Pac-12 Football: Ranking Top 10 Performances from Week 6
The Pac-12 conference has played some pretty good defense this season, but you wouldn't know it by looking at some of the mind-blowing offensive statistics.
Week 6 continued to follow the narrative, as several players stood out in key big-time defensive efforts. Yet once again, the offensive guys made most of the headlines.
Washington-Stanford gave us some incredible individual performances, as did Oregon-Colorado. But who stood out the most?
Here are the top 10 performances in the Pac-12 from Week 6.
All stats via ESPN, unless otherwise noted.
10. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
The Pac-12 conference has established itself as one of the best leagues in college football this season, but that reputation took a hit with Arizona State's 37-34 loss to Notre Dame.
None of that can be blamed on wide receiver Jaelen Strong, however.
The sophomore caught eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Fighting Irish, who don't typically allow that sort of thing to happen.
Todd Graham's squad has a lot of thinking to do following the loss, but it still controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South. If Strong continues his breakout season, the Sun Devils could be back in business shortly.
9. Paul Richardson, Colorado
If you don't know about Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson, that's your own problem.
The junior caught five passes for 134 yards against an Oregon secondary that had pretty much locked down everybody it previously faced.
In addition to his outstanding day catching passes, Richardson also threw a 75-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter which gave the Buffaloes an early 10-8 lead.
But, as most teams tend to do, Colorado faded quickly, and the Ducks put it away by halftime. Still, Richardson continues to prove each week that he's one of the best receivers in the country, and his effort against one of the nation's top teams reaffirms that notion.
8. Bralon Addison, Oregon
Wide receiver Bralon Addison must have seen enough of the Paul Richardson show in the first quarter.
When it came time to make plays, the Ducks super sophomore came up huge to the tune of five grabs for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
His first score was a 75-yarder which came after he blew past his defender. The second came in similar fashion as Mariota found a wide-open Addison for a 44-yard touchdown.
But while the scores make the highlights, it's Addison's moves when he gets the ball that make him so great. Even when he appears to be in trouble, he'll find a way to get the extra yards. Look for Addison to become a mainstay on this list.
7. Shayne Skov, Stanford
It takes a lot to stand out on Stanford's defense.
Linebacker Shayne Skov has no problem with that, and on Saturday, he came up huge in the Cardinal's 31-28 victory over Washington.
Skov tallied 14 tackles, which included 1.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks, according to cfbstats.com.
It might speak loudest to the improvement of Washington's offense, which still managed to make the Cardinal sweat. But Skov, who is known for making big plays in big games (see: Oregon, 2012), dominated from start to finish and is, perhaps, the biggest reason why Stanford is still undefeated.
6. Anthony Jefferson, UCLA
UCLA didn't bring its A-game to Utah on Thursday, but it still left with a victory and a comfortable spot atop the Pac-12 South.
That wouldn't have been the case without the effort of cornerback Anthony Jefferson.
The junior picked off Utah quarterback Travis Wilson on two occasions, and he also had seven tackles in the contest, according to cfbstats.com.
We know that the Bruins boast an outstanding group of linebackers and are stiff up front, but if Jefferson's day indicates improvement in the secondary, Jim Mora's team may have a defense that can match the offense.
5. Connor Halliday, Washington State
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday seems to be benefiting from the addition of Mike Leach's "Air-Raid" attack, which is now in year two.
Well, benefiting might be putting it lightly. The junior quarterback let it fly a whopping 67 times at Cal on Saturday, and the results were glorious if you like offense.
Halliday piled up 521 yards and three touchdowns through the air which led to the Cougars' 44-22 victory over the Bears.
The win comes on the heels of a blowout loss to Stanford, and it gives Washington State a bit of momentum heading into a home matchup with Oregon State.
4. Bishop Sankey, Washington
Running into the heart of the Stanford defense will leave you black and blue.
Washington running back Bishop Sankey didn't seem to mind, however, and his gritty effort almost helped the Huskies pull off the upset.
Against one of the best front sevens in the country, Sankey ran for 125 yards and two scores on 27 carries. He broke more tackles than you can count and continued to run hard as the game wore on.
There aren't many backs in the country who could do what Sankey did, and he'll get a chance to impress, once again, when Oregon visits Seattle next Saturday.
3. Ty Montgomery, Stanford
Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery had a disappointing 2012, but many fans were hoping he would bounce back in 2013 and become a primary target for quarterback Kevin Hogan.
Against the Huskies, the junior delivered in a major way by catching three passes for 56 yards and score.
But it was his performance on special teams that gives him the No. 3 spot. Montgomery returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and finished with over 200 yards returning kicks.
The touchdown gave the Cardinal an early lead that they wouldn't relinquish, as the Huskies were forced to play catch-up throughout the game.
Montgomery will look to continue his strong play at Utah next Saturday.
2. Keith Price, Washington
It's hard to put a player this high when his team lost the game, but it's the only thing keeping quarterback Keith Price from the top spot.
If we were putting together a list of gustiest performances of the season, this would be an instant candidate.
Price threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns on a defense that isn't likely to give up those kind of numbers again this season. He brought his team back from 10 down to give them a chance to tie it or win at the end, but a dropped pass by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins put the offense in a tough fourth-down spot, and it failed to convert.
Despite getting hit over and over, Price stayed in the game and gave the Cardinal their first real scare of the season. With the knowledge that he can sling it against the best, it should be interesting to see how Price fares against Oregon next Saturday.
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
He may have been facing the worst team in the Pac-12, but Marcus Mariota put on a performance like no other and now finds himself in the top spot.
The Oregon quarterback completed 16 of 27 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns, which included a wide array of throws both short and long.
He also carried the ball seven times for 43 yards and two touchdowns, giving him seven total touchdowns on the day.
Ignoring everything else Mariota has accomplished, thus far, this is the kind of game that will stand out in the Heisman voting. Of course, it did come against the lowly Buffaloes.
Mariota's first major test will come next Saturday, as the Ducks head north to take on the Huskies.
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