- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Taking stock of the sixth week of games in the Pac-12.
Team of the week: Oregon State finally notched its first win of the season, beating Arizona 37-27. The Beavers jumped to a big lead then watched the Wildcats storm back. But instead of yielding in the fourth quarter in front of their nervous home fans, the Beavers made plays on offense, defense and special teams to win.
Best game: UCLA 28, Washington State 25. Beleaguered UCLA QB Kevin Prince came off the bench for an injured Richard Brehaut -- he was booed by his home fans as he entered the game -- and led the Bruins back from an eight-point fourth quarter deficit. He threw a go-ahead 7-yard touchdown pass -- his second of the game -- to Shaq Evans with 3:26 to play.
Biggest play: Oregon State saw its 30-6 lead almost disappear. Leading just 30-27 in the fourth quarter, the Beavers faced a fourth and goal on Arizona's 2-yard line. Instead of taking the easy field goal, coach Mike Riley went for the jugular. And QB Sean Mannion found TE Joe Halahuni for the touchdown that gave Oregon State breathing room with 5:22 remaining.
Defensive standout: Despite being banged up, Oregon State safety Lance Mitchell rolled up seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in a victory over Arizona.
Special teams standout: After Stanford fumbled away the opening kickoff, Colorado lined up for a short field goal. But Stanford LB Max Bergen blocked the attempt and returned it 75-yards for a touchdown.
Special teams standout II: Oregon State's Clayton York blocked a second-quarter Arizona punt, picked up the loose ball at the Wildcats' 5-yard line and ran it in for a score (officially, it was a 41-yard return).
Special teams standout III: Oregon State punter Johnny Hekker averaged 46.3 yards on four punts, killing three inside the Arizona 20-yard line. But none was more important than his 63-yard boot that pinned the Wildcats on their 5-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Arizona had just cut the Beavers' lead to 30-27, but the field position change brought on by this punt changed the game's momentum -- and led to the big play described above.
Smiley face: Just about everything had gone wrong for Oregon State and UCLA this year. But both the Bruins and Beavers kept fighting and overcame fourth-quarter adversity to record wins that could change the trajectory of their seasons.
Frowny face: Arizona special teams. A blocked punt for a TD. A missed 28-yard field goal. A fumbled kickoff. A missed extra point. Just terrible. The Wildcats are 2 of 6 on field goals this year and have missed four PATs.
Thought of the week: No. 18 Arizona State's visit to No. 9 Oregon is the first matchup of ranked Pac-12 teams this year. ESPN's College GameDay will be on hand, and this is a big opportunity for both teams. If the Sun Devils were to pull the upset, they'd announce themselves nationally. And they'd be in position to host to the Pac-12 championship game, which most projected in the preseason as a certainty for the North champ. If the Ducks win impressively, they could start to repair their national image, which was hurt by the national championship and LSU games, and maybe re-enter the periphery of the national title hunt.
Questions for the week: What's up with California, which plays a second consecutive Thursday night ESPN game against USC? The Trojans visit the Bears -- the game is at Cal's home-away-from-home, AT&T Park -- after a bye week, so they've had extra time to prepare. Last year, USC bludgeoned Cal 48-14, with QB Matt Barkley throwing five first-half TD passes. Trying to end a two-game conference losing streak should be motivation enough for Cal, but the memory of that embarrassing whipping also should be in the corner of the Bears minds.
Taking stock of the sixth week of games in the Pac-12.Team of the week: Oregon State finally notched its first win of the season, beating Arizona 37-27.