Bishop Sankey is one of most fearless runners in the Pac-12, and the Illinois Fighting Illini got to feel his full fury in Chicago on Saturday.
#19 Washington 34, Illinois 24
Analysis: Bishop Sankey ran all over Soldier Field with a vengeance to the tune of 208 yards on 35 carries, with an additional 63 yards receiving. Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two scores and the Huskies defense held Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to a season low 156 yards on just 9 of 25 passing. Kevin Smith led the Huskies receivers with 104 yards.
Bishop Sankey: A
The Illini simply had no answer for Sankey from the get-go. Price hit Sankey with a 31-yard touchdown strike for the first points of the game, and Sankey plowed in from the one early in the second quarter to give the Huskies a 17-3 advantage.
Josh Shirley: B+
The Huskies defense harassed Scheelhaase most of the game, with Shirley getting to the Illini quarterback three times. The junior defensive end displayed speed to get to a signal caller with such a quick release.
Washington Defense: C
That said, the defense nearly let a 31-10 lead slip through their fingers, allowing a 72-yard touchdown bomb in the third quarter. The Illini closed the gap to 31-24 before the Huskies managed to close the game. A great win on the road, but it was hardly comfortable for Coach Steve Sarkisian.
#2 Oregon 59, Tennessee 14
Analysis: This game was well over by halftime. Marcus Mariota threw for a career high 456 yards and four touchdowns, and Ducks offense simply steamrolled an overmatched Tennessee defense. The Ducks led 38-7 at the half, and sent an empathic message to SEC Nation that the Ducks do not fear.
Marcus Mariota: A+
The Volunteer defense was target practice for the sophomore, with Mariota seemingly scoring at will in the second quarter. Mariota ran it in from nine yards out before hitting Josh Huff and Daryle Hawkins for long touchdowns on back-to-back drives. Mariota became the first Duck to throw for more than 400 yards since Kellen Clemens in 2005. He had 350 yards passing by halftime and could have easily broken the record of 489 set by Bill Musgrave in 1989.
John Mundt: A-
Mundt came in for an injured Colt Lyerla, and lit up Tennessee to the count of five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yard catch and run at the end of the first quarter. Not bad for the first career game for a freshman.
Oregon State 51, Utah 48 (OT)
Analysis: Sean Mannion continued his season long assault on Oregon State passing records, but it took overtime for the Beavers to overcome the Utes in Salt Lake City. It was a sensational effort on a night the Beavers lost Storm Woods to a violent neck injury.
Sean Mannion: A+
Mannion did everything short of part the red sea to help the Beavers win this game. 27 of 44 for 443 yards and five touchdowns, including the game-winning strike to Brandin Cooks in overtime after the defense forced a field goal on Utah's possession. A magnificent performance for Mannion, who has securely locked onto the starting job for the foreseeable future.
Brandin Cooks: A
A musician is nothing without an instrument, and Cooks played the Utes secondary like a fiddle all game long. Nine catches for 210 yards and two scores, both late in the game, secured his spot alongside Marquise Lee at USC as the premier wide receivers in the Pac-12.
Beavers Defense: D
Once again, the Beavers defense found themselves getting bashed for huge yards. Another week, another dual-threat quarterback made life miserable, with Utah quarterback Travis Wilson throwing for 279 yards and running for 142 more, accounting for five touchdowns. The secondary did manage to pick off Wilson three times, including one Sean Martin returned for a touchdown, but outings like this cannot keep occurring if the Beavers want to succeed in the Pac-12.