Had COVID-19 not ravished the 2020 season, we would be talking and writing about the following games scheduled for Week 3:
– Arizona at Texas Tech
– BYU at ASU
– USC at Stanford
– UCLA at San Diego State
– Colorado at Texas A&M
– Utah at Wyoming
– Hawai’i at Oregon
– Portland State at OSU
– Utah State at Washington
– Idaho at WSU
– Bye: Cal
(You can read Jack Follman’s simulation of what might have happened here.)
Instead, we bring you this rewind of the 2019 season, with the highlights of the biggest games, and summaries of the others.
Highlights & Overview
Week 3 saw three Pac-12 teams facing ranked opponents with Arizona State upsetting No. 18 Michigan State in East Lansing, UCLA losing to No. 5 Oklahoma, and Stanford falling to No. 17 UCF. No. 24 USC fell to unranked BYU, and Colorado lost to unranked Air Force a week beating Nebraska. Arizona recorded a solid victory over Texas Tech at home, and No. 20 Washington State took care of Houston on the road.
The Pac-12 went 8-4 in nonconference play. WSU’s Anthony Gordon, Washington’s Myles Bryant, and Cal’s Greg Thomas were the Pac-12 Players of the Week.
You’ll find a list of the teams ranked at the beginning of the week, and a table of the week’s complete results at the bottom of the page.
Arizona State 10, No. 18 Michigan State 7
The Sun Devils showed they were a team to be feared, regardless of their youth and inexperience, emerging from East Lansing with a 10-7 defensive win over Michigan State. The victory brought them back into the national spotlight, reaffirming Herm Edwards’ unorthodox methods once again.
Even more impressive was the way ASU won, giving up twice as many yards as they gained, losing the time of possession battle, and struggling to show anything resembling offense throughout most of the contest. Yet, through sheer force of will, the Devils found a way to win.
Edwards trusted his true freshman quarterback to convert a fourth-and-13, and with ASU’s hopes dwindling, he came through. Jayden Daniels waited for his receivers to clear out the defenders before dashing for the game-changing first down. Not bad for his first big road test.
No. 20 Washington State 31, Houston 24
Washington State got off to a slow start offensively against Houston before kicking it into gear in the second half. Wazzu quarterback Anthony Gordon threw for 440 yards and three touchdowns, with Brandon Arconado collecting nine of those passes for 115 yards.
Altogether, nine different players caught balls, as Gordon continues to spread the receiving wealth. Max Borghi menaced Houston through the air and on the ground, gaining a combined 101 yards rushing and receiving while also adding a touchdown.
More importantly, the Cougars seem to have found their stride defensively. After starting slow in the first two games, and missing several tackles early against Houston, Wazzu made some in-game adjustments that proved effective in shutting down UH, and created a pair of turnovers.
Arizona 28, Texas Tech 14
Arizona earned its biggest nonconference win of the Kevin Sumlin Era last week as a “White Out” home crowd roared its approval. The Cats got it done with a smash-mouth rushing attack, including an 84-yard touchdown run from Khalil Tate, and a 99-yard scoring drive with 13 straight rushes in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcat defense, suspect in the first two weeks, was surprisingly stout, holding high-powered Texas Tech in check while forcing two interceptions and seven punts. The Arizona offense controlled the time of possession and limited the Red Raiders to just two scores.
Air Force 30, Colorado 23
The Buffs had pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback two weeks earlier against Nebraska, but the late-game magic wasn’t there against Air Force in Week . Colorado did its best to prepare for the Falcons’ tricky option offense, but frequently seemed caught off-guard, giving up 444 yards of total offense.
The Buffs’ offense didn’t play much better, with Steven Montez missing multiple receivers on long passes that could have altered the game. Despite the tough loss at home, the play of Laviska Shenault Jr. stood out. The senior receiver caught eight balls for 124 yards and a touchdown, and rushed three times for another 25. There were other positives as well: The Colorado defense created three turnovers, and four Buff defenders had eight tackles or more.
No. 17 UCF 45, Stanford 27
The good news for Stanford was that quarterback K.J. Costello returned, and the bad news was, well, just about everything else. The Cardinal got lambasted by UCF in Week 3, falling behind 21-0 from the get-go, and trailing 38-7 at half. Golden Knights signal caller Dillon Gabriel torched Stanford for 247 yards and four touchdowns in the air, and UCF rushers added 198 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
BYU 30, No. 24 USC 27 (OT)
Just when the Trojans appeared to be turning the corner with a new quarterback and a spot in the rankings, USC’s high hopes came unraveled in Provo. BYU was no pushover, but it was a game the Trojans could have won with better execution here or there. USC quarterback Kedon Slovis threw three interceptions, but it would be unfair to place all the blame on him. His 281 yards passing and two touchdowns kept the Trojans in the contest to the end. USC’s defense was no less at fault, giving up 430 total yards, and two long scoring drives in the final six minutes.
California 23, North Texas 17
The Golden Bears earned their first AP Top 25 appearance of the season with a workman-like win over North Texas. Cal prevailed the only way it knows how, grinding it out in an ugly, blue-collar contest. The Bears were happy to have opponents attack them through the air last year as the Eagles did; it only played into Cal’s havoc-wreaking defensive secondary. The Bears held Mason Fine to 210 yards passing, picked him off, and relegated him to a 23.9 Quarterback Rating.
Oregon State 45, Cal Poly 7
OSU’s execution improved dramatically on both sides of the ball, and the players’ confidence seemed to soar. Quarterback Jake Luton led the way, throwing for 255 yards and four touchdowns, while running back B.J. Baylor rushed for 101 yards and a score. Defensively, the Beavs allowed just seven points, a step in the right direction. The end result was that all-important first win of the season.
No. 11 Utah 31, Idaho State 0
In the first two weeks, the Utes looked like a team ready for a Pac-12 title run. Nothing changed in Week 3, with Utah dominating Idaho State 31-0. It was a typical Utes performance, built on good habits. Utah did not take the Bengals lightly. The defense was prepared, holding ISU signal caller Gunnar Amos to 52 yards passing. The Idaho State running game didn’t fare much better, with Bengals halfback Ty Flanagan rushing for just 46 yards on 13 carries. Offensively, Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss overwhelmed the Idaho State defense, with Huntley throwing for 282 yards, and Moss running for 106. The pair combined for four touchdowns.
No. 5 Oklahoma 48, UCLA 14
No one reasonably expected the Bruins to give No. 5 Oklahoma a game, but many expected to see improvement. And on certain fronts, they did. UCLA’s effort and energy seemed better all around. The receivers, particularly tight end Devin Asiasi, who cut loose for three breakaway catches, made the most of their opportunities. But on the whole, the Bruin offense remained inconsistent under quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who tossed two picks to go with a mixed bag of throws. The UCLA defense was outmanned from the start, leaving way too many holes for Jalen Hurts & Company to exploit.
No. 15 Oregon 35, Montana 3
The Ducks appeared ready to live up to their No. 16 ranking after a second-consecutive non-conference blowout victory. Oregon held Montana to 242 yards of total offense, and just eight yards on the ground. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 316 yards and five touchdowns, becoming the first UO signal caller to throw for five scores in consecutive games. Herbert also extended his nation-lead of throwing at least one touchdown pass to 31 games. Running back Travis Dye impressed as well, rushing for 101 yards in his first triple-digit game of the season. On the down side, injuries continued to be a concern for Oregon as several players either missed the game or left with various ailments.
No. 23 Washington 52, Hawaii 20
Hawaii came in 2-0, with two straight wins over Pac-12 opponents in Arizona and Oregon State. The Warriors may not have been a top-tier team, but they were no slouch. Washington made them look like an FCS opponent, jumping to a 21-0 lead, and never looking back. UW quarterback Jacob Eason rebounded from his disappointing outing the previous week, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. It was a confidence-boosting performance for the junior. The Husky defense shined as well, holding a dangerous Hawaii offense to just 20 points.
Pac-12 in AP Rankings Heading into Week 3
Complete Week 3 Pac-12 Football Results
No. 24 USC
No. 18 Michigan State
No. 11 Utah
No. 23 Washington
No. 5 Oklahoma
No. 15 Oregon
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