against Washington State.

No. 9 Oregon (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12)

After a disappointing loss against rival University of Washington last weekend, the Ducks rebounded with a strong performance over Washington State. Nix once again delivered, throwing for 293 yards and two touchdowns, as the fifth-year senior holds an exceptional 19:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio through the Ducks’ first seven games of the season. Oregon running back Bucky Irving rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, as the junior running back rushed for over 100 yards for the second straight game and third time this season. The Ducks will be tested on the road when they face No. 13 Utah on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 12:30 p.m.

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

Washington State (4-3, 1-3 in Pac-12)

The Cougars dropped their third straight game after starting the season 4-0. Washington State has been outscored 107-47 during their three-game losing streak. After back-to-back performances of under 200 yards, Cougar quarterback Cameron Ward returned to early season form as the junior quarterback threw for 438 yards and one touchdown. Washington State wide receivers Lincoln Victor and Kyle Williams combined for an impressive 263 receiving yards. Victor caught 16 passes for 161 yards, and Williams hauled five for 102 yardsThe Cougars will look to return to the win column when they face ASU on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

Editor’s note: After receiving votes last week, Washington State is entirely out of the Week 9 AP Poll.

No. 5 Washington 15ASU 7 

No. 5 Washington escaped a scare from ASU, as the Huskies rallied late to beat the Sun Devils 15-7

No. 5 Washington (7-0, 4-0 in Pac-12)

Washington‘s top-ranked offense looked lost all night, as the Huskies could not get into any rhythm. Heisman frontrunner Michael Penix Jr. entered the game with a 20:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio while leading the nation in total offense and passing yards. However, Penix had a tough game, throwing for a season-low 275 yards and turning the ball over three times. The Huskies found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter, but thanks to a 89-yard pick-six by Mishael Powell, they took their first lead of the game 12-7 and eventually secured the win. Washington will look to remain undefeated when they face Stanford on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m.

Editor’s note: Washington remains at No. 5 in the Week 9 AP Poll.

ASU (1-6, 0-4 in Pac-12)

ASU dropped its sixth straight game and remains winless in Pac-12 play. Trenton Bourguet threw for a season-low 196 yards and one interception. The Sun Devil offense struggled against one of Pac-12’s best defenses. However, their defense was strong, holding Washington to a season-low 288 yards and forcing four turnovers. The Sun Devils fought hard but came up short in the end, as ASU is 1-3 in one-possession games this season. The Sun Devils will look to snap their six-game skid when they face a struggling Washington State on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

No. 25 UCLA 42Stanford 7

No. 25 UCLA collected an easy 42-7 road victory against Stanford, with running back Carson Steele leading the way with three touchdowns.

No. 25 UCLA (5-2, 2-2 in Pac-12)

Following inconsistent performances from Dante Moore, the Bruins decided to make a change at quarterback and brought in Ethan Garbers. Garbers put on an impressive performance, completing 71.4% of his passes and throwing for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 51 yards on eight carries. The team had a solid showing on the ground, racking up 221 rushing yards, led by Steele, who had 20 carries for 76 yards and three touchdowns. The Bruins face off against the University of Colorado Boulder on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 4:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: UCLA rose to No. 23 in the Week 9 AP Poll.

Stanford (2-5, 1-4 in Pac-12)

After a miraculous comeback one week prior, the Cardinal could not follow its performance with another strong effort, as it is now 2-18 in their last 20 conference games. Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels threw for 268 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while receiver Elic Ayomanor, coming off a record-breaking performance, hauled in eight receptions for 90 yards. The Cardinal defense is certainly a weak point of the team and will be tested again when Stanford hosts No. 5 Washington on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m.

Pac-12 Power Rankings:

  1. No. 5 Washington (7-0, 4-0 in Pac-12)
  2. No. 8 Oregon (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12)
  3. No. 11 Oregon State University (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12)                                                                       
  4. No. 13 Utah (6-1, 3-1 in Pac-12) ↑1
  5. No. 24 USC (6-2, 4-1 in Pac-12) ↓1
  6. No. 23 UCLA (5-2, 2-2 in Pac-12) ↑1
  7. Arizona (4-3, 2-2 in Pac-12) ↓1
  8. Washington State (4-3, 1-3 in Pac-12)
  9. Colorado (4-3, 1-3 in Pac-12)
  10. Cal (3-4, 1-3 in Pac-12)
  11. ASU (1-6, 0-4 in Pac-12) ↑1
  12. Stanford (2-5, 1-4 in Pac-12) ↓1

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