Posted: 1:53 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
By Jack Follman
After nine torturous months away from Pac-12 football, the first weekend of Pac-12 play mostly delivered with engrossing football. In just one weekend we had a shootout in the SEC, a upset by an FCS school, two tight rivalry games, a high-scoring battle in Berkeley and a surprising domination in a brand new stadium.
Now that the dust has more than settled (Sorry, long holiday travel weekend), it's time to take a look at the good, bad and the unknown of the opening weekend from a Pac-12 perspective.
Washington - Boise State has a history of playing Pac-12 schools very well, and beat the Huskies in their 2012 closer in the Las Vegas Bowl, but the Huskies clownstomped the Broncos in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium 38-6. The Huskies dominated the Broncos in every facet of the game on a national stage and looked like they may have turned the corner as a program.
Utah - The Utes desperately needed to beat rival Utah State after dropping their match-up in 2012 and failing to make a bowl for the first time in years. The Utes came into 2012 without much excitement, but showed that they aren't dead as a program by winning the thriller over a good Utah State team.
Colorado - Another team coming off of a bad 2012 that desperately needed to win their opening rivalry game against their little brother that delivered. The Buffs did just what they needed to do by pulling off a close victory against Colorado State and showing that there will be hope under Mike McIntyre.
UCLA's offense and hopes of replacing Johnathan Franklin - The Bruins showed that their offense can still put up points and yards on the ground without Johnathan Franklin as they raked up 58 points and more than 340 yards rushing and five touchdowns in their blowout of Nevada.
Oregon State & scheduling Eastern Washington - Eastern Washington was a play away from beating Washington in 2010, and Washington State in 2011, and finally scored their Pac-12 upset in Corvallis on Saturday. The Beaver defense looked horrible as they gave up 49 points to the FCS squad.
Washington State - The Cougars showed signs of life by going down to Auburn and taking the Tigers down to the wire while outgaining the Tigers in overall yardage. The Cougars' competitiveness is promising, but it's unclear just how good or bad Auburn will be yet.
USC quarterback situation - The Trojans won comfortably at Hawaii, but looked kind of sleepy and both of their quarterbacks failed to impress. Overall, the Trojan defense and running game looked strong, but will their quarterbacks be able to step up as they start playing better opponents?
Cal - The Bears played a close game with what is supposed to be good Northwestern team in Sonny Dykes' first game as head coach and really moved the ball through the air well with their Bear Raid offense. If the Wildcats truly are as good as they are supposed to be then the result might be encouraging, but if they aren't, then it might be concerning.