Week 6 brought the crazy on a lot of different levels. The No. 1 team in the conference held its top spot, interceptions were flying and the Washington schools scored big upsets. Here is all you need to know from the week.
Offensive player of the week: Some very, very good options this week. But it’s hard to overlook the poise of Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who was 50 of 74 for 505 yards and five touchdowns in the Cougars' 45-38 double-overtime win at Oregon. He connected with 10 different receivers and hit four different receivers for touchdowns.
Defensive player of the week: Another week with a lot of stellar defensive efforts. But given the way things played out in Los Angeles, we tip our cap to Washington linebacker Travis Feeney. The only returning starter from last year’s feared front-seven, Feeney tallied 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for a loss and seven total stops.
Special-teams player of the week: Not a huge week for special teams, so we’ll go with Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez, who was 2 for 2 on field-goal attempts, 6 for 6 on PATs, and, of his nine kickoffs, all nine went for touchbacks. That’s an overlooked number that makes coaches very, very happy.
Team of the week: We’re not going with a team, we’re going with a state: the great state of Washington. It was a good week for the Huskies and Cougars. Washington came down to Los Angeles and stunned the USC Trojans with a gritty, defensive win. Washington State was able to out-score Oregon in a double-overtime victory, also on the road. This week, Washington gets a swing at the Ducks, who have beaten the Huskies 11 years in a row.
Trend/stat of the week: There were zero defensive touchdowns or special-teams touchdowns this week. Weird. That’s usually something this conference excels at. By my count, there were 56 kickoffs, 54 punts and 21 turnovers in the five games. No one found the end zone, though. I just found that interesting.
Play of the week: So many great options. This week we have a tie. First up (in no particular order) is Gionni Paul’s interception in Utah’s win over Cal. An outstanding athletic effort you can see here. Then there’s the catch from Washington’s Brayden Lenius. Just incredible.Watch it here.
Theme of the week: Now, things are really starting to get interesting. Halfway through the year, Stanford is 3-0 in conference play and leads the North. But there are three teams behind the Cardinal that have only one conference loss. The South isn’t much cleaner. Utah is 2-0 in league play, but ASU (which faces Utah this week) and UCLA are right behind with one loss. No way to count out Arizona and USC yet either. So the theme for this week is this: Forget what we think we know. Things are going to get messier before they start getting cleaner.
Non-football random thought of the week: Sometimes I listen to “Layla” and think the last 3:52 is better than the first 3:13. Then I listen to it again and wonder what I was thinking. Then I remind myself I need to watch “Goodfellas.”