UW's opponent's overall record: 28 - 17
UW's opponent's record this week: 5 - 6
The best record our opponents could have had this week was 8-3, since there were three guaranteed losses. Needless to say, even with Oregon State taking it to the Bruins, the rest of the pack just didn't stack up ...
San Jose State (3-1) vs. San Diego State (2-2)
San Diego State lost in a shootout, and their defense decided not to show up for the second week in a row. They had a total of 1 sack, and 0 quarterback hurries this game, and had 4 tackles for a loss. (That is 6 less then they had against us ....) The Aztecs rushed for 271 yards and threw for 213, but they had absolutely no answer for the Spartans' passing attack, as their QB threw 4 touchdowns. On a side note, SDSU Coug'd it ... they gave up 21 points in the 4th quarter. Final Score: San Jose State wins 38-34
LSU (4-0) vs. Auburn (1-3)
I am eating crow on this one, as are a lot of people all over the country. I predicted a clown stomping, and was instead awarded with yet another boring SEC game. What I thought was silly about this game was the fact that Auburn was winning by a score of 10-9 at the half ... LSU went on to torch Auburn for three more point to pull off the narrow victory. There were 5 turnovers this game, and not a whole lot of other stuff. LSU rushed averaged 4.4yards per carry, which was a yard shorter than their season average of 5.47. Final Score: LSU wins 12-10
Southern Utah (2-2) vs. Portland State (1-3)
Portland Stated jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter, but things unraveled after that. The Vikings proceeded to give allow SUU to get back into the game. Poor special teams play was the story again this week, in what is a bad year on special teams for the Vikings this year. They lost 2 fumbles on kicks, and gave up a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD to start off the third quarter. SUU took the lead for the first time on a 14 play, 69 yard drive, that ate up the fourth quarter clock to the tune of 6:31, leaving the Vikings 1:35 left to drive the field and send this game to OT. Portland State made it to the 1 yard line, but their QB couldn't pull off the sneak up the middle as time expired. Portland State outgained SUU 587 - 397. Score SUU wins 49-42
Arizona (3-1) vs. Oregon (4-0)
By all accounts, Arizona should have scored something ... as a general rule, 6 trips to the red zone will net some points. Check out these numbers for the Wildcats: 2 yard line; 18 yard line; 2 yard line; 13 yard line; 30 yard line; 20 yard line. In the red zone, Arizona threw 2 interceptions, and had 1 fumble. 5 out the six drives that stalled in the red zone came in the first half. Rich Rod said it best for the Wildcats: "It was a tale of 4 bad quarters ...." Final Score: Oregon wins 49-0
California (1-3) vs. USC (3-1)
After Cal's strong showing against Ohio State last week, some people, mostly Cal fans, thought a similar result would come out of this week's game against USC. They were wrong. Once again, Cal's ineptitude at QB was one of the deciding factors of the game. Zach Maynard threw 2 more interceptions, as did Matt Barkley, and missed an open receiver in the endzone at least once ... USC committed to the run, and ran all over the Golden Bears to the tune of 296 yards. There are some pretty big issues with both these teams at the moment, with USC losing its center once again, and the Bears just sucking in general ... Final Score: USC wins 27-9.
Oregon State (2-0) vs. UCLA (3-1)
It could very well be that, under everyone's collective nose, Oregon State has arrived. I don't know what exactly to take from this game other than two games in a row, Oregon State has held an opposing ranked team that depends heavily on its run game to less than 100 yards. UCLA is solid this year. They showed that by whipping up on Nebraska a couple of weeks ago. Oregon State deserves it's top 25 ranking, no doubt about it. We'll see where the season takes them. Final Score: Oregon State wins 27-20
Utah (2-2) vs. Arizona State (3-1)
Taylor Kelly continues to be amazingly accurate at the helm. He is currently averaging a 72.9% completion rate, and against Utah he picked apart their defense - which hasn't happened very often the last several years - to the tune of 23/31, 326 yards, 12 yards per completion, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Utah is really missing John White, and has really become a one-trick pony until he comes back. Final Score: Arizona State wins 37-7
***Updated*** It turns out that John White did play in the game ... he was just MIA the entire night. I made the mistake in thinking that because somebody other than Mr. White took most of the snaps that he didn't play. Utah indeed rushed for over 100 yards, but the back who got the most yards was junior, Kelvin York.
Colorado (1-3) vs. Washington State (2-2)
Words cannot describe my thoughts after this game. I was following it on my smartphone at the Denver Zoo the whole game. I went to dinner with my family and another close family of ours, and I checked the score just after WSU went up 31 to 14. My friend asked me who was winning, and I told him it was the MIGHTY COUGARS. He had thrown in the towel, being a CU fan. I just assumed the game was over, since Colorado hasn't had life since it beached itself after the Sacramento State game. When I checked my phone well after the game was over and saw the score, I laughed for about 20 minutes. My only regret about this game was that I didn't get to see the fourth quarter. Final Score: CU wins 35-34
I am under the impression that the better our opponents do throughout the year, the better off we will be, unless of course we aren't winning. In that case, nothing can help us out ... see 2008 ... our opponents had a pretty decent record that year ... Following this line of thinking, this transfers quite well into conference play. In other words, I root for the teams we play (i.e. Utah, CU ...) to beat the teams we don't (i.e. UCLA, Arizona State ...). This week our opponents went 2-3 in games that could improve our win differential ... which kinda sucks. Things aren't boding well for Utah, Portland St. or SDSU. (Granted, I didn't have very high expectations for Portland St. coming into this season.) LSU needs to be careful, as replicating its offense in such an offensive manner won't produce another national title run.
This next week there are 5 more games that will positively or negatively affect our opponent's records. One of them is UCLA at CU. That guarantees at least one loss. LSU scheduled another patsy in Towson, which will be a W. SDSU plays at Fresno State, and given how Fresno has played, I would give the Bulldogs the edge in this one. Portland State heads to Northern Arizona, and will probably lose there. That leaves ASU at Cal. The way these teams have been playing, things are pointing towards another Sun Devil win. But if ASU plays like it did against Mizzou, and Maynard decides to play a better than mediocre game, the Bears could pull this one off.