Roundup: Oregon State is a legit contender

Karl Maasdam/Oregon State Athletics

Oregon State

Sure, the Beavers lost to Eastern Washington to open the season, and while that might have been an embarrassing setback, it didn’t go against their league record. Now that Riley’s boys are at 5-1 and 3-0 in the Pac, it’s time to recognize Oregon State as a legit Pac-12 contender.

Oregon

With a dazzling performance against U-Dub, Sports Illustrated believes Marcus Mariota is at the top of the list of Heisman candidates (no surprise that Mariota was Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week).  Also, the Ducks have never shied away from a tough non-league slate, and that will continue in the future with Oregon and Nebraska announcing a home-and-home series for 2016 (Lincoln) and 2017 (Eugene).

UCLA

Staying in the vein of top quarterbacks, UCLA’s Brett Hundley could make his case for the Heisman Trophy on the road with a huge game against the Card on The Farm this Saturday.

Washington

Yeah so it has been a rough couple of weeks for the Dawgs, but Sark and Washington still believe, saying the sky is the limit. Doesn’t get much easier with Arizona State this weekend though.

Stanford

After a gut-wrenching loss to Utah, Tim Brando asks, “what’s next for Stanford?” Also some Oklahoma talk in here, for the Boomer-Sooner-inclined. Additionally, Lou Holtz claims to know why Stanford lost to the Utes, but there might be some holes in that theory.

Utah

Wanna see some behind-the-scenes footage from the epic victory, Block U supporter? Perhaps Kyle Whittingham saying “let’s go slay us a giant!” will get you pumped up all over again. Sorta got me fired up, too, until I remembered that I went to the other school…

Arizona State

Games seven through 12 haven’t treated the Forks well in recent memory, so the Sun Devils must stay fired up to avoid a late-season meltdown.

Washington State

The best thing about the middle of the season is that you can turn the page quickly following a loss, and that’s why Washington State is looking forward to playing Oregon after a four-touchdown defeat at the hands of Oregon State last weekend. Here’s some more info on the Washington State-Oregon game courtesy of Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman-Review.

Arizona

The Wildcats didn’t win on Thursday night, but a confident B.J. Denker showed he can sling it, throwing four touchdown passes and zero picks while completing more than 60 percent of his attempts in the loss to the Trojans.

California

The Golden Bears have made strides on defense despite the numerous injuries they’ve suffered, most notably stopping the run against UCLA last Saturday. However, Brett Hundley was able to pick that secondary apart, and it’s not going to get better any time soon for the Golden Buhs. Up next for Cal’s beleaguered pass defense? Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, who only leads the nation in passing.

Colorado

Colorado gets its replacement date from the Fresno State postponement this Saturday against an FCS school, but the Buffs aren’t taking Charleston Southern lightly. After all, the Buccaneers are undefeated and ranked 24th in the FCS.

USC

Cleverest headline of the day goes to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times, who writes that USC’s productive running game looks to live in the (Silas) Redd zone. Dude was money in his return to live action, killing the clock to ice the game against Arizona with seven consecutive runs (that last one was a beauty).

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