It was a wild opening week of the college football season, especially within the Pac-12. Washington picked up a statement victory over Boise State in its grand reopening of Husky Stadium, Eastern Washington stunned Oregon State in Corvallis and Oregon looked like Oregon. Here are The State Press’s Pac-12 power rankings after week one (last week’s ranking in parentheses):
1(1). Stanford (0-0): Stanford was one of two Pac-12 teams (ASU) to have a bye week one. The Cardinal start their 2013 campaign Saturday night at home vs. San Jose State. On Thursday, San Jose State shut out Sacramento State, the Sun Devils’ opponent this Thursday, 24-0.
2(2). Oregon (1-0): As impressive as Oregon looked in its 66-3 victory over Nicholls State, it’s going to take a lot more to gain the No. 1 spot. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota dazzled, throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown and running for 113 yards and two more touchdowns. This week, Mariota and the Ducks have to travel across the country to face the Virginia Cavaliers, who head coach Mark Helfrich described as “really big and athletic on defense, very impressive,” according to the Oregonian’s Andrew Greif.
3(7). Washington (1-0): The grand reopening of Husky Stadium couldn’t have gone any better for redshirt senior quarterback Keith Price and Washington. The Huskies won 38-6 and handed Boise State its worst loss under head coach Chris Petersen. Price passed for 324 yards and two scores while sophomore running back Bishop Sankey added 161 yards and two touchdowns. If the Huskies can continue to play at this level, they will be a force with which to be reckoned.
4(4). UCLA (1-0): UCLA got off to a slow start against Nevada on Saturday night, but redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley and crew looked like the Pac-12 South champions they are in the second half, outscoring the Wolfpack 41-7 en route to a 58-20 win. Next week is a bye week for the Bruins, who have to travel to Lincoln the week after to face Nebraska.
5(3). ASU (0-0): Don’t panic, folks. ASU fell victim to its week one bye, which is why it slipped in the rankings. The Sun Devils get their first crack in 2013 Thursday night vs. Sacramento State before their four-game stretch of quality opponents. The Sun Devils will have more than their fair share of chances to move up in the rankings.
6(5). USC (1-0): USC’s most glaring concern, the quarterback position, didn’t resolve itself in the slightest against Hawaii last Thursday. Sophomores Cody Kessler and Max Wittek combined to go only 15-29 in passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Junior receiver Marqise Lee caught eight passes for 104 yards but lost a fumble, which plagued him late last season. The Trojan defense was very good, though, forcing four interceptions and limiting the Rainbow Warriors to six points in the first 59:30 of the game. The Trojans still have a lot of work to do before their Pac-12 opener next Saturday at the Coliseum versus Washington State.
7(8). UA (1-0): Arizona didn’t look very good vs. NAU in its season opener, but it didn’t need to. The Wildcats still knocked off the Lumberjacks 35-0, even without junior running back Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher a year ago, who was serving a suspension. The Wildcats rushed for 306 yards in the evening and should pick up victory number two of the season next Saturday at UNLV, especially since Carey’s suspension should be lifted.
8(9). Utah (1-0): Utah looked less than spectacular for most of its game vs. Utah State but still managed to pick up the 30-26 victory against its in-state rivals. Utes sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson did impress, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns. It’s already apparent the Utes are going to have to fight hard for every victory this season but for now, they can be happy with a win over a very talented Aggies squad.
9(10). California (0-1): Freshman quarterback Jared Goff was the talk of Cal’s opening game loss to Northwestern and rightfully so. Goff threw for 445 yards and two touchdowns in his first ever college game, but also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. The Golden Bears already look much improved under first-year coach Sonny Dykes, and more performances like Saturday’s against the Wildcats, especially ones that end in victory, will only move them higher in the rankings.
10(12). Colorado (1-0): Give Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre credit for getting his Buffaloes team ready in time to put a spanking on in-state rival Colorado State 41-27 Sunday night. With the victory, MacIntyre became only the second Colorado coach since the 1930’s to win his first game with the team. Junior wide receiver Paul Richardson (10 receptions, 208 yards, two touchdowns) had one of the games of his career Sunday, his first game back since tearing his left ACL last season.
11(11). Washington State (0-1): The Cougars and head coach Mike Leach know that they could have won Saturday against Auburn, but Leach should take a lot of positives from the 31-24 loss. His team was competitive throughout the game and didn’t look overmatched against the Tigers. Yes, Auburn isn’t what it used to be, but even last year the Cougars don’t get within two touchdowns at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Junior quarterback Connor Halliday needs to improve on his decision-making (3 INT’s) quickly, though, with a trip to USC looming this week.
12(6). Oregon State (0-1): The Beavers didn’t just lose to Eastern Washington Saturday, they got embarrassed. Sure, their offense clicked and junior quarterback Sean Mannion (37-43, 422 yards, 3 TD’s) had a career game, but the defense gave up 625 yards of total offense and forced only one Eagles punt. Those stats are unacceptable as is, but for that to happen against an FCS team is beyond ludicrous. That’s two losses in three seasons to FCS teams (Sacramento State, 2011), and if the Beavers don’t get their act together quickly, Mike Riley could be shown the door.
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