First: I have been writing for the past month that #7 Washington at #17 Oregon would be the best game of the year in the PAC-12, and for once I was right about something. It was an overtime epic, that has Huskies fans feeling sick, and many Oregon fans celebrating well past sickness. #FastAsDuck #StrongAsDuck #ToughAsDuck
Second: I was obviously dead wrong however, when I last week penned, “... only two weeks ago I wrote that the #17 Ducks would upset #7 Washington at home on 10/13, but I am again going to flop on a prediction. Either way, it is likely a coin flip, but I now think the Huskies will pull out a close one in Eugene.” What can I say, I’m just a big dumb animal.
Third: In victory Oregon (5-1 / 2-1 PAC 12) moves up to #12, and becomes the PAC-12’s best chance for a playoff team, while Washington (5-2 / 3-1 PAC 12) falls to #15 and basically out of the national title picture. Somewhere, my Aunt Sally is crying big salty tears.
Fourth: The #12 Ducks have two of the best skill position players in the conference, in junior Top-Gun wideout Dillon “Pete” Mitchell (8 receptions / 119 yards / 1 TD / 14.9 YPR) and sophomore workhorse running back C.J. “Touchdown Tommy” Verdell (29 carries / 111 yards / 2 TD’s / 3.8 YPC). These Ducks love to fly around.
Fifth: Even in defeat, Huskies senior linebacker and Twelver favorite Ben Burr-Kirven (19 tackles / 2 PD / 1 QBH) was the best defensive player on the field vs. #12 Oregon. Simply put, if everyone on the team had BBK’s heart and toughness, the Huskies would never lose.
Sixth: U$C (4-2 / 3-1 PAC-12) topped unbeaten #19 Colorado (5-1 / 2-1 PAC 12) 31-20 Saturday night, and it was not as close as the score would indicate. The Trojans aggressively defended their Colosseum against the Buffs, and senior cornerback Ajene Harris (8 tackles / 2 PD / 1 INT / 1 defensive TD) was the tip of the spear all evening.
Seventh: In terms of the SC offense, junior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (6 receptions / 155 yards / 2 TD’s / 25.8 YPR) busted out, in what has been a very disappointing year up to this point (only 198 recieving yards on the season before this contest). Going in to ’18, I had Pittman Jr. listed as the 7th best WR in the PAC-12, and that claim obviously remains to be seen.
Eighth: “Just” Clay Helton reminds me of the Chargers organization, back when I was a die hard fan, before they made a deal with the Devil to move north to the City of Angels. “Just” Clay reminds me of the Bolts in this sense, he loses all the games I feel he should win, and wins all the games I think he will lose. USC is a tough read this year, but if their defense can continue to play at the high level they are capable of, they will still end up in a respectable Bowl Game this winter.
Ninth: UCLA (1-5 / 1-2 PAC 12), yes that UCLA, came out of absolutely nowhere to stomp CAL (3-3 / 0-3 PAC 12) 37-7 this past weekend in Berkeley. Bruins junior RB Joshua “Machine Gun” Kelly (30 carries / 157 yards / 3 TD’s / 5.2 YPC) was a dangerous man with the ball in his hands against the Bears.
Tenth: Chip Kelly gets his first win as the UCLA head football coach, in week 7 of the season? I certainly did not see that coming, nor did most of you I imagine. I still think he will build an empire of sorts in Westwood, but his initial phase has not worked out as planned.
Eleventh: Utah (4-2 / 2-2 PAC 12) was an unfriendly host to Arizona on Friday night in Salt Lake City, and when the party finally ended Utah had themselves a 42-10 victory. Utes junior quarterback Tyler Huntley (14 for 19 passing / 201 yards / 2 TD’s / 11 carries / 64 yards / 1 TD / 5.8 YPC / 1 reception / 58 yards / 1 TD / 58.0 YPR) does it all, literally, and Friday night in front of his home crowd he threw for two touchdowns, ran for another, and managed a 58-yard touchdown reception as well. Holy smokes, that is a game you will never forget. #TripleThreatGuy
Twelfth: Stanford had a bye this past weekend, but I got squared away on The Sculpin Train anyhow, and them stumbled over to The Belly Up for a country show. It was grand. In terms of this week, the way I see it, the three best PAC-12 games to be tipping adult beverages for are #12 Oregon (5-1) at #25 Washington State (5-1), USC (4-2) at Utah (4-2), and Stanford (4-2) at Arizona State (3-3) on Thursday Night. Good luck to you and your squads this football weekend, and no matter the results, please feel free to drop a line here on your favorite beers, wines, and cocktails for game days. Cheers y’all.