With team play approaching next week, the Pac-12 teams had one last chance to prove they were ready to compete in the Champions Conference. Of the 11 teams competing on Saturday, eight won and made statements as the end of the Pac-12 pre-season drew near.
Washington (3-0) knocks out Michigan State No. 11 (2-1) at home with a 39-28 . win
Mel Tucker’s return to the Pac-12 did not go quite as Spartan fans would have liked. In his first game against the Pac-12 since leaving Colorado for the Big Ten, he brought his seeded team to Seattle for a Saturday night game. Q. Washington quarterback Michael Benicks Jr. jumped for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns. The Husky jumped to a 22-0 lead and took their first win over a ranked competitor in three years. Washington opens a group game against Stanford (1-1) late Saturday night.
Arizona (2-1) beat North Dakota (2-1) by 31-28.
The #1 seeded team in the DI took their first loss of the season in Tucson as the Wildcats took a solid three-point win. The nine-time FCS champ led the fight back and forth heading for fourth, but Jayden DeLaura led Arizona to his sixth scoring drive in the game and the Wildcats beat the Bison to set a team play record. The teams in Saturday’s contest finished 6 points off the turnover that Arizona captured from North Dakota. The California Wildcats play (2-1) next Saturday to start their conference season.
No. 14 Utah (2-1) beats San Diego (1-2) 35-7
Utah marched all over the Aztecs on Saturday night on Cameron Rising backs and a strong Utah defense. It was over 220 yards high and four touchdowns while San Diego State’s Kyle Crum was held just 53 yards away at night. The Aztecs posed no threat in the air and they didn’t have much work on the ground either. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that San Diego State found the end zone, by then Ute’s offense had amassed five goals and the game was on hand. Utah travels to Tempe for the Sun Devils (1-2) game next Saturday night.
California comeback collapses (2-1) as Notre Dame (1-2) takes its first win 24-17
The Irish Fighter’s game was almost 0-3 for the first time since 2007. The match lacking in attack saw the Golden Bears cling to a three-point lead in fourth, but Notre Dame scored 10 unanswered goals and Cal’s Hill Mary fell on deaf ears. The Bears’ perfect start is coming to an end. In a game that saw 13 of the 24 total drives end in kicks, California’s offense was responsible for just 296 yards. The boys from Berkeley will be looking to return next week against Arizona (2-1).
21 points in the first quarter push Washington State (3-0) to a 38-7 win over Colorado State (0-3).
Cougars make a strong case for being classified. After a big surprise win in the second week, Washington State took her to the Rams at Pullman. Three first-quarter touchdown passes from Cameron Ward got the Cougars right where they wanted to be as they advanced to beat Colorado State. Washington State’s defense only allowed 38 points during its first three games. The Cougars team play against Oregon (2-1) begins at home next weekend.
UCLA (3-0) narrowly escapes South Alabama (2-1) with a 32-31 . win
In front of the somewhat empty Rose Bowl, the Bruins took a somewhat unsettling win 32-31. UCLA was a strong favorite of the Jaguars but found itself late 31-23 heading into the fourth quarter. Longtime quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson scored twice in the last 13 minutes of the game. A 24-yard field goal as time runs out slips UCLA past South Alabama to remain undefeated. UCLA opens team play with a chance to dominate Colorado (0-3).
No. 7 USC (3-0) takes care of Fresno State (1-2) with a 45-17 . win
The top-ranked team in the conference continued to show why they care about the Eyes of the Nation Saturday night against the Bulldogs. USC quarterback Caleb Williams scored two passing goals and two on the floor as he single-handedly beat Fresno State. With 152 points in its first three games, the USC attack was making a show and taking some serious pressure off the defense. Still having to go ahead with a game anytime in 2021, it looks like the Trojans will have a special season in their final season as part of the Pac-12. USC travels to Corvallis to play 3-0 Oregon next Saturday.
Oregon (3-0) stuns Portland with a 68-28 victory over Montana State (2-1)
Providence Park has become the host site for a historic night of Beavers football. The 40-point winning margin represents the largest winning margin since 2012. Chance Nolan’s 68-point attack is also the highest since the same season. Oregon trampled on the Bobcats to improve the score to 3-0 for the first time in eight years. The Beavers received votes to be ranked in the BCS results last week and are likely to creep into the top 25 over the next few weeks. Oregon starts the Pac-12 game with a big test as it hosts the No. 7 USC (3-0).
Arizona State (1-2) upset at home from Eastern Michigan (2-1) 30-21
Despite being a three-point favorite, the Sun Devils struggled on Saturday and never led the Eagles in their first home loss of 2021. Eastern Michigan rushed right back through the Arizona State defense for 257 yards in their first-ever game. between the two schools. The Sun Devils have a lot of catching up to do and no easy task comes with next weekend’s meeting with the 14th seed Utah (2-1).
Colorado (0-3) roughed out 49-7 Minnesota (3-0) in a humiliating way
The 2012 season was the last time the Buffalo team started 0-3. During that season, Colorado finished 1-11 and tied for last place in the Pac-12. 2022 will not go any better. After a heavy loss to Minnesota where Colorado had only 226 yards of attack, Buffalo had a 128-30-point difference in the year. Colorado was 1-12 in third and surrendered 500 yards to Gopher. The Buffs remain the only team to have no wins in the conference. They host UCLA (3-0) next Saturday.