Week two only saw one Pac-12 team, USC, lose. The top half of the rankings remained the same, but there was movement towards the bottom. Here are the Pac-12 power rankings for week two:
1(1). Stanford (1-0): Peering at the stat line, Stanford wasn’t overly impressive against San Jose State. The Spartans are a quality team that won 11 games a year ago and lost only 20-17 to the same Cardinal a year ago, though. There were a lot of positives to take from the Cardinal’s opening win, though, including senior running back Tyler Gaffney’s 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns and Stanford’s stout rush defense, which allowed only 1.5 yards per rush.
2(2). Oregon (2-0): A strong case can be made for Oregon taking the top spot after their 59-10 road beat down of Virginia. The Ducks led 21-0 only 10 minutes into the game and were explosive the entire game. They rushed for 350 yards on the afternoon, including junior running back De’Anthony Thomas’ 124 yards and three touchdowns. The Ducks need to work on their discipline, though, as they racked up 119 penalty yards.
3(3). Washington (1-0): The Huskies were off this week preparing for next Saturday’s game at Chicago’s Soldier Field versus Illinois. The Illini knocked off Cincinnati 49-17 this week. The big question for the Huskies is whether they can handle a big game away from the friendly confines of Husky Stadium. Next Saturday will give us more insight into that.
4(4). UCLA (1-0): The Bruins, much like the Huskies, also got week two off to prepare for a difficult road game with a Big Ten team. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley and company travel to Lincoln to face off against Nebraska, who the Bruins defeated 36-30 last season.
5(5). ASU (1-0): After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the Sun Devils finally opened up their 2013 season last Thursday and looked very good doing it. Redshirt junior quarterback Taylor Kelly threw for 262 yards and five touchdowns in the first half of the Sun Devils’ 55-0 win against Sacramento State. The defense allowed only 51 rushing yards, which is encouraging after last season’s struggles. Wisconsin, which owns the country’s number three rushing offense, comes to Tempe this weekend.
6(7). UA (2-0): The Wildcats defense continues to make big plays, returning two interceptions to the house in their 58-13 road win against UNLV. Ka’Deem Carey (171 yards, two touchdowns) and the Wildcats rushing attack, which finished with 397 yards and five touchdowns, continues to impress. Rich Rodriguez and B.J. Denker have a lot of work to do in the passing game if they want to compete for the South title, though. A measly 81 pass yards per game will not cut it in Pac-12 play as the season moves forward.
7(8). Utah (2-0): The Utes are quickly gaining momentum and spots in the rankings. They followed their big win over Utah State with a 70-7 drubbing of Weber State. Sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns and the Utes finished with 628 yards of total offense. Utah will be tested in Pac-12 play for the first time next Saturday as Oregon State travels to Rice-Eccles Stadium.
8(11). Washington State (1-1): A win is a win, no matter how ugly it is, and this week, it was ugly. The Cougars 10-7 win over USC in the Coliseum was big for Mike Leach and the program, though. It was the Cougars first win in Los Angeles in 13 years and a Pac-12 win, which can never be taken lightly. This is a game the Cougars wouldn’t have won last year, and they have now won two of three games dating back to last season. The Cougars now have two very winnable home games in Southern Utah and Idaho before welcoming Pac-12 champion Stanford to Pullman.
9(6). USC (1-1): The Trojans are bad. There’s really no other way to describe them at this point. They managed only 193 yards of total offense at home against Washington State and only 54 of those came through the air. Junior receiver Marqise Lee managed only 27 receiving yards on seven catches. The Trojans fans chanted “Fire Kiffin” at the end of the game, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kiffin was fired mid-season if he can’t make this sinking ship float somehow.
10(10). Colorado (2-0): The Buffaloes’ 38-24 victory over Central Arkansas is big for one reason: It’s their second victory of the season, which is already more than they had in all of 2012. What’s good for the Buffaloes is junior receiver Paul Richardson, who caught 11 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. What’s not good is the Buffaloes were down at home to an FCS team in the fourth quarter. Still, it’s progress for Mike MacIntyre and his squad, which will see a good Fresno State team at home next week.
11(12). Oregon State (1-1): The Beavers will continue to sit towards the bottom of the rankings if they continue to look as bad as they have in the first two weeks of play. They were tied at halftime against a Hawaii team that, frankly, is not good. Thankfully, the Beavers and junior quarterback Sean Mannion (372 yards, four touchdowns) were able to turn it on in the second half, but the lingering question remains: Are the Beavers really this bad?
12(9). California (1-1): The Bears struggled all game with a Portland State team that won only three games a season ago. The defense allowed 553 yards of total offense, including 245 on the ground. Freshman Jared Goff dazzled once again (485 yards, two touchdowns), but the Bears just don’t look ready to compete in the Pac-12 at this point.
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