Pac-12 All-Decade Team 2010-19

Pac-12 All-Decade Team 2010-19

Who deserves to be on the Pac-12 All-Decade Team 2010-19? George and Ralph draft their best offense, defense, special teams, and coach to play a game. Starts at 43:00

Officiating calls continue to cause debate and controversy in college football and NFL games. We have a solution for the targeting call and catch/no-catch rules.

Did we leave anyone off the Pac-12 All-Decade Team 2010-19 or were we perfect? Leave a comment or send us an email to to tell us who built the best team.

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Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a review of our podcast on iTunes if you can! We record a podcast once a week during the off-season for football and then from the months of August to January we record two podcasts per week. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football but we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a Wyoming-born sportswriter and podcaster who spends his days tweeting through the misadventures that come with shuttling four kids around the Arizona desert. Ralph is the publisher of Rivals’, the founder of, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State Rivals affiliate, He is also a professional hater of all things pineapple. Whether you’re talking food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, Ralph has questions for you. He might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Hope you enjoyed the Pac-12 All-Decade Team Draft

2020 Pac-12 College Football Season: Uncertainty, But Hope is Here

Pac-12 Bowl Games

No one knows what the 2020 college football season holds. Many conferences may be gearing up to run their seasons independently of their cohorts. It will be interesting to see how different conferences react to developments surrounding the coronavirus, but there have been seeds that have been planted as far as state orders in some of the top Pac-12 cities.

Governors Kate Brown and Gavin Newsom Offer Grim Outlook on College Football Fans in Pac-12 Stadiums

Oregon Governor Kate Brown stated her belief that fans will not be able to gather for sporting events through September. This development means that Oregon’s huge Week 2 game against Ohio State could be played in front of no fans. Depending on how different areas of the country move along with their response, should both Oregon and Ohio State consider switching the venues this season? However, questions like these are met with a double-edge sword. Stadiums will most likely not be able to fill up to 100 percent capacity by September anywhere.

California Governor Gavin Newsom cast his doubt on fans being able to see their favorite Pac-12 teams in action. His belief is that a vaccine needs to be widely available. It is hard to imagine Stanford hosting USC or California hosting TCU in front of no fans. However, this may be the reality. It may be hard for someone to accept the risk associated with attending a sporting event without a vaccine.

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How Might College Football Fans React to the 2020 College Football Season Being Pushed Back

Non-conference games like TCU-California and Ohio State-Oregon are scheduled with the fans in mind. These types of games are supposed to bring in revenue for these schools. Fans get hyped for huge out-of-conference games because they provide teams from within the conference with a chance to become more nationally relevant. The Pac-12 has not made the College Football Playoff since 2016, and winning these types of games is paramount for them to become relevant. The atmosphere at these types of games always makes it more difficult for the opponent. Sure, there would be the issue of travel for the road teams, but would Ohio State see a road game against Oregon without the raucous Duck crowd as a hostile environment.

There are season-ticket holders who invest in their favorite college team, whether that team is from their alma mater or if they are connected to them some other way. When a team like Ohio State is going to play in Eugene, fans want to see that game. It will be interesting to see the ways in which conferences ramp up security so fans do not congregate outside the stadium. They will still want to be heard even if they are not allowed in the stadium.

Another Factor to Consider For 2020 College Football Season: The Lack of Player Compensation

College football players have the distinct challenge of trying to balance their studies with another full-time job: playing for the football team. While most players are provided with the benefits of a scholarship and a monthly stipend for food, it would be crazy for these conferences to force them back on the field.

The NCAA and the conferences themselves will have to ask themselves the question of if they want to put these players at risk. College football is at more of a risk of being postponed until next spring because these players are not compensated unlike the NFL. Students may not be returning to campus next semester. For example, the University of Colorado Boulder may be offering a hybrid of in-person and remote learning during the fall semester. If students cannot be on campus all the time, is it too much for institutions and fans to expect their athletes to stay on campus all the time?

Despite the Circumstances, There Is Hope for the Future

Delaying gratification is tough for any human. However, if there ends up being a delay in the start of the 2020 college football season, it is not like the games will not still happen. Oregon and Ohio State will hopefully still end up playing each other in a home-and-home series. These matchups are great for college football. College football is a great escape from the stresses of school for students and the stress of work for the general fan base. There may be a question of when college sports can return to normal, but there is a lot of hope that they will return to normal. Whether it’s in a stadium or on a couch, college football fans will eventually be able to see their favorite teams in action again.

Pac-12 Basketball: Memories Made in Imperfect Season

Pac-12 Basketball- Oregon UCLA

The NCAA Basketball season came to an unexpected end on the morning of Thursday, March 12. Pac-12 officials decided to cancel the conference tournament. The conference was gearing up for an NCAA Tournament that could have seen seven of its teams in it. However, safety is paramount for everyone in society in response to COVID-19.

The Pac-12 made the right call in calling off the conference tournament. There was a domino effect from Wednesday night on in the sports world, as Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The Pac-12 concluded their Wednesday night games, but canceled the tournament early Thursday morning.

This moment in history has stripped athletes of the glory that they could have felt in the NCAA Tournament. Stories could have been written and legacies could have been made. Payton Pritchard could have led Oregon on a deep tournament run in his senior year. One of the Pac-12’s bubble teams could have made the Sweet 16 and validated the conference possibly getting more than half its teams in the tournament. We will never know.

Memories Were Still Made In First Round of Pac-12 Tournament

However, there were great moments from the 2019-20 Pac-12 basketball season. There were even some in the one day of Pac-12 Tournament play. Oregon State and Utah fought hard in the 8-versus-9 game. Utah junior Alfonso Plummer broke the record for most 3-pointers in a Pac-12 Tournament game with 11 made. He broke Klay Thompson’s record. However, Oregon State freshman Jarod Lucas stole the spotlight from Plummer. He hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game as the Beavers stole a 71-69 victory.

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California validated their improvement throughout the season as they easily dispatched tournament hopeful Stanford 63-51. First-year Mark Fox and his team were thought of as an afterthought in the conference, but they were able to win three out of their last five games.

Washington State got their first Pac-12 Tournament win since 2009 as they beat Colorado 82-68. The Cougars finished 16-16, clinching their first non-losing season since 2012. Washington State also had a first-year coach in Kyle Smith, and they also showed steady improvement throughout the season.

Teams like Oregon State, California, and Washington State were able to make memories this season. Just because March Madness is not happening does not mean this season was a lost season. Oregon was the best team in the Pac-12, but there was parity across the entire league every weekend. Even though there will not be March Madness, there was plenty of madness in the Pac-12.

Payton Pritchard Had Senior Moments for Oregon Ducks

Oregon was able to win games on the biggest stages in both non-conference and conference games. Payton Pritchard racked up many awards, as he was named Pac-12 Player of the Year. He was able to have some senior moments in his last year of college basketball. In a hostile environment in Ann Arbor, Pritchard was the main catalyst in Oregon pulling off a 71-70 overtime victory against Michigan. He scored 19 out of his 23 points after halftime.

Pritchard’s game winning three against Washington was one of the top moments in Pac-12 conference play this season. After hitting the shot, Pritchard yelled “This is my city”. He was able to leave his mark in the Oregon-Washington rivalry.

Colorado, UCLA Among Teams In Pac-12 With Noteworthy Seasons

Colorado had arguably their best season under Tad Boyle minus the last five games the Buffaloes played. There was enthusiasm and excitement in Boulder for this team. They delivered some great moments, as they beat Oregon in Boulder when the Ducks were ranked fourth in the country. The Buffaloes were also the last team to beat Dayton, with D’Shawn Schwartz hitting the game-winning three in overtime. Colorado was becoming a basketball school, and the team could continue riding this momentum into next season.  

UCLA had the most remarkable turnaround in the conference this season. The Bruins were a team that lost to Cal State Fullerton in December. In March, they had wins against Arizona (twice), Arizona State, and Colorado on their resume. UCLA was playing arguably the best basketball out of anyone in the Pac-12, and showed great growth throughout the entire season.

Pac-12 Has Bright Future, Even With Imperfect End to Season

The 2019-20 NCAA basketball season will always have an asterisk next to it. However, the teams in the Pac-12 and all across the United States were able to create lifelong memories. The Pac-12 brought us entertaining basketball, and the conference’s future is bright in the sport. First-year coaches were able to put their mark on a program, and other coaches were able to show what their program can be. Hopefully, fans of all teams in the Pac-12 can appreciate the entertainment that the 2019-20 season brought, even though the ending will always be imperfect.

Pac-12 Football Review: Three Pac-12 Teams Send Offers to Clay Millen

Pac-12 Football Review: Senior Bowl, Clay Millen Offers, Todd Orlando

Pac-12 Football Players Light up the Senior Bowl

First off, before any other news is commented on, first look at Eric Bean’s 2020 Senior Bowl Review. In it, he goes into great detail on each Pac-12 football player and how they performed. Spoiler alert: they shined!

Multiple Pac-12 Football Programs Vie for Clay Millen

After Oregon State’s latest offer, Clay Millen now holds offers from Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, UNLV. After sitting his freshman and sophomore year, Millen produced a fantastic junior season.

  • 256 completions on 360 attempts
  • 3,145 passing yards
  • 34 passing touchdowns
  • 1 interception

Because of this promising junior season, the 6-foot-3 quarterback out of Snoqualmie earned 4-star ranks in recruiting.

To Pac-12 football fans, the name Millen might sound familiar. That’s because his older brother Cale Millen plays as a backup quarterback for the Oregon Ducks. Additionally, his father Hugh Millen played for the Washington Huskies and in the NFL for eight years. Because of his size, family ties and breakout junior season, Clay Millen got noticed.

With another year to strut his stuff for Mount Si, Millen is certain to earn more than just Pac-12 football interest. However, we desperately want him to stay in the Pac-12.

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Gerald Alexander Leaves Cal, Golden Bears Sign Marcel Yates

Losing Gerald Alexander is a huge loss for the Cal Golden Bears. In three seasons as Cal’s defensive backs coach, he was pivotal in their defensive success. Alexander’s defensive backs rose to elite with his excellent coaching and leadership. Per, Cal’s 2018 defense was top-ten in the nation in:

  • Interceptions
  • Defensive touchdowns
  • Turnovers gained
  • Passing yards allowed.

Among those stats, Alexander’s defensive backs accounted for:

  • 17 of 21 interceptions
  • 3 of 5 defensive touchdowns
  • 3 of 7 fumbles recovered

Thankfully, Cal hired Marcel Yates (recently fired Arizona Wildcats defensive coordinator) as defensive backs coach. Somehow, they talked Marcel Yates to be okay with a defensive assistance coach position. Now, the Bears have four coaches with defensive coordinator experience. Justin Wilcox, Tim DeRuyter, Peter Sirmon and Marcel Yates have a combined 41 years of D.C. experience. Well done Cal.

USC hires Todd Orlando as Defensive Coordinator

Recall that last week we mentioned that USC eyed Todd Orlando as their 2020 defensive coordinator. Well, now they made it official. However, Trojans need to temper expectations. Orlando is still a very speculative add. His 2019 Longhorns ranked 54th in Football Outsider’s DFEI rankings, almost matching USC’s 57th ranking. His middling 2019 defense got him fired from Texas, but his experience still got him hired for USC.

With 15 years as defensive coordinator, Orlando is known as an aggressive coach with positive influences. Hopefully, 2019 was just a blip on his career and due to the Longhorns defensive injuries. If that’s the case, USC did exceptionally well.

Keep in mind, the Trojans somehow kept Graham Harrell at Offensive Coordinator. With Kedon Slovis and Graham Harrell at the offensive helm, USC football will certainly put up points. Because of this, Orlando’s defense can afford to be risky and aggressive. It could be the perfect fit for a USC team on the rise. Be ready for a surge up the ranks as USC. Pac-12 football’s 2020 champion could very well be USC.

UCLA Athletics Rack up an 18.9-Million Dollar Deficit

As if UCLA wasn’t already at a low point in Pac-12 football, now they’re running a nearly 20-million dollar deficit. Yikes. Although they generated 108.4-million dollars in revenue, the UCLA Athletics Department ran up 127.3-million dollars in expenses. Because of this, the deficit was covered by an interest-bearing loan from central campus.

For the budget nerds out there, we’d highly recommend you read this work by Jon Wilner of Mercury News. In it, he breaks down the Bruins debt in detail, along with any solutions. The biggest solution seems to be clear for most. UCLA needs to win games.

Pac-12 Players Perform Well At The 2020 Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl Justin Herbert Pac-12

The 2020 Senior Bowl presented an opportunity for many Pac-12 players to help their draft stock. In what would be a 34-17 victory for the North team over the South team in Mobile, Alabama, some players were able to take advantage of their opportunity while others struggled.

Pac-12 players that played in the Senior Bowl:

Arizona State: RB Eno Benjamin, WR Brandon Aiyuk

California: S Ashtyn Davis, LB Evan Weaver

Colorado: QB Steven Montez, LB Davion Taylor

Oregon: QB Justin Herbert, OL Calvin Throckmorton

UCLA: RB Joshua Kelley

USC: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Utah: DE Bradlee Anae, LB Francis Bernard, DB Terrell Burgess, DT Leki Fotu

Washington: C Nick Harris

Washington State: QB Anthony Gordon

Justin Herbert Leads Way for Pac-12

Justin Herbert started for the South team coached by Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. Herbert went 9-of-12 for 83 yards and threw a touchdown on the game’s opening possession. He also added 22 yards on the ground. Herbert won MVP honors for his performance. Showing poise throughout the first quarter, Herbert was able to put on a performance that should help his case for being a top pick in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.

Many expect the Bengals to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first pick of the NFL Draft. However, Herbert and Burrow have similar games, and both can be threats running the football. If Herbert can add to his Senior Bowl performance with a great NFL Combine and Pro Day, he could be picked within the top five-seven picks. The Dolphins, Chargers, and Panthers (picks five, six, and seven) are all expected to strongly consider drafting a quarterback. Herbert separated himself from Jordan Love, another projected first-round pick and starter for the North team, in the Senior Bowl.

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Joshua Kelley and Anthony Gordon Also Impress on Offense in Senior Bowl

UCLA running back Joshua Kelley and Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon were the standout Pac-12 offensive players for the North team. Kelley had 15 carries for 105 yards, and Anthony Gordon had two touchdown passes in the third quarter. When Gordon went in, the game was tied at 10, but after the third quarter, the North was leading 31-10. Gordon could build off his senior bowl performance to possibly be a Day 2 pick at the NFL Draft.

Joshua Kelley was able to show that he can be physical inside, but can be explosive in space. He also could make a case for being a Day 2 or early Day 3 draft pick if he builds off his performance in the Senior Bowl.

Bradlee Anae Steals the Show on Defense in Senior Bowl

Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae had a huge day at the Senior Bowl for the North team. He recorded three sacks on the day, and wreaked havoc against the South offensive line. Anae was the best defensive player on the field in Mobile and made his case to be a Day 2 pick at the draft.

Steven Montez, Calvin Throckmorton Have Uneven Performances in Senior Bowl

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez entered the game to start the second half and had a very uneven performance. Montez finished 3-of-8 for 22 yards and an interception. He took a sack on a 3rd-and-1 as he scrambled back and made a five-yard loss into a 15-yard loss on the sack.

However, Montez and fellow South quarterback Jalen Hurts did not get the protection from their offensive line to be fairly evaluated based on their performances. Calvin Throckmorton, an offensive lineman for Oregon, played for a big portion of the game and had trouble blocking Bradlee Anae on the few occasions they were matched up against each other. None of the tackles for the South fared well against Anae, but Throckmorton’s stock did not go up based on his performance.

Pac-12 Had Some of the Best Performances at 2020 Senior Bowl

The Pac-12 had a positive 2020 Senior Bowl. Justin Herbert, arguably the premier player in the conference this past season, was able to win MVP. Bradlee Anae made a great impression nationally. There is talent in the Pac-12, and future recruits can see that players that play on the west coast in the Pac-12 can be successful.

Cal Bears get Blanked but can Salvage Season

California Golden Bears win debut against UC Davis

After a trip to Salt Lake City to take on the University of Utah Utes ended with Cal being shutout for the first time in 20 years. Against Utah, last year’s Pac-12 champions, the Bears were outclassed from the start. The defense which has held the last 14 opponents in a row under 24 points has been teetering on the edge for the last couple weeks. Finally succumbing to the Utes (35-0). The Utes had no trouble dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and limited the Bears to just 43 offensive plays.

Although things haven’t gone the way of the Bears as of late, losers of four straight conference games with injuries derailing a promising start to the season. The Bears refuse to give in or give up, senior consensus mid-season All-American, and Chuck Bednarik Award semi-finalist Evan Weaver will have none of it.

Salvaging the Season and Getting to a Bowl Game

At (4-4), while showing tenacity, perseverance, and a never quit mentality, the Bears are more likely than not playing out the string for bowl eligibility. Currently possessing a (1-4) conference record, the Bears are the Pac-12 North division cellar dwellers.

However wins over Washington State (11/9), Stanford (11/23), and USC (11/16) can go a long way to securing a bid in a bowl game. The Pac-12 will send six representatives to participate in the Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl, Redbox Bowl, Sun Bowl, and the Alamo Bowl.

Bowl games are excellent recruiting sellers. In order for the Bears to be able to once again challenge for conference supremacy, they need to get more talented across the board. As last reported by Bears Insider, Cal has 23 commits for the 2020 class thus far, 22 of these incoming players are three-star recruits. In order to remain competitive in the Pac-12, Cal is going to need to add premium pieces to the puzzle.

What Can the Cal Bears Rely on and What Do They Need?

Coach Justin Wilcox has been setting the foundation of his football program and the nation has taken notice. At one point, the Bears were ranked as high as #15 in the AP poll. Of Cal’s multiple marquee wins, the most exciting had to be against the Ole Miss Rebels.

Quarterback Chase Garbers had the best game of his career throwing 23/35 for 357 yards and 4 TDs. But the game was sealed by that Bear defense stonewalling the Rebels at the goal line. In the next game against the Arizona State Sun Devils, Garbers was 9/12 for 117 yards and a TD prior to getting an upper-body injury which has taken the majority of his season away. What does it all mean?

What it means is that coach Wilcox and his staff have a daunting task ahead of them as the Bears have demonstrated quite a bit of holes in need of filling. Moving forward the Bears have their starter at quarterback, but must develop a capable backup or two. Since Garbers’ injury, the offense has come to a screeching halt. When Garbers returns the time to surround him with weapons is now. Speed kills and the Bears need more of it.

On offense and defense, the Bears are in possession of great football speed and playing speed. Meaning in order to match up with some of the more marquee teams such as Oregon, USC, Arizona St., Utah, Stanford, and UCLA’s of the Pac-12 Cal is going to need a couple of burners and big bodies.

Cal Golden Bears Recruiting

As far as recruiting goes the Bears have plenty of things working in their favor. With the freshly renovated Aaron Rodgers Locker Room, Cal Memorial Stadium and a beautiful campus. They have a coach who is recognized as a premier coach, a program that has been ranked at some point in each of the last two seasons. A solid quarterback, and a school whose alumni have and will join the ranks of pro footballs Hall of Fame.

Not to mention an opportunity to be one of the contributing players who helped get the Bears back over the hump and possibly the first Pac-12 team into the College Football playoff equation. A place where you can achieve one of the best educations in the country, becoming a Bear should be the decision of every young high school hopeful.

See where Cal ranks in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10

How the best Pac-12 Offenses Stack Up with the Rest of College Football

Best Pac-12 Conference Offenses

Last week we talked about how the PAC-12 had roughly five teams ranked among the top 30 in the NCAA in defense, while four other teams were near the bottom – making the conference as a whole a league-average defensive group.

The PAC-12 offenses are actually roughly average across the NCAA as well, although that’s primarily because most of the teams in the NCAA are roughly league average.

Funny how that works.

However, there are some exceptions. Washington State is once again proving to be absolutely elite at moving the ball through the air, while Cal and Stanford are struggling to move the ball, well, at all.

Here is a quick look at some of the best – and worst – offenses in the PAC-12 and how they stack up around the rest of the college football landscape.

Pac-12 Offenses Anthony Gordon WSU QB 2019

Pac-12 Top Tier Offense: Washington State Cougars

Under coach Mike Leach, Washington State has once again constructed an absolutely elite passing attack.

WSU is averaging 440.7 passing yards per game, an absolutely staggering number. It leads the NCAA by a wide, wide margin and is actually a higher average than seven PAC-12 schools are averaging in TOTAL OFFENSE.

Think about that.

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Anthony Gordon is off to a ridiculous start to the season, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for a whopping 2,981 yards and a 29/7 touchdown to interception ratio.

WSU’s record will likely keep him out of the Heisman conversation, but even though this isn’t the magical Gardner Minshew-team, this is still a high-octane offense and one of the very best in the entire college football landscape.

Bottom Tier: Cal Golden Bears

The Golden Bears got off to a hot start this season, going 4-0 and even sneaking into the top-25 conversation. Although the offense never exploded in any of those games, they scored 27, 20, 23 and 28 through those four victories, displaying enough to beat teams like UW and Ole Miss.

However, things have really fallen off the rails since then. Cal is 0-3 in the last few weeks, including an embarrassing loss to Oregon State last week. The offense has faltered slightly, only scoring 17 against Arizona State and Oregon State and mustering just seven against Oregon.

All told, Cal has the fewest points per game average in the PAC-12, at just 19.9 points per game. They are the worst passing team in the conference by a considerable margin, averaging just 193.7 passing yards per game. Even Stanford, known for stubbornly running the ball, is averaging 216 yards through the air.

All told, there are only 14 teams in the entire NCAA, and only two in the Power-5, who are averaging less than Cal’s 324 total yards of offense per game.

After that hot 4-0 start, Cal is proving, more or less, that they are who we thought they were.

Oregon Ducks Pac-12

Top Tier: Oregon Ducks

No surprise here. The Oregon Ducks have had an elite NCAA offense for nearly a decade now, ever since Chip Kelly and his high-octane offense graced the field in Eugene.

The Ducks average 457.1 yards of offense per game, second in the PAC-12 behind Washington State, and are scoring 35.9 points per game, also second in the PAC-12 behind WSU and just ahead of UW, who is at 35.8.

Oregon has a decently balanced offensive attack, although it’s not a huge surprise that they do most of their damage through the air. The team is averaging 283.6 yards per game in the air, thanks to Heisman trophy candidate Justin Herbert and his sparkly 21/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

They are doing their fare share of work on the ground as well, with a tidy 173.6 rushing yard per game on average.

Oregon’s balanced attack and ability to avoid turnovers has made them one of the best teams in the Nation, and their chances at a CFB playoff spot remain intact at this point in the season.

Stanford Quarterback Stanford Offense

Bottom Tier: Stanford Cardinal

Stanford is averaging a measly 20 points per game, barely above Cal’s 19.9 mark.

The team’s trademark run-heavy offensive attack has not been effective this year, as they are only generating 114.1 yards on the ground per game, which is among the worst marks in the entire NCAA and only tops Washington State in the conference.

The passing attack, frankly, hasn’t been much better – as QB’s David Mills and K.J. Costello have only been able to average 216 yards per game, and combined have a combined 7/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

It’s been a rough year for the Cardinal, and one that has them squarely among the worst offensive teams in the PAC-12 – and the nation.

Fixing the California Golden Bears Offensive Woes

Cal Golden Bears

On Saturday the Cal Bears traveled to the great salt lake to take on the #12 ranked University of Utah. Losers of their last three contests, (0-3) in conference play, and nearly out of conference title contention the Bears have had issues. Let us face facts about what is going on in Berkley, Ca. The California Golden Bears have been absolutely decimated by injuries. On Saturday the Bears travel to Salt Lake City to take on the #12 ranked Utah Utes.

To a man, nobody affiliated with the team will use it as an excuse. No one will tell you who are walking wounded, and certainly won’t allow for self-pitying.

But with the losses mounting after a blistering start, the Bears find themselves two games behind the first-place Oregon Ducks. If that wasn’t bad enough, they lost the head-to-head matchup as well.


Without sophomore quarterback, Chase Garbers at the helm, offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin’s offense has become predictable, stagnant, and end zone challenged.

It’s nearly heartbreaking for the defense to continue holding teams to 24 points or less week in and week out, only to lose because the offense couldn’t get anything going at all.

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Feed Your Bears

The California Golden Bears have a variety of talent at the wide receiver position that has been starving for opportunities. We have seen Travon Clark, Nikko Remigio, Jordan Duncan, and Kekoa Crawford emerge as playmakers.

Jake Tonges has been making an impact in the passing game lately, while his numbers may not reflect it, his size and natural ability are going to pay off soon. The icing on the cake, Tonges is a more than capable blocker as well.

No matter who is at quarterback, these young men are going to need to get catchable targets. Garbers has a shoulder issue which we should infer is quite possibly a long term injury. Devon Modster still had an undiagnosed injury at the time of coach Wilcox’s postgame presser.

Change in Offensive Strategy

Modster, if cleared to play, looked comfortable with being outside the pocket. With the injuries to the offensive line, standing in the pocket hasn’t exactly been the best spot to survey the field. Bootlegs and naked bootlegs have been types of plays Modster has excelled with.

Possessing a good arm, Moister struggles with accuracy when amped up. Once settled, he can pinpoint the football on deep passes and intermediate crossing routes. He makes good decisions on when to tuck the ball and run. Against the Beavers, he had 19 rushes for 76 yards before bowing out with an injury.

California Bears Rushing Offense

Christopher Brown Jr. had a monster game against UC Davis 38 plays from scrimmage for 206 total yards and 1 TD. For the season CBJ has 121 rushing attempts for 480 yards and 4TDS.

CBJ is a multi-faceted back, with a nice set of hands and a solid route runner. A one-cut runner, CBJ has shown nice vision and his cutback game is very underrated for a 230 pound back. While the majority of Cal’s rushing attack occurs in the shotgun formation perhaps a small formational tweak can help both the offensive line and CBJ get going again.

The pistol formation allows for a happy unification for all. The offensive line gets that extra millisecond to reach and sustain their blocks in a zone and or gap rushing attack. CBJ, doesn’t have to run against a stacked box that already knows where the play is going. Running downhill is usually the best way to deploy a bigger back and opens up the play-action game.

What’s Next For Cal

After a 2.5 game offensive lull, it had appeared the Bears offense was ending it’s hibernation and regaining its stride. The California Golden Bears have played ranked teams incredibly tough and the defense will keep them in the game. Whether or not the coaching staff implements a different gameplan or incorporates a few subtle changes remains to be seen. Be that as it may, if the Bears intend to keep their slim conference title hopes alive, they have to win this weekend or they will be playing for a bowl game the remainder of the season.

How the Best PAC-12 Defenses Stack Up with the Rest of College Football

Best pac-12 defenses

The PAC-12 may not be nationally known for having elite defenses, but this season it has become clear that many of the best overall defensive teams reside on the west coast, along with some of the best individual defensive players.

Four teams – Oregon, Utah, Arizona State, and Cal – are among the top 20 in all of college football in scoring defense, with another (Washington) coming in at No. 28.

Of course, the other side of that coin is that four other teams are actually among the 33 worst defenses in the NCAA at preventing scoring: Washington State, Arizona, Oregon State, and UCLA, who is allowing opponents to score a whopping 37.7 points on average.

So, as one might expect, the PAC-12 is actually pretty average defensively – at least when evaluating them based on points allowed.

Let’s take a look at those elite defenses though, and how they are getting it done in 2019.

Best Pac-12 Defenses 2019

Troy Dye Oregon Pac-12 defenses 2019

Oregon Ducks

The Ducks have long been stigmatized as a speedy, offense-oriented team with little attention or care for their defense – a stigma that has lasted well past the Chip Kelly era despite a reality that contradicts that narrative.

This season, Oregon is allowing the third-fewest points per game on average, at just 8.7 points per game. They are successful at limiting both the run game (107.5 rushing yards per game – 23rd in the nation) and the pass game (196.2 passing yards per game – eighth in the nation) which of course means they are in the top 10 in fewest yards allowed per game – eighth to be exact, at just 267.7 yards per game.

Linebacker Troy Dye, a potential first round pick, has been perhaps their biggest performer on defense, with 33 combined tackles and one sack.

Mase Funa and Kayvon Thibodaux are getting it done off the edge with 5.5 combined sacks, and safety Jevon Holland already has three interceptions.

The Ducks still have an outside chance at a college football playoff appearance, and while their strength is still their quarterback, Justin Herbert, their defense will have played a big role if they make it that far.

Utah Utes

The Utes are probably the PAC-12’s most impressive defensive team, although they are limited somewhat against the pass.

Led by a flurry of playmakers, including Devin Lloyd, Francis Bernard, Julian Blackmon, and Bradlee Anae, the Utes have held opponents to just 13.2 points per game on average.

Their run defense is elite, and would be the best in the entire NCAA were it not for the ridiculousness that is the University of Wisconsin’s defense.

While their pass defense still leaves something to be desired, they do have seven interceptions as a team, including three that have been returned for touchdowns.

Utah will contend for a Rose Bowl appearance this season, thanks primarily to their defensive prowess.

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Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State may not have the playmakers that Utah or Oregon have, but as a team, they have allowed just 17.7 points per game on average, good for 16th in the nation.

They are considerably better against the run than the pass, giving up big games to Washington State and Colorado who both like to attack through the air.

Still, it’s been a wildly successful season for the Sun Devils, who held the Michigan State Spartans to just seven points and only gave up 17 to Cal.

The team still has Utah and Oregon on their schedule, however, so they’ll need to really tighten up if they want to contend for the Rose Bowl this year.

Cal Bears Evan Weaver pac-12 defenses

Cal Golden Bears

Cal has one of the most exciting playmakers in the nation in linebacker Evan Weaver. Weaver leads the entire nation with 83 combined tackles, an absolutely ridiculous total through just six games.

Cal has only allowed one team to score over 20 points this season, in their 24-17 loss to Arizona State.

As such, their 18.3 points per game allowed ties them with Auburn for 18th in the nation – despite only average numbers in run and pass prevention.

The PAC-12 may not be known for their defensive prowess, but there are still a handful of elite defensive teams that can manhandle any opponent on any given night.

Pac-12 defenses are some of the best in all of college football in 2019.

Pac-12 College Football Top Performers from Week 2

Kedon Slovis USC Pac-12 Football Top Performer Week 3

The second week of college football has come and gone. With it came an impressive performance from the Pac-12 Conference, as Pac-12 college football teams went 6-2 against non-conference opponents. The Oregon Ducks got back on track against Nevada, Utah separated from Northern Illinois, and Colorado had a huge win over Nebraska at home.

Pac-12 conference play also begin last week, with California dispatching Washington and USC handling Stanford.

From these games came many outstanding performances. Here are the best from Pac-12 football week 3.


Quarterback – Kedon Slovis, USC

Is college football ready for USC football to back? Because from first look the 2019 Trojans may be the real deal along with freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis.

Starting in place of injured quarterback JT Daniels, Slovis completid 28-of-33 passes for 377 yards and 3 TDs in a big 45-20 win over the Stanford Cardinal. Exercising the abilities that made him a top competitor for the starting role out of camp, Sedonis showed the Pac-12 just how dangerous USC could be in 2019.

Running back – Marcel Dancy, California

There was thunder and lightning in the air and on the ground in Seattle on Saturday night. After a 3-hour delay to the game, the California Golden Bears shocked the Washington Huskies in a 20-19 upset on the road.

One of the reasons Cal managed the upset and its first Pac-12 win of 2019 was junior running back Marcel Dancy. Though he finished with 8 fewer yards than fellow Cal running back Christopher Brown Jr. Dancy made the most of his 7 carries, exploding for 72 yards and 2 TDs. The Oakland native had runs of 23 yards and 20 yards on Cal’s momentum-building first drive of the second half.

Wide receiver / Tight end – K.D. Nixon, Colorado

For the second year in a row the Colorado Buffaloes are victorious over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. One of the big reasons? Colorado wide receiver K.D. Nixon.

In the upset win over Big Red, Nixon had 6 receptions for 148 yards and 1 TD. One of his receptions was a 96-yard explosion that allowed the Buffaloes to stay within reach and establish momentum in the game. While Laviska Shenault Jr. commanded the most attention from Nebraska on Saturday, Nixon’s impressive effort was a big reason the Buffaloes came away with the win.

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Evan Weaver, Linebacker, California

18 tackles, 14 of them solo and two for loss. That massive stat line belonged to California linebacker Evan Weaver, who did everything humanely capable to help the Golden Bears beat Washington. Expect to see him be a Pac-12 football top performer a number of times this year.

Greg Johnson, Cornerback, USC

While Sedonis commanded much of the attention in USC’s win over Stanford, not lost is USC cornerback Greg Johnson. With the Trojans establishing a two-score lead over the Stanford and needing to forward momentum, Johnson had a key interception to set USC up for another score, effectively putting the game out of reach.

Johnson finished the game with 6 tackles (4 solo) and one INT.

Bradlee Anae, Defensive End, Utah

Any day you get a sack is a big deal. A day when you get three? That means you’re about to be a Pac-12 top performer.

Making his debut of 2019, Utah senior defensive end did just that on Saturday against Northern Illinois. Finishing with four total tackles, Anae made the most of his efforts with three big sacks that kept the Huskies from any second half momentum.

Special Teams

Cristian Zendejas, Kicker, Arizona State

Nobody could have predicted redshirt sophomore kicker Cristian Zendejas would be the difference maker in Arizona State’s game against Sacramento State. Nobody!

That’s exactly what he was, however. Zendejas converted all four field goal attempts, helping the Sun Devils avoid the big upset at home. A Pac-12 football top performer? You bet!