Pac-12 Football Week 8 Breakdown

Pac-12 Week 8 Breakdown


Game of the Week:

#22 Washington @ #7 Stanford

Washington has unexpectedly been one of the strongest offensive units in the country to this point. The Huskies are averaging nearly 420 yards per game of total offense. Most of this success comes by the way of sophomore quarterback Keith Price. Price has electrified the crowds with his accurate throws outside of the pocket. He now has totaled 21 touchdowns to only four interceptions. 

Stanford only needs to rely on their most consistent and reliable offensive player, Andrew Luck. Luck has not put up amazing numbers this season, but he has turned in one solid performance after another, and has led the Cardinal to a 6-0 start.

The difference in this game will be the Stanford defensive unit against the Huskies rushing attack. Expect to see the second-ranked Stanford defense take Washington running back Chris Polk out of the equation, and leave all avenues of victory going through the Huskies’ Price.

Too much pressure for the first-year starter and the Cardinal continues its perfect season, looking ahead to a November 12th matchup with #9 Oregon.

Stanford 41 Washington 24



Honorable Mention:

Southern California @ Notre Dame

Considered a rivalry, by historical standards, this game has shaped up to be a battle of the second tier. USC has made a motto out of showing the upper echelon teams that they should be playing for a Rose Bowl bid. The season has not turned out that way so far, with a loss to Arizona State and close games with Minnesota, Utah, and Arizona.

Notre Dame opened with back-to-back losses to South Florida and Michigan. They played a tight one with underperforming Pittsburgh, but have otherwise had strong showings against quality opponents.

This game should be close from start to finish with an eventual overtime period. USC quarterback Matt Barkley will be the difference-maker with three touchdown passes, two of which go to Robert Woods.

USC 27 Notre Dame 24 (OT)



Do Not Overlook:

Utah @ California

Looking for an evenly matched Pac-12 game this week? This is your game. Both teams boast a 3-3 record (0-3 conference), which is indicative of their seasons. Utah has suffered losses to three teams that were ranked in the top-25 at one point or another this season. California has taken a loss to two of those same teams (USC and Washington). Each team has an offensive player ranked in the top-50 at their respective position; Cal’s quarterback Zach Maynard and Utah’s running back John White IV.

The difference in this game will be the ability, or lack thereof, to stop the opposing team’s offensive star. The Golden Bears’ defensive unit ranks 33rd in the FBS in total yards allowed, while Utah ranks an embarrassing 99th.

California 27 Utah 14



Upset Alert:

Arizona @ UCLA

At 1-5 (0-4 conference), Arizona has had a brutal schedule so far. The only games they should have been expected to win were in week one against Northern Arizona and last week against Oregon State.  Their record does not reflect what a powerful passing attack they will bring against UCLA’s 76th-ranked pass defense. Arizona quarterback Nick Foles is the second leading passer in the FBS and averages 33 completions per game. Not even the three teams ranked in the top-10 in the country could slow down this passing attack, so do not expect UCLA to be able to either.

Arizona 28 UCLA 24



Players to Watch:

QB Marshall Lobbestael, Washington State: WSU has a surprisingly powerful passing attack and Oregon State has nothing to slow it down.

RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford: With Andrew Luck being the focal point of defensive game plans, Taylor has quietly rushed for 559 yards and five touchdowns.

LB Trevor Reilly, Utah: A fumble-forcing machine with four this season. Should have the opportunity to get his hands on another against a suspect Cal offense.

KR/WR Isiah Barton, Washington State: Gets plenty of opportunities to return kicks as his defense gives up 28 points per game. Barton is averaging 27.6 yards per return and it’s just a matter of time before he breaks the big one.


Football Week 8 Breakdowns