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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Utah, USC Tied For Top Spot In South

Utah Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd (20) leads the Utes onto the field before the start of an NCAA football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Colter Peterson, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 Conference separated itself more over the last week than at any other time this season. Oregon is in complete control over the North Division, while both Utah and USC are tied for the South Division with the Trojans holding the tiebreaker.

A pair of games featuring ranked teams was the main reason for separation as Oregon knocked off Washington in Seattle and Utah handled Arizona State.

Here’s the KSL Sports Pac-12 Power Rankings after the eighth week of the season:

NORTH

1. No. 11 Oregon Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12)

Result: Beat No. 25 Washington 35-31 on the road.

Recap: It was a close game throughout and lived up to the expectations of being a very entertaining game. The game was tied at seven at the end of the first quarter, Washington had a seven-point lead at halftime and a three-point leading entering the fourth quarter. The Ducks scored the go-ahead touchdown when quarterback Justin Herbert found Jaylon Redd from five yards out with 5:10 remaining in the game and the defense held on to give the Ducks their sixth straight win. Herbert finished with 280 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio racked up 81 yards and one touchdown on 14 attempts on the ground.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: vs. Washington State (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12), Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

2. Washington Huskies (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 12 Oregon 35-31 at home.

Recap: The game was tied at seven at the end of the first quarter, Washington had a seven-point lead at halftime and a three-point leading entering the fourth quarter. The Ducks scored the go-ahead touchdown when quarterback Justin Herbert found Jaylon Redd from five yards out with 5:10 remaining in the game. Huskies quarterback Jacob Eason was fantastic, completing 23-of-30 pass attempts for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Salvon Ahmed ran the ball well, finishing with 140 yards and one touchdown. Former Orem High School star wide receiver Puka Nacua had three catches for 43 yards and one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: Bye week

3. Washington State Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)

Result: Beat Colorado 41-10 at home.

Recap: Washington State scored 21 points in the first quarter and that was the difference in the game. Quarterback Anthony Gordon threw for 369 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Running back Max Borghi had 12 carries for 105 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Brandon Arconado hauled in five catches for 109 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars snapped a three game losing streak.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next up: at No. 11 Oregon (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12), Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

4. California Golden Bears (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to Oregon State 21-17 at home.

Recap: Oregon State jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Cal settled for a field goal before halftime. The Bears scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 17-10 lead. The Beavers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:41 left to get their second straight road win. Cal quarterback Devon Modster threw for 151 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 76 yards on 19 carries before he suffered an injury and was replaced by true freshman Spencer Brasch. Star linebacker Evan Weaver was all over the place, racking up 21 tackles, including two sacks.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: at No. 12 Utah (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12), Saturday at 8 p.m. on FS1.

5. Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Beat California 21-17 on the road.

Recap: Oregon State jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Cal settled for a field goal before halftime. The Bears scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 17-10 lead. The Beavers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:41 left to get their second straight road win. Quarterback Jake Luton had 174 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while Artavis Pierce racked up 80 yards on 23 rushing attempts. Hunter High School graduate Noah Togiai led the Beavers in receiving yards with 38 on four catches.

Previous Ranking: 6

Next up: Bye week

6. Stanford Cardinal (3-4, 2-3 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to UCLA 34-16 at home on Thursday.

Recap: The Cardinal couldn’t get anything going after the first quarter when they were trailing 14-10 as the Bruins scored 20 unanswered before the Stanford found the end zone in the fourth quarter. Stanford started their third string quarterback Jack West, who had 143 passing yards, completing 15 of his 32 attempts. Running back Cameron Scarlett rushed for just 34 yards on 13 carries to go with one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: vs. Arizona (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12),  at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

SOUTH

1. No. 12 Utah Utes (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12)

Result: Beat No. 17 Arizona State 21-3 at home.

Recap: The Utes’ defense was fantastic all night long. They allowed 136 yards of total offense and just 25 passing yards. Quarterback Tyler Huntley exited the game two different times with a leg injury after throwing his first interception this season. Running back Zack Moss had 25 carries for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns. He broke the school record for career rushing yards, passing Eddie Johnson. Defensive end Bradlee Anae sacked the quarterback three times in the Utes’ third straight win.

Previous Ranking: 1

Next up: vs. California (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12), Saturday at 8 p.m. on FS1.

2. No. 24 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to No. 12 Utah 21-3 on the road.

Recap: Utah’s defense limited Arizona State in every way offensively. Quarterback Jayden Daniels completed just four of his 18 pass attempts for 25 yards and one interception. Running back Eno Benjamin had 104 rushing yards. Their three-point performance snaps a streak of 125 games of scoring 10 points or more in a game.

Previous Ranking: 2

Next up: at UCLA (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

3. USC Trojans (4-3, 3-1 Pac-12)

Result: Beat Arizona 41-14 at home.

Recap: The Trojans jumped out to a 34-0 lead early in the fourth quarter to get the dominating victory over Arizona. Quarterback Kedon Slovis passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns, while Kenan Christon had 103 yards on just eight carries and two touchdowns.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next up: at Colorado (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12), Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

4. Arizona Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to USC 41-14 on the road.

Recap: The Wildcats allowed USC to score 34 unanswered points before getting their first touchdown in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Khalil Tate was benched after throwing just 47 yards and had -27 rushing yards on the ground. Grant Gunnell took over and had 196 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brian Casteel hauled in 4 catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next up: at Stanford (3-4, 2-3 Pac-12), Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

5. Colorado Buffaloes (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12)

Result: Lost to Washington State 41-10 on the road.

Recap: Colorado dug themselves into a deep hole, trailing 24-3 at halftime. Quarterback Steven Montez struggled, completing 16 of his 30 pass attempts for 129 yards and two interceptions. Running back Alex Fontenot carried the ball 11 times for 105 yards. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. had 4 catches for 46 yards and 3 rushing attempts for 16 yards and one touchdown.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next up: vs. USC (4-3, 3-1 Pac-12), Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

6. UCLA Bruins (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12)

Result: Bye Week

Recap: The Bruins had a 14-10 before they scored 20 unanswered points before the Stanford found the end zone in the fourth quarter to get the upset win on the road. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson recorded 192 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Running back Joshua Kelley racked up 176 yards and one touchdown, while Kyle Philips hauled in 10 catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Previous Ranking: 6

Next up: vs. No. 24 Arizona State (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12), Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.

The full Pac-12 power rankings without divisions:

  1. Oregon
  2. Utah
  3. Arizona State
  4. USC
  5. Washington
  6. Washington State
  7. California
  8. Arizona
  9. Colorado
  10. Oregon State
  11. Stanford
  12. UCLA