The job of a football referee is to ensure order on the field and to assess penalties as they come about. They are taught to not make a call that can drastically change the outcome of a game unless they are one hundred percent sure of it. The call on Saturday between Washington and Stanford could possibly determine the Pac-12, and it was a judgment play that may have been wrong.
#5 Stanford 31 #15 Washington 28
Analysis: Both teams fought back and forth on Saturday, but a late Washington rally stopped short on fourth down. The Cardinal held a ten-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but Keith Price rallied the Huskies with a touchdown pass to Jaydon Mickens to cut the lead to 3 with 2:38 remaining. After the Huskies forced a 3-and-out on the next Stanford drive, Price drove the team into Stanford territory. On the next fourth down, Price's pass to Kevin Smith was caught for a first down, but the booth called for a review. Video evidence showed the ball could have touched the ground from two different angles, but the evidence was hardly conclusive. Regardless, the booth overturned the ruling on the field, giving Stanford the win.
Keith Price: A
Price did everything he could for Washington on Saturday. He completed 33 of 48 for 350 yards passing and two scores and had tremendous poise and confidence late in the game. While the loss was heartbreaking for the Huskies, Price showed that the Huskies will be a challenge for any team in the league. The Ducks are on notice for next Saturday's matchup in Seattle.
Huskies Defense: B+
The Cardinal came into the game averaging just over 400 yards of offense per game, with an average of 210 on the ground. Washington's defense held Stanford to just 279 yards of offense and 176 yards rushing. The defense came through multiple times for Washington, especially forcing the late 3-and-out that gave the Huskies their final drive chance.
#2 Oregon 57 Colorado 16
Analysis: Some early trickery kept Colorado in the game, but a pair of touchdowns less than a minute apart gave Oregon the win in Boulder. Colorado got an early 10-8 lead on a double reverse touchdown pass from receiver Paul Richardson, but Oregon scored the next 21 points to take a 29-10 lead before the first quarter had ended. The scoring burst was punctuated with a 75-yard bomb from Marcus Mariota to Bralon Addison, and a touchdown pass just 58 seconds later after an interception by Terrance Mitchell. The Buffaloes would get to within 13 with a pair of field goals, but no closer.
Marcus Mariota: A
Mariota had no trouble against the Colorado secondary, throwing for 355 yards and five touchdowns. The likely Heisman Trophy candidate also ran for 43 yards and two scores.
Oregon Offense: A
Despite De'Anthony Thomas's injury, the Ducks continue to put up absurd offensive numbers. Byron Marshall ran for 122 yards, and both Josh Huff and Bralon Addison recorded 100 yards receiving games. Thomas is still considered questionable for next Saturday's game in Seattle with an ankle injury.
Washington State 44 California 22
Analysis: While both teams put on a fantastic aerial display, the Cougars struck twice early on and never let up in a win in Berkeley. Connor Halliday commanded a 7 play 92-yard drive for the Cougars first touchdown, with a touchdown strike to Vince Mayle. He then setup a second score with a beautiful 41-yard pass to Marcus Mason on the following drive. The Golden Bears cut the lead to six by halftime, but the Cougars scored twice in the third quarter to seal the game.
Connor Halliday: B+
Halliday tore up the California sky to the tune of 521 yards on 41 of 67 passing. The junior came within 10 yards of the all-time Washington State single game passing record, set by Alex Brink in 2005 against Oregon State.