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by Matt Fargo - 10/10/2011
The Pac 12 continued its lackluster season with just one game in Week Six that had fans on the edge of their seats.
The slate started Thursday and California gave Oregon all it could handle - for a half. The Bears took a one-point lead into the locker room but the Ducks came out after halftime and scored touchdowns in their first four drives, amassing 294 total yards in the process. The win came with a price as LaMichael James went down with a dislocated elbow.
Oregon St. picked up its first win of the season as it built a 30-6 lead against Arizona and held on for the win. The Wildcats won the yardage battle 431-408 but they committed four turnovers in a span of four straight possessions to take them out of the game. Arizona has lost 10 straight games against FBS teams going back to last year.
Arizona St. has taken control of the Pac 12 South with just UCLA standing in its way following a with over Utah. The Sun Devils outgained the Utes 399-320 but they needed a late surge to get the win as they scored the final 25 points of the game. Utah killed itself as it committed five turnovers which led to 22 points for the Sun Devils.
Colorado was ready to jump on top of Stanford but the Cardinal blocked a 29-yard field goal and returned it for a touchdown. The Buffaloes cut the Stanford lead to 13-7 but the Cardinal scored the next five touchdowns. Colorado had late chances but missed another field goal and threw an interception at the Stanford 30-yard line.
Washington St. and UCLA went back and forth all game before the Bruins tacked on a touchdown with 3:26 remaining to take the lead for good. The Cougars had one last shot but threw an interception with two minutes left and the Bruins ran out the clock. Washington St. outgained UCLA 389-371 but settled for four field goals.
This spot is normally kept for UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel but the Bruins are now 2-1 and right in the hunt of the Pac 12 South.
The coach with the hottest seat now belongs to Arizona's Mike Stoops. The Wildcats have dropped five straight games and only one of those was within single digits. As mentioned, they have dropped 10 straight games against FBS opponents and to be honest, Stoops has not done a whole lot in his eight years.
His career record at Arizona is 41-50 and he has taken them to just three bowl games, losing the last two by a combined score of 69-10.
"Things aren’t going our way right now, and that’s kind of where it’s at," coach Mike Stoops shrugged.
That is the quote of a lame duck coach that is on his way out. The Wildcats will be a good fade the rest of the way.
The Pac 12 has been hit with injuries all season and it has continued the last couple weeks.
Utah lost quarterback Jordan Wynn last week to a shoulder injury and his replacement Jon Hayes showed his inexperience against Arizona St.
This week the Bruins lost starting quarterback Richard Brehaut to a broken leg and his return is in question. Kevin Prince did a good job in rallying the Bruins to a victory and now the quarterback controversy may finally be over.
Colorado receiver Paul Richardson is out for 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee. This is a major hit for an offense that is already struggling as he is arguably the Buffaloes top receiver.
Obviously the biggest blow was in Oregon when LaMichael James dislocated his elbow. X-rays were negative but James will be out for a few weeks and the Ducks are hoping to have him back when they face Stanford in a month.
Game of the Week
The Pac 12 is in the Thursday spotlight again this week with USC travelling to California but the big game takes place Saturday night when Arizona St. and Oregon face off in what could be the first of two meetings if they win their respective divisions and meet in the Pac 12 Championship.
The Ducks have covered all three of its FBS games since losing its season opener against LSU while Arizona St. is just 2-3 against the number. The Sun Devils are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog of 10.5 or more points while the Ducks are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater so something will have to give.
Oregon is a 15.5-point chalk and has won six straight meetings.