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The PAC Twelver - Week 10

A twelve-pack of observations on The Conference of Champions.

California v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

First: The #8 Washington State Cougars (8-1 / 5-1 PAC 12) kept there dream season alive by beating CAL (5-4 / 2-4 PAC 12) 19-13 in some early winter weather up in Pullman. WSU senior quarterback “The Constant” Gardner Minshew (35 for 51 passing / 334 yards / 1 TD / 51.9 QBR) fought the elements, and was clutch late, as he has been all year. To explain exactly how well Minshew sees the field, eleven different Cougars caught passes in this contest. At this point, “The Constant” Gardner is undeniably in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy. #HotCougs

Second: The success of “The Pirate” Mike Leach’s ‘Air Raid‘ offense is nothing new to college football, but this #8 WSU ‘fly-around’ defense has truly been the difference. In that capacity, Washington State seniors linebacker Peyton “The Allure” Pelluer (11 tackles / 2 TFL / 1 sack / 1 PD) and D-lineman Logan “Carne Asada” Tago (4 tackles / 3 TFL / 2 sacks / 2 QBH) are two of the most underrated players in the PAC-12, but at least now they have nicknames.

Third: It was a great weekend for ‘The Evergreen State’, as U Dub (7-3 / 5-2 PAC 12) hung on at home to beat Stanford (5-4 / 3-3 PAC 12) 27-23 in front of the Husky faithful. Washington senior running back “For” Myles Gaskin (28 carries / 148 yards / 1 TD / 5.3 YPC) finally looks healthy again, and that is bad news for the folks who still have to play these Huskies.

Fourth: As I write here nearly every week, U Dub senior linebacker and heartbeat of this team Ben Burr-Kirven (13 tackles / 2 PD / 1 TFL / 1 QBH) is the most exciting defensive player in the conference. BBK delivered again this week against my beloved Stanford Cardinal, and while it pains me to say it this time around, I have to respect his game. #BBK #BewareOfDawg

Fifth: The Sun Devils (5-4 / 3-3 PAC 12) put their fork in meaty #15 Utah (6-3 / 4-3 PAC 12) out in the desert this past weekend, and 38-20 was the good eatin’. This was unquestionably the best win of 2018 for first year ASU head coach Herm Edwards, and his senior QB Manny Wilkins (19 for 24 passing / 285 yards / 3 TD’s / 1 INT / 8 carries / 24 yards rushing / 88.8 QBR) was nearly flawless in dissecting the stout Utes defense.

Sixth: One of my favorite quotes in regard to the rigors of football, I heard Herm Edwards say many years ago. “The best ability, is availability.”

Seventh: Oregon (6-3 / 3-3 PAC 13) beat the Duck out of U₵LA (2-7 / 2-4 PAC 12) in Eugene last Saturday, 42-21. A week after the shocking and confusing loss to Arizona, the Ducks rebounded on their explosive offense. Oregon junior quarterback and teen heartthrob Justin Herbert (18 for 32 passing / 264 yards / 2 TD’s / 81.9 QBR) took a couple big licks in this one, but shook it off to play some top-tier ball.

Eighth: Ducks junior wide receiver Dillon “Pete” Mitchell (8 receptions / 156 yards / 2 TD’s / 19.5 YPR) remained the Top-Gun for this offense, as he has been Herbert’s favorite target throughout the ’18 campaign. #FastAsDuck #StrongAsDuck #ToughAsDuck

Ninth: Arizona (5-5 / 4-3 PAC 12) outgunned Colorado (5-4 / 2-4 PAC 12) 42-34 on Friday night in Tucson, and the Buffs have now lost four in a row after starting 5-0. Cats junior quarterback Khalil Tate (17 for 22 passing / 350 yards / 5 TD’s / 1 INT / 4 carries / 15 yards / 97.7 QBR), primarily known for his tremendous ability as a runner, did most of his damage in the passing game against struggling Colorado.

Tenth: Arizona sophomore tailback “Sweet Baby” J.J. Taylor (40 carries / 192 yards / 4.8 YPC / 1 reception / 12 receiving yards / 204 all-purpose yards) got 41, yes 41 touches on the night. That is certainly earning your schoolbooks and chow right there, and would someone please get that young man to the ice tub.

Eleventh: U$C (5-4 / 4-3 PAC 12) bettered the “Dam” Beavers (2-7 / 1-5 PAC 12) in Corvallis this past Saturday, 38-21. Trojans senior RB Aca’Cedric “It Ain’t Fair” Ware (17 carries / 205 yards / 3 TD’s / 12.1 YPC) looked to be in The Matrix, averaging over 12 yards per carry on the game. Simply put, the “Dam” OSU defense got run over.

Twelfth: I was traveling last weekend and did not publish ‘The Twelver’, though I accounted for a few across my adventures. In any case, I tipped several Guinness “For Strength” during the Stanford loss to the Huskies, and as always they went down like adult milkshakes. They way I see it, the best three PAC-12 games to be tipping adult beverages for this football weekend are #8 Washington State (8-1) at Colorado (5-4), Oregon (6-3) at #15 Utah (6-3), and CAL (5-4) at USC (5-4). No matter the results, please drop a line here on your favorite beers, wines, and cocktails for game days. Cheers y’all.