What we learned in the Pac-12: Week 2

September, 11, 2011
9/11/11
10:30
AM ET
What did we learn from Week 1 of Pac-12 action?

1. The Pac-12 mostly handled "Measuring Stick" week: Oregon State and Arizona -- big underdogs on the road against ranked teams -- got whipped at Wisconsin and Oklahoma State, respectively. But Arizona State beat Missouri and the rest of the conference held serve, though UCLA's struggles with San Jose State weren't good. Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Washington State each soundly took care of business.

[+] EnlargeWashington State's Marshall Lobbestael
AP Photo/Dean HareWashington State's Marshall Lobbestael passed for 361 yards and five touchdowns on a banner weekend for Pac-12 quarterbacks.
2. Pac-12 quarterbacks could put up huge numbers this year: Forget the names. This is what's notable: Pac-12 quarterbacks accounted for 33 TD passes this weekend and just four interceptions. Seven threw three or more TD passes. Five threw for more than 350 yards. Only UCLA passed for less than 230 yards.

3. Oregon State, at least at present, is the new Washington State: The Beavers are 0-2 with a big thud. The Cougars are 2-0 with big grins. The Beavers lost to an FCS team, then got shut out. They have a big-time quarterback controversy. They are clearly alone in the basement of the Pac-12, living in the moldy apartment Washington State leased for a long time. The Cougars blew out two foes without their starting QB and have a good shot at a 3-0 start if they can win at a good San Diego State team on Saturday. They're talking about moving into a better neighborhood.

4.USC can win in the fourth: You could call USC's performances in the second half of the first two games mediocre to bad. Or you could note that the Trojans are now 2-0 having made plays in the fourth quarter that sewed up wins. Considering how badly things went in the fourth quarter in 2010, that might be a meaningful measure of the Trojans' character.

5. Arizona State, California and Washington have found their QBs: Cal's Zach Maynard and Washington's Keith Price both threw four touchdown passes in victories Saturday. ASU's Brock Osweiler threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth in a win over Missouri on Friday. Here's a guess all three sets of fans are far less worried about the position today than they were in the preseason.

Ted Miller | email

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