Unpacking The Pac-12: Utah Books Their Ticket; Minshew Makes A Statement

Leave it to our high-scoring friends out west to give us all the drama on what the rest of the world seemed to deem a "down week" in college football.

But, as we know, drama can be both good and bad. Some teams were celebrating like kings after Saturday night, and others were forced to stomach that their season in't what they set out for it to be.

These were the ups and downs of the Pac-12 conference from this weekend.

Utah Gets Their Shot

For the first time since the conference realignment in 2011, the Utah Utes are champions of the Pac-12's South Division. This clinching comes after a 30-7 win over Colorado on Saturday. They will meet the winner of next Friday’s Apple Cup between Washington State and Washington -- Utah has lost to both teams earlier this season.

It wasn't all in their hands, though. Even though Utah got their win over Colorado early in the day, the Arizona State Sun Devils still had a shot to steal it, but their loss to Oregon later in the evening gave Utah the crown.

Utah's offensive production was led by wide receiver Jaylen Dixon, who had 125 receiving yards on just four catches.

UCLA's Kelley Makes History

Not only is the UCLA-USC rivalry long, it is star-studded. As of this past Saturday, UCLA running back Joshua Kelley now stands on top of it all.

Kelley rushed for 289 yards on 40 carries, setting a record for the most rushing yards by a player in a USC-UCLA game for either team. It was the third-highest single-game rushing total in UCLA history overall behind Maurice Jones-Drew (322 yards in 2004) and DeShaun Foster (301 in 2001). With 1,188 yards now on the season, Kelley became UCLA’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Paul Perkins  in 2015. His 40 carries was more than double the 18.5 he averaged before the game this weekend, and it was tied for the third-highest total in UCLA history

Kelley is a great story, as much as he is a great talent for the Bruins. He was a former walk-on who was just put on scholarship this season. After getting the starting gig a few games into 2018, he hasn't looked back.

True hard work being rewarded. You gotta love it.

Wazzu's Minshew Makes His Statement

69 points -- nice.

69 points is a lot of points no matter who you are, but when you're Mike Leach and Garnder Minshew, it's almost what they're capable of every single week.

Minshew put up a monster game. In just two quarters, Gardner Minshew completed 28 of 33 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns. And that was just in the first half! Minshew finished the game with 473 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns, which was, of course, a school record. Minshew now has 4,325 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns and just seven interceptions on the season.

Minshew's next test will be his biggest, as he'll face off against Washington with Pac-12 title and College Football Playoff implications on the line for the next two weeks.

Pac-12 Power Rankings

  1. Washington State
  2. Washington
  3. Arizona State
  4. Utah
  5. Stanford
  6. Arizona
  7. Oregon
  8. UCLA
  9. Cal
  10. Colorado
  11. USC
  12. Oregon State


Written By:

Trevor Sikkema

Chief Digital Officer

CDO & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-Host of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast.