With USC departing Ohio as the victor, all is now right in the world of the Pac-10. The majority of the Pacific Conference exited Week Two with victories, but a few found themselves licking their wounds.
Here is this week’s breakdown.
(Overall Record, Conference Record | Last Week’s Ranking)
1. USC Trojans (2-0, 0-0 | 2)
A USC offense and defense loaded with names that few have seen with their own eyes proved that they can face a top-tier team and stay in the game long enough to pull out a victory.
Matt Barkley didn’t exactly have an outstanding game on the stat sheet, putting up a meager 195 yards, one interception, and completing passes at a 48.3 percentage rate, but his poise and composure on USC’s final drive put any doubters (like myself) in check.
The Trojans’ win in Columbus resonates deeply with the Pac-10, squashing any childish hopes that one of the teams below might quietly sneak away with the conference crown.
2. California Bears (2-0, 0-0 | 1)
The Bears effortlessly established their commanding rushing game against the overmatched Eastern Washington Eagles, taking the ball to the ground more than twice as many times as they put it up in the air.
Jahvid Best led all rushers with 146 yards, but it was Shane Vereen who got most of the end zone acclaim, crossing the plain three times. Two straight games with 50-plus points makes Cal an offensive powerhouse that no team should look past.
3. Oregon State Beavers (2-0, 0-0 | 3)
The Rodgers brothers continued to play an enormous part in the Beavers offense. Jacquizz took the ball 26 times, collecting 170 rushing yards and one touchdown. He also led all receivers with 10 receptions and 65 receiving yards.
Brother James added six more receptions, 48 yards, and a touchdown.
Late in the fourth, OSU squandered a 13-point lead but were able to squeak out a victory, nailing a 33-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining.
4. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0, 0-0 | 4)
The Sun Devils had Week Two off.
5. UCLA Bruins (2-0, 0-0 | 7)
A heavily favored Tennessee squad didn’t see what hit them. After taking a 10-3 lead late in the first quarter, the Vols would relinquish it for good when Kevin Price found Chane Moline for a touchdown, tying the game going into the half.
Three straight field goals by UCLA’s Kai Forbath were the decider on a day where both teams combined for less than 400 total yards on offense. A day later, the Bruins offense took another blow, learning that Price will be out three to four weeks with a fractured jaw.
6. Oregon Ducks (1-1, 0-0 | 5)
Seven lead changes against the Purdue Boilermakers didn’t give Ducks fans the stability they were hoping for in their return to Eugene. Oregon’s defense would allow 451 yards and were a failed two-point conversion away from seeing overtime.
Nine penalties for 66 yards were just one of the many signs that this team still has a ton of room for improvement.
7. Washington Huskies (1-1, 0-0 | 8)
Finally snapping the nation’s longest losing streak, Steve Sarkisian built off a strong performance against the LSU Tigers and took down a much weaker Idaho group for the team's first win in the past 16 tries.
The Huskies offense was remarkably in sync, scoring a touchdown on its first five offensive series and six touchdowns overall. Washington’s secondary still looks a little suspect, allowing 349 passing yards.
8. Arizona Wildcats (2-0, 0-0 | 9)
Nic Grigsby rushed for over 200 yards and recorded two touchdowns in the Wildcats' rout of Northern Arizona. The Bear Down defense would only allow 226 total offensive yards, sealing this game before the halftime horn blew.
The question mark at quarterback still looms, but both candidates (Matt Scott and Nick Foles) are getting stronger, combining for two touchdowns, 194 yards, and only one pick against a fairly weak NAU defense.
9. Stanford Cardinal (1-1, 1-0 | 6)
Stanford would throw away a 14-point lead built up in the first half, losing on a Riley Skinner keeper in the final seconds on the game. The Cardinal defense would allow 296 yards in the second half, including a 91-yard drive that set Skinner up for the winning score.
Andrew Luck performed admirably, connecting on 23-of-34, amassing 274 yards, and notching two touchdowns. He would show signs of youth though, throwing an interception on what looked to be a promising drive for the Cardinal.
10. Washington State Cougars (0-2, 0-1 | 10)
The Cougars might as well have stayed in the locker room on Saturday. Thirty-five points in the first half would be enough for the Hawaii Warriors to leave Pullman with a victory.
The Cougars' offensive line would give up six tackles for a loss and three sacks, and the offense would surrender the ball seven times on four fumbles and three interceptions.