What happened and what mattered in the Week 2 of the Pac-12 college football season?
6. The “other” games
Washington shook off the Auburn disappointment with a nice scrimmage. Jake Browning threw two picks in the 45-3 win over North Dakota, but he also threw two touchdown passes and 313 yards. It took a little while to get everything rolling, but finishing up with 632 yards of total offense, and only allowing a field, goal, is just fine going into the Pac-12 opener at Utah.
Outside of the three turnovers, Washington State came up with a brilliant performance in a 31-0 win over San Jose State. Gardner Minshew threw two picks, but he cranked up 414 yards and three touchdowns. The defense was dominant, holding the Spartans to nine rushing yards and 109 yards of total offense. There’s one more tune-up – Eastern Washington – before facing USC.
Of course Oregon was going to whack around Portland State, but the offense showed enough to not have to work all that hard next week against San Jose State. It’s truly like a preseason for the Ducks – get the ones some work, and save them. Justin Herbert hit 20-of-26 throws for 250 yards and four scores. Everything has to be locked and loaded for Stanford in a few weeks.
It hasn’t been easy so far for Cal, but it’s 2-0, and it went into BYU and came out with a win. Chase Garbers took over the quarterback role for passing plays – and threw for 176 yards and two scores – and Brandon McIlwain handle the running, throwing for 38 yards and leading the team with 74 yards and a score. The D struggled in the final moments, but the team held on after a late Cougar score. The nine penalties and three turnovers were a problem, but the O ougtained BYU by over 100 yards.
It’s amazing what happens when you don’t play Ohio State. Oregon State got Jonathan Smith his first win as the head coach, beating Southern Utah 48-25. The secondary got roasted for the second week in a row, but Jermar Jefferson was incredible, running 22 times for 238 yards and four scores. At least the Beavers know the offense can work. Now it gets to play a team its own size in Nevada.
Uhhhhh, Utah offense? The Utes got out of the Northern Illinois road game with a 17-6 win, but that’s because the defense was amazing time and again. The Ute passing game wasn’t awful – Tyler Huntley threw for 286 yards – and Zack Moss ran for 66 yards and a score, but the D was incredible, allowing just 228 yards and coming up with key stop after key stop, with Chase Hansen sealing the win with a late pick six.