There wasn’t much movement in the power rankings this week, but ASU moved up a spot during its bye week after UCLA dropped its second consecutive road game. Here are the week nine power rankings:
1(1). Oregon (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) –Another week, another win for the Ducks. It wasn’t as easy as in previous weeks, but the Ducks played tough all four quarters, which is a good sign for coach Mark Helfrich moving forward. Another good sign for Helfrich: His redshirt sophomore quarterback, Marcus Mariota (230 yards, one TD) outplayed Bruins redshirt sophomore quarterback, Brett Hundley (64 yards, one TD, two interceptions).
2(2). Stanford (7-1, 5-1) – The Cardinal picked up a nice win over Oregon State in Corvallis, but the Stanford offense continued to sputter. Junior quarterback Kevin Hogan only passed for 88 yards, and the Cardinal totaled only 13 first downs. The Cardinal defense continues to dominate and kept Stanford’s BCS championship hopes alive Saturday night. Stanford sacked Beavers’ junior quarterback Sean Mannion seven times and held the high-flying Oregon State offense to just 12 points.
3(4). ASU (5-2, 3-1) – The bye week came at the perfect time for the Sun Devils, who are nursing injuries to key players like redshirt sophomore receiver Jaelen Strong. When the Sun Devils travel to Washington State this Thursday, they will enter as the leaders in the Pac-12 South. If they play like they did in Pullman two years ago in a 37-27 defeat, that advantage will disappear in a hurry.
4(3). UCLA (5-2, 2-2) – The Bruins hung around for a half with Oregon but showed in the second half they still aren’t near the Ducks’ level by getting outscored 28-0. All of a sudden, the Bruins aren’t leading the Pac-12 South. This is no time to panic in Pasadena, though as the losses came on the road to Pac-12 powerhouses Stanford and Oregon. The Bruins will have a chance to regroup next week with Colorado coming to town.
5(5). Oregon State (6-2, 4-1) – There’s no more doubts about the Beavers’ legitimacy, even though they did fall to Stanford. Unfortunately, they aren’t quite at the level of the Cardinal but had a chance to tie the game with under a minute remaining. Junior receiver Brandin Cooks continued his string of efficient games, catching nine passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
6(6). Washington (5-3, 2-3) – The Huskies finally got back on track, even if it was against lowly Cal. Redshirt senior quarterback Keith Price threw for 376 yards and two touchdowns while junior running back Bishop Sankey made up for his 22-yard performance against ASU by running for 241 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
7(7). UA (5-2, 2-2) – Junior running back Ka’Deem Carey ran for 119 yards and four touchdowns, but was overshadowed by senior quarterback B.J. Denker, who accounted for 457 yards of total offense. The Wildcats beat lowly Colorado 44-20 on the road, but should be happier with the performance of Denker, who seems to be improving every game.
8(10). USC (5-3, 2-2) – The Trojans beat Utah in an ugly 19-3 game, but a win is a win. Sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler is continuing to manage the offense better under interim coach Ed Orgeron. Kessler threw for 230 yards and a touchdown. The Trojans are starting to do the little things right, too. Orgeron’s squad committed only four penalties and was plus-four in turnover margin.
9(9). Washington State (4-4, 2-3) – Junior quarterback Connor Halliday must be thankful his Cougars had a bye after throwing an FBS-record 89 passes last week against Oregon. Halliday and the Cougars have a quality opportunity to move a win away from bowl contention this Thursday at home against ASU. Halliday loves to face the Sun Devils in Pullman, too. He threw for 494 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-27 win for the Cougars in 2011.
10(8). Utah (4-4, 1-4) – Quarterback play continues to haunt the Utes. Sophomores Adam Schulz and Travis Wilson combined to go 12-31 for 130 yards and three interceptions in the loss to USC. It gets more puzzling each week on how these Utes beat Stanford. They are regressing and look more like the subpar teams from the last two seasons than the one that beat the Cardinal two weeks ago.
11(11). Colorado (3-4, 0-4) – Junior wide receiver Paul Richardson continues to be a bright spot for the Buffaloes and caught a 75-yard touchdown pass in their 44-20 loss to UA. His team isn’t on his level, but they are improving. Redshirt freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau continues to look like an improvement over junior Connor Wood, throwing only one interception in the loss.
12(12). California (1-7, 0-5) – Another week, another loss for the Golden Bears. This was a typical loss, too. The Golden Bears had a lot of yards (483) but gave up a lot more (642) and lost 41-17 to Washington. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff seems to be the starter again, and he threw for 336 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Don’t expect much to change with UA headed to Berkeley next Saturday.
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