Oregon solved its Stanford problem: If folks want to say that Oregon made a statement, or that Marcus Mariota made a Heisman statement ... thatís fine. The simple fact is Oregon was just the better team in its 45-16 win. The offense was fearless, going right at the heart of Stanfordís vaunted defense by rushing for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Mariota finished 19-of-30 for 258 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 85 yards and two scores. For the record, Oregon is 16-0 when Mariota rushes for a touchdown.
Stanfordís reign is over: It was a good run, but with three conference losses, the Cardinal will not be playing in the Pac-12 championship game. For your consideration: Stanford had held opponents to fewer than 30 points in 31 straight games, going back to its 54-48 OT win over Arizona in 2012. In this era of Pac-12 football, thatís an awfully impressive stat -- and a reminder of how well Oregon played.
Canít count out the Bruins: Oh, those penalties (11 for 118 yards). Baffling, at times, how a team with so much talent can unload like a Gatling gun all over its feet. And yet it was the feet of quarterback Brett Hundley -- who rushed for 131 yards -- that helped carry the Bruins to a 17-7 win over No. 12 Arizona. With Washington, USC and Stanford still on the docket, the Bruins need some help, but arenít out of the South picture yet -- especially if the defense can play like it did Saturday.
Cats have to get in sync: Arizona has now lost two of three and is in danger of slipping completely out of the conversation in the South. Anu Solomon was just 18-of-48 for 175 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Credit the UCLA defense, which was outstanding. But 255 yards of offense and one touchdown arenít going to cut it for Arizona in a stretch run which includes three of its last four against South Division teams. Arizonaís two worst performances under Rich Rodriguez (in terms of total yards) have come against UCLA, including a 257-yard effort in 2012.
In praise of Connor Halliday: Few quarterbacks took more hits or played through more pain over the last few years. Whether it was fighting through a lacerated liver or the countless bumps and bruises heís endured over his career, Halliday always stood in the pocket, took his licks, and bounced back up. His WSU career is over after suffering a broken leg in the Cougars' 44-17 loss to USC. The Pac-12 blog wishes him the best in his recovery.