In case you missed it, college football is back and today we are going to take a quick look back at week one’s action and review how the PAC-12’s teams faired during the opening week of the season. While I did forget to provide score predictions, I did give my opinion on which team would win in my preview of week 1 and I will update where my predictions stand after week 1. Moving forward I will include a score prediction in each preview I do moving forward.
Arizona State throttled Northern Arizona 40-3 last Thursday night. It was the debut of Florida quarterback transfer Emory Jones who had a decent night, but went 13/18 for 152 yards and had 11 rushes for 48 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Sun Devils rushed for 267 yards as a team and the defense picked off two NAU passes. However it’s still tough to judge just how good this ASU team will be until they get into conference play. I had ASU beating NAU in week 1.
TCU went into Boulder and beat Colorado last Friday night 38-13. It’s been clear that the Buffs are in for a difficult 2022 season and this was an indication of things for come. While the game got off to a slow start in through the first two quarters, the Horned Frogs exploded in the fourth quarter and scored 21 points. TCU rushed for 275 yards on 9.2 yards per carry, while Colorado tried to find their QB1 after playing both JT Shrout and Brendon Lewis. I had TCU beating Colorado in week 1.
UCLA was able to take care of business and beat Bowling Green 45-17. The Bruins got off to a slow start, going down 17-7 early in the 2nd quarter before scoring 38 straight points. UCLA put up 626 yards of offense while the defense only gave up 162. Once he got settled in, DTR looked really comfortable in the offense going 32/43 for 298 yards with two touchdowns and one interception along with 7 rushes for 87 yards and two more touchdowns. If UCLA can continue to have things clicking on both offense and defense once conference play gets started, they can certainly make a run at a PAC-12 title. I picked UCLA to beat Bowling Green.
The least competitive game of the day happened in Atlanta when Georgia absolutely demolished Oregon 49-3. The Bulldogs dominated in every aspect and category on both sides of the ball. Fans made lots of noise on Twitter during and after the game with a wide range of opinions on the status of Auburn transfer quarterback Bo Nix and whether or not he should remain the starter. The Ducks and this first year coaching staff certainly have a lot of work to do before they enter PAC-12 play. I picked Georgia to beat Oregon.
Arizona pulled off the biggest surprise of the day when they went to San Diego State and pulled off a mild upset 38-20. Washington State transfer Jayden de Laura had his coming out party when he went 22/35 for 299 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. UTEP wide receiver transfer Jacob Cowing had a huge day with 8 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns. The Wildcats defense allowed an impressive 232 yards with only 62 of those being passing yards. Arizona’s stock has certainly risen since the preseason and people, including myself, are taking them a lot more seriously moving forward. I had picked San Diego State to beat Arizona.
Cal beat UC Davis 34-13, however the scoreboard didn’t tell the whole story. While the Golden Bears put up 415 yards of offense, it was their defense that was the biggest surprise after they gave up 387 yards to UC Davis’ offense. Defense has been Justin Wilcox’s calling card since he got to Berkeley, so it will be interesting to see how Cal does once they go up against more prolific offenses in the PAC-12. I picked Cal to beat UC Davis.
Is USC back? The Trojans pulled off a pretty easy win in the coliseum after beating Rice 66-14. Superstar transfers Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison connected on two touchdowns and the USC offense and defense continued to dominate throughout the rest of the game. The offense put up 538 yards, while the defense capitalized on 4 interceptions and taking three of those back for a touchdown. While it was exciting for Trojans’ fans to see this new look team, the weakness is still in the trenches on both sides of the ball and it will be interesting see how they respond when they go up against stiffer competition later this season. I picked USC to beat Rice.
The biggest game of the weekend for the PAC-12 was when No. 7 Utah went to Florida, but ultimately lost 29-26 on a last effort drive by the Utes. This was a highly competitive game in a hostile environment with a first year head coach and new staff going up against one of the longest tenured and one of the best head coaches in the country. While it is difficult to lose a game like that, I firmly believe that Utah shouldn’t feel bad about how they played or the end result. Florida’s talent on their roster is still one of the best in the SEC, if not the country. On top of that, everything that they hope to accomplish this season is still on the table. I also believe they gained a lot of national respect by going on the road in a true road game in the SEC and showing why they are a team to be taken seriously on a national level. I had picked Utah to beat Florida.
Stanford took care of business at home when they beat Colgate 41-10. The Cardinals offense put up 497 yards of offense with quarterback Tanner McKee leading the way going 22/27 for 308 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. However the Stanford offense committed four turnovers, one interception and three fumbles, which was a little concerning to see especially going up against a team like Colgate. Stanford is another team that is tough to judge accordingly this early in the season, but once we get into PAC-12 play, it will tell us a lot about how good this team can be in 2022. I picked Stanford to beat Colgate
Washington State escaped with a win at home after being Idaho 24-17. Idaho was actually leading 10-0 after the first quarter before Incarnate Word transfer quarterback Cameron Ward threw for three touchdowns to and the Cougars scored 24 straight points. It was a bit surprising to see Wazzu struggle against Idaho at home especially after how much praise they were getting this offseason and picked as team that could potentially win 7 or 8 games. We will see if this was just them working out some of the little things as teams usually do during week 1 or if they are some more significant flaws with this team once we get into conference play. I picked Washington State to beat Idaho.
One of the more surprising games of the day was when Washington beat Kent State at home 45-20. It wasn’t the fact that they beat them, it was they way the Huskies won in convincing fashion going up 31-13 at halftime. Kalen DeBoer’s team came out swinging early on and Indiana transfer quarterback Michael Penix led the way going 26/39 for 345 yards and four touchdowns. The Huskies run game struggled a little bit after rushing for 132 yards, but for only 3.9 yards per carry. However this wide receiver core looks to be the real deal and one of the best in the conference with Jalen McMillan, Rome Odunze, and Taj Davis all catching touchdowns from Penix for Washington. The Huskies certainly have my attention moving forward as a team that can potentially compete for a PAC-12 title down this season. I picked Washington to beat Kent State.
In my opinion, the game that was overlooked the most (probably because it was PAC-12 after dark with a 7:30PST kickoff time) was when Oregon State beat Boise State 34-17 at home. In what most people thought was a fairly even game going into it, the Beavers dominated pretty much from start to finish excluding a few mishaps. The story of the night was the OSU defense which forced 5 Boise State turnovers and quarterback in Chance Nolan that looked very comfortable in another year in this offense despite two interceptions on his part. The biggest flaw for the Beavers were their 10 penalties for 100 yards along with three turnovers of their own, but Oregon State impressed quite a few people and solidified themselves as another legitimate contender for the PAC-12 title in 2022. I picked the Beavers to beat Boise State.
After week 1, I am 9-3 in my predictions of PAC-12 games. My preview of week 2 in the PAC-12, with score predictions included, will be published on Friday, so make sure you check that out!
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