Pac-12 after dark horrors for No. 13 Oregon, No. 16 Arizona
RALPH D. RUSSO
Sep. 27, 2015
Pac-12 after dark was a horror show for No. 13 Oregon and No. 16 Arizona as No.18 Utah and No. 9 UCLA turned the only games matching ranked teams on Saturday into routs.
The Utes (4-0) put a record-breaking beat down on the Ducks at Autzen Stadium, pounding Oregon 62-20.
After a week spent discussing whether Alabama was on the decline after the Crimson Tide lost at home, maybe it's time to start having that conversation about Oregon in the post-Chip Kelly and post-Marcus Mariota era.
For the first time in more than a decade, the Ducks look done before October even starts. The last time the Ducks (2-2) lost two games in September was 2004. They finished 5-6 that season, the only losing record for the program since 1993.
If quarterback Vernon Adams can get healthy and the defense can figure out a way to plug massive holes, Oregon could still win the Pac-12 North. But the Ducks have a long way to bounce back from allowing the most points ever by an opponent ever in Autzen.
In Tucson, Arizona, the Bruins (4-0) hammered the Wildcats 56-30 and ran coach Jim Mora's record against Arizona's Rich Rodriguez to 4-0.
Despite losing three key players on defense to injury, including star linebacker Myles Jack, the Bruins have rolled behind freshman quarterback Josh Rosen.
Add in No. 19 Southern California's 42-14 blowout at Arizona State and it was an all-around bad day for the Grand Canyon State's big two.
Overall road teams went 5-0 in Pac-12 games. There are plenty of huge games left to in the Pac-12. Hopefully, they will be more competitive than Saturday night's. And Oregon fans can only hope their team will be involved in a few of them.
BONKERS BIG 12
For anyone who thought the Big 12 was TCU, Baylor and everybody else, think again.
The third-ranked Horned Frogs needed one of the most improbable bounces and one of the most amazing catches you will ever see to get out of Lubbock, Texas, with a 55-52 victory against Texas Tech on Saturday.
TCU staying undefeated in what could turn out to be the game of the season was the big initial story. The long-term significance is the Red Raiders (3-1) look as if we'll hear from them again.
Against the team that dropped 82 on them last year, the Red Raiders went blow for blow with Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs only to watch Aaron Green make a diving catch off a deflection in the end zone for the go-ahead TD with 23 seconds left.
"He saved us, so we're 4-0," TCU star receiver Josh Doctson said about Green.
Then Tech nearly completed a Bahamas Bowl-style last-play miracle as if things weren't crazy enough in Lubbock.
Next week Texas Tech gets No. 5 Baylor at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Watch out Bears.
The other Big 12 team rising looks to be West Virginia. The Mountaineers moved to 3-0 with a 45-6 victory against Maryland. Coach Dana Holgorsen's drew the short straw of the Big 12 schedule, getting TCU and Baylor on the road later this season.
Throw in No. 15 Oklahoma, which hosts West Virginia next week, and No. 24 Oklahoma State (4-0) and the Big 12 could become a battle of attrition. And that could be a problem in the playoff race for the conference that missed out last season despite two dominant teams.
BIG GAME IN ... BLOOMINGTON?
Cardale Jones had the Ohio State quarterback job mostly to himself and the Buckeyes looked a lot more like the team they were expected to be Saturday in a 38-12 victory against Western Michigan.
The Buckeyes (4-0) now move on to a big game against — wait for it — undefeated Indiana (4-0). The Hooisers won 31-24 at Wake Forest to set up the most interesting game in Bloomington in as long as anyone can remember.
Indiana's start is its best since 1990, though quarterback Nate Sudfeld and the Hoosiers are taking it all in stride.
"We've got a lot of work to do, but it's good to be 4-0," Sudfeld.
A Twitter movement trying to get ESPN's College GameDay to Bloomington sprung up last week, though the network might have a difficult time staying away from No. 6 Notre Dame's visit to No. 11 Clemson.
Regardless of whether they get the spotlight, the Hoosiers' fast start is helping Ohio State. The Buckeyes schedule has taken plenty of shots from fans and a few Southeastern Conference coaches. But with Indiana unbeaten, Michigan quickly improving and Penn State bouncing back after being upset by Temple, suddenly the Buckeyes' schedule doesn't look quite so cushy.
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