CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Louis Lopez/CSM/Shutterstock (13630838w) Pasadena, CA.USC Trojans running back Austin Jones #6 runs tackled by UCLA Bruins defensive back Mo Osling III #7 in action during the second quarter of the NCAA Football game between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California..Mandatory Photo Credit: Louis Lopez/Cal Sport Media NCAA Football USC vs UCLA, Pasadena, USA – 19 Nov 2022

CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

No. 7 USC 48, No. 16 UCLA 45

It was a firework show we expected and a firework show we got. From start to finish, it was a serious offensive showing. USC now remains at the top of the PAC-12 and is the presumed favorite for the conference title. After a scoreless first quarter, USC came out firing before halftime, scoring four times in the second quarter. The Trojan offense managed to put up 649 yards of total offense and controlled the football for more than 35 minutes. They ran the ball effectively and got great play from their usual stars offensively. QB Caleb Williams put up a monster day, throwing for 470 yards and two touchdowns on 32-of-43 pass attempts while throwing an interception. He also ran for a touchdown. His top target Jordan Addison was the primary beneficiary of Williams’ big day, hauling in 11 balls for 178 yards and a touchdown. RB Austin Jones ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, contributing in a major way on the ground. USC’s defense came up huge at the end of the game, picking off UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson for a third time with a minute and a half to go. The Bruins put together a drive that progressively moved them down the field to potentially tie, or even win, the game, but Korey Foreman came up with the game-ending interception sealing the win for USC. The Trojans wrap up their regular season schedule next week at home against No. 18 Notre Dame.

UCLA will likely finish the season a three-loss team; however, they never looked like it. This is their second straight loss following a regrettable game last week against Arizona, and they seemed to have righted the ship. The Bruins put up 513 yards of total offense, staying true to their reputation as a high-powered offensive juggernaut. They got off to a hot start in the first quarter, pulling out to a 14-0 lead early. However, from then on, USC held the momentum, and the Bruins could not stop them. The story of the game for UCLA was mistakes. They fumbled twice, losing one, missed more open receivers, and threw more interceptions. DTR was extremely productive despite his three interceptions and lost fumble throwing for 309 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-38 passing. He also ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, contributing to an always-strong UCLA running attack. RB Zach Charbonnet ran for 95 yards on 19 carries, which is a solid day, but USC did a good job limiting his big plays and keeping him out of the end zone. TE Michael Ezeike had a productive outing catching three of his four balls for touchdowns. This is the toughest loss of the season for UCLA, given the nature of how they lost. After getting off to such a hot start, their defense could not keep USC in check, and the number of turnovers committed by the Bruins took away any momentum they had built throughout the game. The Bruins will look to end the season strong against Cal next week.

Up Next (USC): vs. No. 18 Notre Dame

Up Next (UCLA): @ California

No. 12 Oregon 20, No. 10 Utah 17

This was a massive win for Oregon as they kept their hopes alive for a PAC-12 championship. It was a very unorthodox win for the Ducks, as the offense did not produce at the level we are used to seeing them produce. Star QB Bo Nix was playing hurt, and it virtually took away the running element of his game. He only had one true run, and it was the two-yard shotgun sneak that sealed the win for Oregon on the final drive. Nix finished the night with 287 yards passing on 25-of-37 attempts with a touchdown and an interception. Oregon led 17-3 at the half, but the offense slowed significantly in the second half, only putting up three points in the fourth quarter. The Ducks did not take care of the football as well as they usually do, fumbling three times and losing two of them. They did not run the football particularly well, as Mar’Keise Irving logged only 20 yards rushing to go along with a score. Noah Whittington ran for 53 yards on 10 carries. This game was less about Oregon winning but Utah losing. Nix, who has had an incredible season for the Ducks since transferring from Auburn, had his lowest passer rating since Oct. 1. However, the Oregon defense took advantage of Utah’s mistakes, which is something they have had trouble consistently doing all year. They picked off Cameron Rising three times and dominated Utah’s offense outside the third quarter. The hope for a PAC-12 championship is still alive in Eugene, with a huge matchup against Oregon State coming next week.

Utah made way too many mistakes to win this game. Their defense did the job of keeping Bo Nix in check and taking advantage of his injury. QB Cameron Rising struggled to do much of anything in this game. He missed open receivers, turned the ball over, and seemed to never settle in. Rising finished 21-of-38 for 170 yards and three interceptions. Rising was not responsible for a Utah touchdown. In fact, the only offensive touchdown on the day came from an 18-yard touchdown run from WR Jaylen Dixon. The other was a defensive scoop-and-score early in the third quarter. TE Dalton Kincaid continued to be a valuable resource for Rising, catching 11 passes for 99 yards. The Utah running game never materialized as leading rusher Tavion Thomas was held to 2.9 yards per carry on 19 touches. We have seen what this Utah team can do, scoring 73 points in a game early in the season and even taking down first-place USC. What they showed this week is not who they are as a football team, and they will look to finish the regular season on a high note against Colorado.

Up Next (Oregon): @ No. 23 Oregon State

Up Next (Utah): @ Colorado

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