What happened and what mattered in the Week 1 Pac-12 games to kick off the 2018 college football season?
5. The “other” games
It took a little while to get going, and then everything was okay in the 58-24 win over Bowling Green. Justin Herbert only hit 10-of-21 passes with two picks, but five of those ten completing went for scores, and he ran for a touchdown, too. The Falcons don’t have a defense, allowing the Ducks to hit big play after big play, but going forward the passing consistency has to be there. The turnovers have to stop, too.
Cal had to hang on late, and the offense sputtered too much, but it beat North Carolina 24-17. Now the O needs to tighten up – it can’t win too many more gaining just 279 yards. The quarterback rotation is going to be an issue at some point – the coaching staff needs to settle on one – and the D isn’t always going to come up with four picks, but the Bears let the Tar Heels screw up and took advantage of the mistakes.
Arizona State just hung 49 points on a UTSA team that finished fifth in the nation in total D, eighth in total defense and second in pass defense. The defense had its hand in the scoring, but the passing game was unstoppable at times in the 49-7 win, getting four touchdown passes form Manny Wilkins and some massive plays from N’Keal Harry and the receiving corps. With Arizona and UCLA losing, this was about as good as it gets for a Week One opener of the Herm Edwards era.
Don’t blow off this 41-19 Washington State win. That’s a fantastic Wyoming defense that Wazzu just ripped to shreds. Gardnew Minshew looked like he’s been running this offense for years, throwing for 319 yards and there scores, and the defense did its part holding the Cowboys to just 206 yards. The O needs to do a better job at keeping the chains moving, but when it comes to this program and winning the opener, it’ll take the final score.
Oregon State ran into a buzzsaw. Ohio State was angry, well-motivated, and very, very talented. Yeah, losing 77-31 stinks, but Artvis Pierce ripped off a huge run and finished with 168 yards and two scores, Conor Blount threw two touchdown passes, and the team didn’t quit. The Beavers really did look better, even if the final score – or the Buckeye speed – didn’t make it look like it.