The Best Moments, Coaches and Players From Week 6 in the Pac-12
Photo: Asher Vandevort
Article by Christopher Caravello
Week 6 of the Pac 12 season ended with the South Division showcasing rivalry week and only 1 game in the North Division occurring as planned after cancellations. Arizona State took out a season of frustrations on its winless rival from Tucson with a 70-point explosion Friday night. Saturday morning saw Colorado’s undefeated dreams come crashing to an end in snowy conditions, as Utah continued to recover from its slow start. USC clinched the division title while pulling off yet another miraculous comeback to defeat UCLA and claim the Victory Bell at the Rose Bowl. Finally, Stanford won again as their nomadic journey this season continued with a win over Oregon State in Corvallis.
Team of the Week: ASU
Seventy. Points. After faltering in the final minutes of the only two games it was able to compete in, the Sun Devils finally were able to show why they received preseason hype. After opening the game with a kickoff return TD and forcing a turnover on the ensuing drive, ASU was up 14-0 with only having run a single play on offense. From there, the onslaught continued as Arizona was completely outmatched in embarrassing fashion to lose the Territorial Cup for the 4th straight year. The emphatic loss was followed the next day with the firing of Wildcat head coach Kevin Sumlin. With the chance to get back to a .500 record next week against Oregon State, ASU can qualify for a bowl game and gain valuable practice time at the end of what has been a lost season in Tempe.
Play of the Week: Gary Bryant Jr Kickoff Return
With 52 seconds left, UCLA kicked a FG to put the Bruins up by 2 points. Having zero timeouts remaining, true freshman Bryant Jr. fielded the ensuing kickoff and took off on a mission. Had it not been for a desperation tackle from the kicker, Bryant may have taken this one to the house as the game-winner. Instead, it saved precious seconds of clock and got the Trojan offense in striking distance to seize destiny.
Game of the Week: USC vs UCLA
USC began the rivalry game as the Pac 12’s lone unbeaten team and quickly fell behind by 2 scores. Drake London hauled in a pass from Kedon Slovis in the 2nd quarter and somehow blew through 6 tackles in route to a 65-yard TD that pulled USC within 7. UCLA seemed to answer every time the Trojans started to gain any positive momentum, and the game stood at 28-10 early in the 3rd quarter. UCLA committed several perplexing mistakes to keep USC’s dreams of an undefeated season alive, and the Trojans finally pulled ahead by 1 point after London caught his 2nd TD of the game. With just under a minute to play, UCLA seized the lead back after Nicholas Barr-Mira nailed a 43-yard FG to put the Bruins up by 2. The celebration was short lived, as Gary Bryant Jr. blazed past the UCLA kick coverage to set up the dramatic ending to the Battle of Los Angeles. Slovis hit Tyler Vaughns for a 35-yard gain despite excellent pass coverage from Mo Osling III, and the Trojans were 8 yards away from their latest improbable comeback win this season. Slovis checked out of a running play and lofted a perfect pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown for the game winning score with 16 seconds left. USC will now have a short week to prepare for the Pac 12 Championship against Washington, set for Friday night at the Coliseum.
Position Unit of the Week: USC WR's
It is expected that the wide receiver corps are set to benefit each game playing in an Air-Raid offense, yet the spectacular catches and tremendous efforts shown on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl were anything but routine. With USC trailing their hated cross-town rivals for most of the game, the Trojan receivers were electric in bringing the team back from an 18-point deficit. Drake London had one of the best individual efforts seen on a single play this season by bucking through 6 would-be tacklers on his way to a 65 yard TD reception, and Tyler Vaughns turned in a monster game with 8 catches for 128 yards and a score, with none bigger than his 35 yard catch to put the Trojans on the 8 yard line with 16 seconds to play. Amon-Ra St. Brown sealed the comeback victory with a TD catch on the very next play, his second score on the night.
Coach of the Week: Clay Helton (USC HC)
Much to the chagrin of the USC fanbase, Helton is on the cusp of an undefeated season and conference title if the Trojans can take care of business in the championship game Friday. The embattled coach has guided his team to 3 improbable comebacks in the final minutes of 3 out of their 5 wins this season despite the near-weekly calls for his job over the past few seasons. Credit the Trojans for continuing to fight until the final whistle and buying their head coach some much needed relief from his critics. Should the Trojans win the conference title, it will be an interesting weekend as the remaining Power-5 title games play out the following day. Coach Helton and his Trojans are probably too far back in the playoff rankings to reach the playoffs even with a win Friday, but nothing is predictable in this chaotic 2020 season of college football.
Offensive Player of the Week: Kedon Slovis (USC)
Kedon Slovis continued to prove why he is the most dynamic QB in the Pac-12 with a 5 TD performance against the rival Bruins, including a Touchdown pass with 16 seconds left to win.
Defensive Player of the Week: Talanoa Hufanga (USC)
USC Safety Talanoa Hufanga was electric last weekend with 17 tackles, 2 TFL and an interception in a pivotal win over UCLA.
WestCoastCFB Offensive Team of the Week
QB: Kedon Slovis (USC)
RB: Rachaad White (ASU)
RB: Ty Jordan (Utah)
WR: Tyler Vaughns (USC)
WR: Drake London (USC)
WR: Simi Fehoko (Stanford)
TE: Greg Dulcich (UCLA)
OL Unit: Arizona State
WestCoastCFB Defensive Team of the Week:
DL: Mustafa Johnson (CU)
DL: Jermayne Lole (ASU)
DL/Edge: Drake Jackson (USC)
DL/Edge: Carson Wells (CU)
LB: Nephi Sewell (Utah)
LB: Akil Jones (CU)
LB: Devin Lloyd (Utah)
DB: Chase Lucas (ASU)
DB: Talanoa Hufanga (USC)
DB: Quentin Lake (UCLA)
DB Mekhi Blackmon (CU)