Some college football critics say defense is the hallmark of football. Some college football critics say basketball scores in the game ruin its integrity. Some college football critics say a strong defensive team should always play in the national championship game over a strong offensive team. After the Ducks travelled to Los Angeles and beat one of the top offenses in college football in an arms race for the ages, the Oregon Ducks would like to tell those college football critics to shut their mouths.
STORY #1: #4 Oregon Beats #17 USC, 62-51
This was not a game to watch if you like defensive struggles. Kenjon Barner set a school record with 321 yards rushing on 38 carries with five touchdowns as the Ducks won a wild tilt in Los Angeles. Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards and four scores, and also ran 96 yards. Josh Huff had 125 yards receiving along with two touchdown catches. The Ducks finished with 730 yards of total offense, and the team ended up scoring a point on average every twenty-seven seconds. Matt Barkey threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort. Barner scored on back-to-back drive in the second quarter to give the Ducks a 27-10 lead, only to have the Trojans roar back to close the gap to 34-31 early in the third quarter. Barner scored to extend the lead to ten, but Silas Redd scored one of his two touchdowns to keep the game close. Redd finished with 92 yards on 18 carries. However Huff scored on the next possession and Barner on the following one to put the lead back to 17. Finally Barner capped off the day with 1:58 left in the fourth, scoring from 22 yards out to seal the game.
STORY #2: #11 Oregon State Rallies Over Arizona State, 36-26.
Cody Vaz started out slow in Corvallis on Saturday night, but came through in the end for the Beavers to hold off the Sun Devils. Arizona State had a 14-3 lead early after a fumble by Vaz on his own one-yard line was recovered by Junior Onyeali in the endzone, and Cameron Marshall scored a rushing touchdown, but Vaz hit Markus Wheaton with a 50-yard strike to cut the lead to four. After the Sun Devils extended the lead back to nine, Terron Ward, who started the game for the injured Storm Woods, rumbled 53 yards to trim the lead. A Trevor Romaine field goal tied the game before halftime, and with their opening drive of the second half, Vaz hit Wheaton a second time to give the Beavers a lead they would not relinquish. Vaz finished with 267 yards on 14 of 33 passing. Ward finished the game with 146 on 19 carries as the Beaver defense locked down Sun Devil quarterback Taylor Kelly, holding him to just 153 yards through the air and 80 yards on the ground.
STORY #3: Washington Defeats Cal, 21-13.
Bishop Sankey continued his tremendous season with 189 yards rushing and two scores to help the Huskies hold off the Golden Bears, 21-13. Sankey scored early from four yards out, and sealed the game from a yard out in a game filled with eight turnovers, and shaky passing from Keith Price and California quarterback Zach Maynard. Price threw for 235 yards a one touchdown to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who finished with 152 yards receiving. Maynard had 175 yards passing, and left in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. This was the first road win for the Huskies in over a year.
STORY #4: Utah Annihilates Washington State 49-6.
This was not the way Mike Leach wanted to start his career in Pullman. Utah led 14-0 after one, 31-0 at the half, and 38-0 after three quarters in a blowout in Salt Lake City. Jeff Tuel finished with 232 yards on 23 of 45 passing, briefly giving way to Connor Halliday. The Cougars rushing attack was, in a word, offensive. Carl Winston had just 16 yards rushing on three carries, and the Cougars had -4 rushing yards as a team. Travis Wilson threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and John White ran for 101 yards and two scores before both sat out the second half for the Utes.