Pac-12 Northwest Football Wrap-Up: Oregon Defense Silences UCLA

A lot of talk throughout the week was about Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, and his comments about Washington State scoring on Oregon's backups last Saturday.  This week, his defense left nothing to say against the UCLA Bruins.

[NOTE: Rankings reflect the AP Standings]

#2 Oregon 42 #12 UCLA 14

Analysis: In a matchup of two of the most mobile quarterbacks in the Pac-12, it was the defenses that ruled the first half.  After UCLA got great field position after Keanon Lowe fumbled, Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley ran it in from four yards out.  The Ducks responded on the following drive with a 1-yard scoring run from De'Anthony Thomas, playing for the first time since his injury.  Despite this score, the Bruins would hold Thomas in check, and it was evident he was not at 100 percent, running for just 31 yards on ten carries.  Byron Marshall picked up the slack at the running back position, scoring from 40 yards out to give Oregon a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.  Marshall finished with 133 yards and three touchdowns.  While UCLA held the Ducks in check in the first half, the Ducks exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points to seal the game, punctuated with scoring runs by Marshall and Thomas Tyner.

Oregon Defense: A-
With the Bruins defense holding firm, it was up to the Ducks defense to give the team the opportunities they needed.  They did just that, holding Brett Hundley to 64 yards passing, and the Bruins to just 283 yards of total offense.  Avery Patterson picked off Hundley at the start of the fourth quarter, setting up a touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Bralon Addison, and the Ducks held UCLA to just 58 yards in the final quarter.

Byron Marshall: B+
Even after De'Anthony Thomas returned from injury, Marshall showed Oregon's offense runs off of much more than Thomas and Mariota.  Marshall scored eight touchdowns in Thomas's absence, and the sophomore from San Jose will be a player to watch next season for the Ducks.

#8 Stanford 20 Oregon State 12

Analysis: The Stanford defense came into Corvallis ready to play, and Oregon State's inability to convert on fourth down gave the Cardinal the win.  Early touchdown runs by Tyler Gaffney gave Stanford a 13-3 lead, but Sean Mannion found Brandin Cooks before the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to four.  Gaffney responded with a long touchdown run to give Stanford a 20-9 lead.  He would finish with 145 yards rushing.  The Beavers hit a field goal to get within one possession, but a final drive ended with an incomplete pass into the end zone on fourth down to give Stanford the win.  Oregon State would finish 1-of-5 on fourth down, with all four failures coming inside Stanford territory.

Sean Mannion: B
Mannion did everything he could, but despite throwing  a season-high 57 times, he threw for a season-low 271 yards.  His longest completion was only 20 yards, also a season-low, as the Stanford defense limited his ability to throw downfield, sacking him eight times.

Washington 41 California 17

Analysis: On a somber Saturday at Husky Stadium, Bishop Sankey paid fitting tribute to former head coach Don James, who passed away this last week.  Sankey scored from three yards out on Washington's first drive, and just rolled on from there.  The Huskies would take a 17-0 lead in the first quarter on a 68-yard bomb from Keith Price to Jaydon Mickens, and the rout was on.

Bishop Sankey: A+
Sankey could not have been any better, running for a career-high 241 yards on 27 carries with two scores.  

About Arran Gimba