ASU jumped up two spots to number four, its highest ranking since preseason, after knocking off then-No. 20 Washington 53-24 in impressive fashion. Here are the Week 8 power rankings:
1(1). Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12): The Ducks and redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota continue to roll. This week, it was a 62-38 beatdown of Washington State, and Mariota threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. Sophomore running back Byron Marshall chipped in with 192 yards and three touchdowns. Next up is a home matchup with two-time defending Pac-12 South Champion UCLA.
2(3). Stanford (6-1, 4-1): The 24-10 victory over UCLA was a very nice bounce-back win for the Cardinal. The defense shut down Bruins redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley, limiting him to only 192 passing yards and intercepting him twice, including one deep in the fourth quarter to seal the game. The Cardinal played Cardinal football again and look to be back on track.
3(2). UCLA (5-1, 2-1): The Bruins know they squandered a chance in Palo Alto. A win over Stanford would have put them in a very good spot headed into Eugene next week, but the Bruins fell 24-10 and now are tasked with facing an Oregon team many consider the best in the nation. Winning at Oregon isn’t a must-win by any stretch, but the Bruins need to play better on the road, especially on offense, if they want to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game for the third consecutive year.
4(6). ASU (5-2, 3-1): The Sun Devils’ 53-24 home win over Washington might be Todd Graham’s most impressive in his two years in Tempe. The defense allowed Huskies’ junior running back Bishop Sankey, the nation’s leading rusher, to only 22 yards on the ground. The Sun Devils have now scored 50-plus points four times this season, improved to 5-0 at home and now lead the Pac-12 South.
5(7). Oregon State (6-1, 4-0): The Beavers passing attack continues to shine, this time in a 49-17 road victory over Cal. Junior quarterback Sean Mannion threw for 481 yards and four touchdowns, while junior receiver Brandin Cooks caught 13 of those passes for 232 yards and a touchdown. Mannion has thrown for almost 3000 yards this season and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 29 to 3. The Beavers have really improved since their opening game loss to Portland State, but Stanford heads to Corvallis next week for a big game.
6(4). Washington (4-3, 1-3): Three weeks ago, the Huskies had legitimate Pac-12 title hopes. Now, they won’t even finish in the top half of the Pac-12 North. Coach Steve Sarkisian said he was embarrassed after losing 53-24 to ASU, their third consecutive loss. This one was by far the worst, though, as the Huskies were outgained 585 yards to 212 yards and redshirt senior quarterback Keith Price left late in the fourth quarter with an injury.
7(10). UA (4-2, 1-2): Finally, the Wildcats broke through in conference play, and they have junior running back Ka’Deem Carey to thank for it. Carey ran for 236 yards and put the game against Utah away with his 44-yard touchdown run with 1:30 remaining. Still, the Wildcats have a lot to prove if they want to compete for the Pac-12 South this season, but the 35-24 victory over the Utes was a good starting spot.
8(5). Utah (4-3, 1-3): It’s not surprising the Utes fell on the road to UA only a week after their historic upset against Stanford. Sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson left in the second quarter, but it seemed to help the Utes. Wilson threw two interceptions before his injury and backup Adam Schulz, also a sophomore, brought the Utes back, even giving them the lead at one point. The Utes are hoping Wilson’s injury isn’t too serious, though.
9(9). Washington State (4-4, 2-3): One of these weeks, Cougars’ junior quarterback Connor Halliday will have his arm fall off. Halliday threw for an NCAA record 89 times against Oregon, completing 58 of those for 557 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in the Cougars 62-38 loss. Thankfully, Halliday has a bye week to rest his arm before facing ASU at home on Halloween.
10(8). USC (4-3, 1-2): The Trojans missed a big opportunity to put their season back on track Saturday against Notre Dame. Fighting Irish senior quarterback Tommy Rees left the game in the third quarter, but the Trojans couldn’t capitalize. Instead, the Trojans sit with three losses but get a chance for redemption next week at home against Utah.
11(11). Colorado (3-3, 0-3): The switch to redshirt freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau worked out this week for the Buffaloes. Liufau completed 14 of his 20 passes for 198 and a touchdown in the Buffaloes 43-10 win over Charleston Southern. Junior receiver Paul Richardson bounced back from his lackluster performance against ASU, catching eight passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. The Buffaloes may not get a win the rest of the way, but they have improved mightily in coach Mike MacIntyre’s first season.
12(12). California (1-6, 0-4): The Golden Bears are pitiful, plain and simple. They’ve barely been competitive in Pac-12 play and Saturday’s 49-17 loss at home to Oregon State dropped them to four conference losses. Turnovers and penalties continue to be an issue for the Golden Bears as they tallied eight penalties for 100 yards and turned the ball over four times against the Beavers. The road doesn’t get any easier next week for the Golden Bears, who travel to Seattle to face Washington.
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