In Ugly Win, Washington Huskies Gain Bowl Eligibility

Joe Tryon Washington Huskies

What Happened to the Washington Huskies Offense?

Against a very beatable Oregon State defense, the Washington Huskies barely scraped together 19 points. In their previous five games, OSU’s defense allowed an average of 33.8 points-per-game to opponents. However, against the odds, they rattled Jacob Eason.

Jacob Eason’s Poor Play

On the day, Washington Huskies’ Jacob Eason completed 16 of 32 passes. Aside from his abysmal 50-percent completion percentage, Eason’s 5.5 yards-per-attempt show how much he struggled. Usually content with letting it fly, Eason wasn’t confident, or accurate, enough to make big plays. At game’s end, Eason amassed just 175 yards and two interceptions. 

Even worse, one of those interceptions was taken to the house by Jaydon Grant.

  • 50-Percent Completion Percentage
  • 175 Passing Yards
  • 5.5 Yards-Per-Attempt
  • Two Interceptions
  • One Pick Six
  • 83.4 Passing Efficiency Rating
  • 27.1 QBR

By far and away his worst game of the season. Eason needs to forget it quickly.

Salvon Ahmed and Hunter Bryant

Thank goodness someone showed up for the Washington Huskies offense. Otherwise, they would have dropped to a .500 record on the season. In their win, Hunter Bryant was his usual self. With five catches and 90 yards, he displayed why he is the top tight end in the nation. Even on the worst day for Eason, Bryant can ball out.

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Additionally, Salvon Ahmed was the Washington Huskies source of strength. He ran the ball 25 times for 174 yards and two scores. More importantly, in the fourth quarter, Ahmed clinched the victory. His 60-yard touchdown was a sigh of relief for every UW fan.

Washington Huskies Dominant Defense

Even though their offense struggled to hold a drive, UW’s defense showed up! They held Oregon State’s offense to 119 yards. Not 119 passing yards or rushing yards. 119 total offensive yards. They suffocated the Beavers.

Impressively, the Washington Huskies forced OSU to punt 10 times, while only allowing six first downs. It was a lights out performance. Additionally, they didn’t give up a single point. If not for Eason’s abhorrent play, UW would have gotten the shut-out.

Before playing the Huskies, Jake Lutton’s 19-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio was second-best in the nation. However, UW’s defense held him to just 88 yards, one interception, zero touchdowns, and an awful 8.5 QBR.

We haven’t seen UW’s defense play like this in some time. It was reminiscent of the 2016 Washington Huskies. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come for the Dawgs.

Joe Tryon’s Performance of a Lifetime

Oregon State couldn’t contain Joe Tryon. He was an absolute wrecking ball on defense.

  • 7 tackles
  • 4.5 tackles for a loss
  • 2 sacks
  • Forced a turnover on downs with a fantastic open-field tackle

This was his game. Yes, the rest of the Washington Huskies defense played well. Levi Onwuzurike created disruption after disruption. Additionally, the secondary held up and stifled the pass game. But, if there’s one defensive MVP of the game, it is certainly Joe Tryon.

Take What You Can Get

While not the type of win UW fans want to see, it was still a win. And, with their sixth win of the season, the Washington Huskies are officially bowl-eligible. If they finish out the season strong, Husky fans can at least root for a bowl victory. Granted, this season was a huge letdown. This isn’t the playoff team fans hoped for. But still, it was a good day to be a Husky.

Tyler Huntley is the Best Quarterback in the Pac-12

Utah Utes College Football Playoff Week 3

A Hobbled Tyler Huntley Took Down Washington

It’s unbelievable what Tyler Huntley is doing this season. Against Washington (at Washington), Huntley made play after play. His 85.0 PFF grade and 139.6 Clean Passer Rating show this. Moreover, Huntley was incredible on third down.

Even with Zack Moss averaging 3.7 yards-per-carry, it didn’t matter. Because Tyler Huntley proved he could take over a game. And he did it all on an injured leg!

Leading the Utes to a come-back win against the Huskies solidifies his position at the top of Pac-12 quarterbacks.

Tyler Huntley’s Efficiency

This 2019 season, the Pac-12 has a host of talented quarterbacks. Justin Herbert is currently projected to get drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. Additionally, Jacob Eason earned praise for his NFL arm-strength and Anthony Gordon leads the FBS in passing yards and passing touchdowns. It’s an excellent year for Pac-12 quarterbacks. However, based off the metrics, it is actually Tyler Huntley that is currently the top Pac-12 quarterback.

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Tyler Huntley’s Impressive Passer Ratings

While Tyler Huntley ranks 30th in passing yards (2,062) and 64th in passing touchdowns (11), his efficiency is off the charts! Currently, Tyler Huntley leads all Pac-12 quarterbacks in Passing Efficiency Rating (182.5), NFL Passer Rating (124.6) and ESPN’s QBR (96.0). His 182.5 Passing Efficiency Rating ranks 5th among qualified FBS quarterbacks. After watching Utah Utes games and pouring over stats, Huntley’s accuracy is phenomenal. This is NFL-level precision. 

Touchdown to Interception Ratio

As said above, Huntley has just 11 passing touchdowns this season. But, he’s only thrown one interception. Additionally, Huntley carried the ball into the end zone four times. His 11-1 touchdown to interception ratio is great, especially considering his four rushing scores.

He’s not a game manager

Whether on broadcasts or Twitter, Tyler Huntley’s been labeled a “game manager”. Because of his lower counting stats (yards and touchdowns), combined with Utah’s defensive and rushing prowess, it’s an easy judgment to make. Though easy, it’s inaccurate.

Game managers don’t let the ball fly like Huntley. They keep passes short and safe. Yes, he doesn’t throw the ball as often as other college quarterbacks. But, when he does, he isn’t afraid to take shots. His 10.8 yards-per-attempt and 11.7 adjusted yards-per-attempt both rank fourth in the nation. No other Pac-12 quarterback tops him in either of those categories. 

Should Tyler Huntley be in the Heisman Conversation?

So, in review, Tyler Huntley ranks higher than all other Pac-12 quarterbacks in:

  • Passing Efficiency Rating
  • NFL Passer Rating
  • ESPN’s QBR
  • Yards-Per-Attempt
  • Adjusted Yards-Per-Attempt

It’s time to give Tyler Huntley the reigns of the Utah Utes offense. Let him show Pac-12 and the rest of college football what he’s made of. He’s already proven that he can be efficient and productive when called upon. Huntley, even with a bum-leg, can carry his team. If he leads his team to a Pac-12 title and college football playoffs, he has to be in the conversation.

Huntley is accurate, efficient, impressive and leads a strong offense. He’s an elite college quarterback and should be treated as such.

The Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week Nine Top Performers From Each School

Pac-12 NFL Week Nine

Pac-12 NFL players are Still Shining in the Spotlight

Pac-12 wordmark

Unafraidshow, due to popular demand, is once again going College by College to give the best Pac-12 NFL players Week Nine. Each school gets at least one alumni and top-performer. No one is left out. Even if Washington can’t finish a game, at least Husky fans can watch Shaq Thompson light up defenders. Stanford fans tired of losing? Watch Christian McCaffrey put defenders on skates. It’s still a good year to be a Pac-12 NFL fan.

The Best Pac-12 NFL Performances, Program by Program

Arizona

Dane Cruikshank – Tennessee Titans

Unfortunately, Dane Cruikshank wasn’t able to tackle Colin Jones on the Carolina Panthers’ fake punt. While Cruikshank hit Jones shy of the first down, Jones pushed to the first down.

However, aside from that painful moment, Cruikshank played well on special teams. He totaled two tackles (one solo) and a blocked PAT. It wasn’t the best game for the special-teamer. But, he still made plays when he could.

Arizona State

Lawrence Guy – New England Patriots

Lamar Jackson is an unbelievable talent. Even with Russell Wilson in the NFL, no other quarterback is as elusive as Jackson. He consistently makes plays with his legs that no other player could. And yet, Lawrence Guy (Pac-12 NFL standout) was able to get to him.

On 53 offensive snaps, Guy compiled:

  • Four tackles (2 solo)
  • Two tackles for a loss
  • Two quarterback hits
  • One sack
  • One stuff
  • One fumble recovery

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Cal

Mychal Kendricks – Seattle Seahawks

In a 40 to 34 win against the Buccaneers, the Seahawks defense didn’t show up in a dominant way. However, Mychal Kendricks was a Pac-12, NFL difference maker . He came away with four tackles (three solo), one pass defended, one stuff and one tackle for a loss.

But, his biggest play came against left tackle Donovan Smith. Kendricks bull-rushed Smith into Jameis Winston. It forced a fumble and Rasheem Green recovered it and returned it 36 yards. All in all, it was an excellent showing for the linebacker.

Colorado

Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos

As a running back, Phillip Lindsay has so much going against him. 

  • Size: 5-foot-7, 184lbs
  • Drafted Capital: Undrafted
  • Snap Share: 51.4-percent

Nonetheless, Lindsay and his 4.44 wheels make splash plays again and again. How could Pac-12 NFL fans root against him? Efficiently, Lindsay finished the day with 9 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay also created 40 yards and evaded two tackles. He was instrumental in the Denver Broncos’ 24 to 19 win against the Cleveland Browns. 

Oregon

Justin Hollins – Denver Broncos

In the 24 to 19 win, Justin Hollins played 24 snaps and totaled just two tackles. However, it was a big day for Hollins.

Regardless of all other stats, Justin Hollins gets the credit today because he claimed his first sack. The fifth-round rookie out of Oregon took down quarterback Baker Mayfield and earned his big moment.

Oregon State

Matt Moore – Kansas City Chiefs

Yet again, Matt Moore impressed. In his three games (two started), Matt Moore’s stats include:

  • 59 completions on 90 attempts (65.56-percent)
  • 659 yards
  • 4 touchdowns
  • Zero interceptions
  • 102.0 Passer Rating
  • Two wins

This week, against the Vikings, Moore completed 71.4-percent of his passes with an average yards-per-attempt of 7.9. It was by far his best game. Additionally, even though he was hurried four times, he didn’t throw an interception. Moore is exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs needed while Patrick Mahomes is healing.

Stanford

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers

Come on man. Christian McCaffrey’s success makes it impossible to give anyone else from Stanford a highlight. 166 yards, 3 touchdowns, 5 evaded tackles. My goodness man. Will the carnage ever stop?

He’s this generations Marshall Faulk or LaDainian Tomlinson. In 2019, McCaffrey is playing at a level far above every other running back. We all get to witness his greatness. Stanford, well done. You’ve got the best Pac-12 NFL running back.

UCLA

Kolton Miller – Oakland Raiders

Kolton Miller keeps it a hundred. Because, Miller played every offensive snap of the Oakland Raiders first nine weeks. He’s their best offensive lineman and he continues to show promise.

Against the Detroit Lions, Miller and the offensive line set the stage. They racked up 171 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns and allowed just 1 sack. It was a great day for the second-year tackle.

USC

Tyron Smith – Dallas Cowboys

Even with two weak holding penalties, the New York Giants still couldn’t do much against Tyron Smith. Against the free-falling Giants, the Dallas Cowboys rolled up 172 rushing yards and also kept Dak Prescott clean. Prescott, without being sacked, was able to pass for three touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 139 yards on 23 carries.

Smith, at 28 years old, is still a great offensive tackle. Even in an off-year, he owns a 74.5 PFF grade. On the season, he’s been penalized five times and has allowed just one sack. He’s a dominant force on the Cowboys offensive line. Prescott and Elliott are lucky to have him.

Utah

Eric Rowe – Miami Dolphins

Oh. My. Goodness. The Miami Dolphins won a game! Can you believe it?

Well, in that game, Eric Rowe stood out. He helped keep Sam Darnold and the New York Jets at bay. Primarily covering tight-end Ryan Griffin when in coverage, he was only targeted once. It wasn’t completed.

Additionally, Rowe added four tackles (three solo) and was on the field for 97-percent of the Dolphins defensive snaps. Though the Dolphins are in tank-mode, at least Rowe is making his presence known.

Washington

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers

Though Halloween is over, Shaq Thompson is still a monster. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill knows this first hand. Versus the Tennessee Titans, Thompson was everywhere. He racked up:

  • 11 tackles (10 solo)
  • 2 stuffs
  • 3 sackles for a loss
  • One quarterback hit
  • One sack

It was by far his best game of the season. Next week, the Green Bay Packers have to keep Aaron Rodgers and company away from this beast.

Washington State

Andre Dillard – Philadelphia Eagles

It goes without saying that Khalil Mack is elite. Nevertheless, Andre Dillard locked him down. He limited Mack to just one quarterback hit and zero sacks or forced fumbles.

How about that? A 24-year old rookie went toe to toe with Khalil Mack and got the better of him. Dillard looks like a stud left tackle and a future pro bowler.

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Washington Can’t Finish a Game. Can They Finish a Season?

Washington Huskies Week 10

Washington Football and Missed Expectations

After nine games, it’s crystal clear that the Washington Huskies have problems. Their five and four record exemplifies that. Even worse, the Huskies are two and four in Pac-12 conference games. For fans, it feels like a lost season. Expectations were as high as College Football Playoffs but fell to hopes of any bowl appearance.

UW Can’t finish games

Against Cal, Washington led 19-17 with just two minutes and five seconds left. Versus Oregon, the Huskies were up 28-14 in the second half. Most recently, against Utah, UW was up 21-13 in the third quarter.

And yet, Washington lost each of these games. They collapsed. In the first halves, the Huskies look dominant as can be. Eason and company, as well as the defense, make play after play. But then, once the game is on the line, something shifts. 2019 is full of difficult and painful learning opportunities.

But, here’s the ugliest part of it all. Each of these losses came at home. They lost three games, after leading inside Husky Stadium. Even with home-field advantage (evidenced by referee favor in “Scorecasting” by Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim), Washington couldn’t close out games. Honestly, who wants to go to a Husky game if they keep losing at home?

Washington’s hopes for a bowl game

Thankfully, because Washington isn’t a dreadful team, they still should make a bowl game. According to experts, Washington will play in the Alamo, Holiday or Redbox Bowl.. Kyle Bonagura from ESPN predicts UW to play in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor. Also from ESPN, Mark Schlabach thinks that the Huskies will land in the Holiday Bowl versus Michigan. Joe Tansey from Bleacher Report has Washington playing against Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports projects UW to face off against Indiana in the Redbox Bowl.

If nothing else, a bowl win is a great way to finish the season.

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Hopes for next season

Pray that Jacob Eason stays

First off, it goes without saying that Washington needs Jacob Eason to stay. He hasn’t been perfect, but my goodness has he had his moments.

Unfortunately, Jacob Eason is a top quarterback prospect in the 2020 NFL draft. Walter Football ranks him fourth among eligible quarterbacks. Additionally, drafttek.com has Eason at 50th overall and their sixth quarterback. He’s a strong, NFL prospect. Considering the turmoil in the NFL right now with quarterbacks and the success of Gardner Minshew, Eason will get drafted early if he enters the 2020 draft.

Play young talent

It took too long to get Puka Nacua involved. For some reason, Chris Peterson continued to play seniors over more talented receivers. Granted, it’s easy to trust seniority over raw talent. But, according to many beat reporters and scouts, Puka Nacua turned heads in practices. Then, once inserted into games, he displayed playmaking abilities. Improper self-scouting cost Washington points.

Because the Huskies lose Aaron Fuller, Andre Baccellia, Chico McClatcher and likely Hunter Bryant this season, it will force them to play different receivers on offense. But, Nacua is just one wide receiver highlighting a larger issue. The Huskies need to prioritize talent and upside over age and safety.

Better execution on third down

On third down this season, the Huskies converted 41 of 115 opportunities (35.65-percent). Some of the most painful punts to watch were followed by game-changing drives by Cal, Oregon, and Utah. Better innovation is needed. Which, considering Washington’s two and four record in Pac-12 games, should be an obvious desire. UW knows these opponents. It shouldn’t be this difficult to game-plan against familiar opponents.

Less field goals, more touchdowns for Washington

This season, in the red zone, Washington scored 21 touchdowns and kicked 13 field goals. Against competitive teams, UW settled for safety and squandered their winning chances. Of note, the Huskies are 14 of 21 (66.67-percent) on fourth down this season. Why not go for it more often? They certainly can’t do worse than this season.

The Utah Utes are better than the Oregon Ducks

Utah Utes College Football Playoff Week 3

Don’t overlook the Utah Utes

Utah Utes logo

While the Oregon Ducks held onto the spotlight with their seventh-straight win, the Utah Utes deserve more recognition. Granted, the Utes are ranked ninth in the nation, but they still don’t get the love they deserve from Pac-12 fans. With a top defense and an effective offense, the Utah Utes are the best team in the Pac-12.

The Oregon Ducks showed weakness against Washington and Washington State

After dominating opponents for five straight weeks, Oregon slipped. Now, they didn’t lose to Washington or Washington State. But, their wins were too close for a top team.

  • Nevada, Montana, Stanford, Cal and Colorado: 195 Points Scored: 25 Points Allowed
  • Washington and Washington State: 72 Points Scored: 66 Points Allowed

Against Washington and Washington State, Oregon’s point differential dropped from Plus-175 to Plus-6. Their defense bent against Jacob Eason and Anthony Gordon.

Additionally, they also needed heroic wins against the Huskies and Cougars. In Week 8, the Oregon Ducks overcame a 14-point deficit and got the benefit of a late, no-call on the Huskies final drive. Additionally, they needed a last-second field goal to beat the Cougars. Yes, the Ducks got the wins, but it wasn’t pretty.

The Utah Utes get it done on defense

Lights out. Cal couldn’t get anything going against Utah. Similarly, most of Utah’s opponents struggle against the Utes. This season, Utah football is:

Additionally, Utah has PFF’s two highest graded defenders, Julian Blackmon (86) and Terrell Burgess (84). These safeties are just one reason why Utah steamrolls its opponents. Defensively, the Utah Utes have it all. Teams can’t run against them, pass against them or score against them. It’s a deadly squad ready to win a championship.

Quality and consistent on offense

With such a stifling defense, the Utah Utes only need an average offense to compete. A game-manager at quarterback would suffice. Considering that their holding opponents to 10.3 points per game, the offense doesn’t have to do much.

However, Utah’s offense is putting up 33.1 points per game with a quality, balanced, offensive system. In six of their eight games, they’ve scored at least 30 points. Their quarterback, Tyler Huntley, is having a quiet and underrated season. Currently, Huntley has 1,778 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 229 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns and just one interception.

Additionally, per PFF, Huntley ranks first in the nation in Adjusted Completion Percentage. This metric factors out “dropped passes, throwaways, spiked balls, batted passes and passes where the QB was hit as he threw the ball.” His 86.9-percent Adjusted Completion Percentage displays his elite accuracy. Huntley’s 10.3 yards per attempt (6th in nation) and 123.4 passer rating (7th in the nation) show how underrated he is. Huntley is accurate, efficient and elite. Don’t sleep on Tyler Huntley.

Moreover, the Utah Utes utilize their powerful running back, Zack Moss. Moss, per PFF, is forcing a missed tackle on 45-percent of his rush attempts, third highest of the league. His five forced missed tackles and 65 yards after contact in their recent win display this. Moss’ 10 rushing touchdowns lead the Pac-12 and he also rolled up 728 rushing yards. Keep in mind, Utah’s benched Moss multiple times this season in blowout wins. If he played every quarter this season, he’d likely have over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. Moss is a top runner in the nation and the Utah Utes lean on him to close out games.

Move Aside Oregon, it’s time for the Utah Utes to rise

In almost every defensive metric, the Utah Utes are better than the Oregon Ducks. Additionally, quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss are efficient and productive when called upon. They have an elite defense, a strong offense, and every reason to be crowned as the Pac-12 kings.

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 8 Offensive Standouts

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7 Offensive Standouts

It’s a Good Day to Be a Pac-12 NFL Fan

This weekend, Pac-12 football fans got it all. Oregon and Washington State certainly lit up the field offensively. The Ducks are currently ranked 6th in Unafraidshow’s College Football Rankings. Likewise, many Pac-12 NFL players gave us memorable performances in week 8. Here they are!

Best Quarterback Performance

Gardner Minshew II – Washington State – Jacksonville Jaguars

Minshew magic is back! Let’s go!

Unlike the rest of football fans, Pac-12 NFL fans knew that Minshew was for real. We knew a long time ago. It’s just great to see everyone else accept it.

Against a competent New York Jets defense, Minshew didn’t flinch. He compiled 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He also let the Jets sack him twice. But, for those who watched the game, his pocket-presence is next level. Minshew’s movement in the pocket and ability to extend plays is incredible.

Last, and definitely important, Minshew threw zero interceptions. Again. Overall, he has just 2 interceptions and 13 touchdowns this season. The sixth-round rookie is playing far above any expectation.

Gardner Minshew for Rookie of the Year!

Best Running Back Performance

Christian McCaffrey – Stanford – Carolina Panthers

Against the league’s second-best defense (New England Patriots are clear first), the Carolina Panthers flopped. They only scored 13 points, while the 49ers rolled through 51 points. However, that didn’t stop all-star, Pac-12 NFL running back Christian McCaffrey from creating highlights.

This season, McCaffrey’s durability and production is incredible. His 2019 stats include:

Keep rolling RUN-CMC.

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Best Wide Receiver Performance

Juju Smith-Schuster – USC – Pittsburgh Steelers

To say that this season has been rough for the Pittsburgh Steelers is to say the least. After a promising 2017 season and a breakout 2018 season, everyone was ready for Juju Smith-Schuster to keep the hype train going. With the departure of Antonio Brown (to mental illness?), Smith-Schuster was primed for an elite 2019 campaign.

But, all hope went down with Ben Roethlisberger. However, Smith-Schuster still has the ability to pop on the field. In week 8, he cleared the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. Granted, this week he played the Miami Dolphins (#tankfortua), but he’s a good wide receiver.

https://twitter.com/JimmyClarke/status/1189005033653882882

His plus-16.5 (No. 20) Production Premium and plus-39.2-percent Target Premium (No. 10) show that he still has talent, but he’s just trapped on an anemic offense.

Best Tight End Performance

Austin Hooper – Stanford – Atlanta Falcons

Even with Matt Schaub under center, Austin Hooper was a baller. He reeled in 6 of 7 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. He was one reason why the Pac-12 NFL fans didn’t switch channels. Hooper’s late score helped the Falcons attempt a last-minute comeback (or at least cover the a plus-7.5 spread).

Honestly, look at those stats. Among tight ends, Hooper is:

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It’s Make or Break for UW Football

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 12 Las Vegas Bowl

UW Football Faces Oregon and Utah in Back-to-Back Weeks

University of Washington Block W logo RGB brand colors

Thought Oregon was Difficult? Well, this weekend the UW football team faces off against the 9th-ranked Utah Utes. Per Oddshark, the Utes are two-point road favorites.

What Makes Utah so Good?

Dominant Defense

In addition to the tweet above, per sports-reference.com, Utah’s defense ranks:

  • Fourth in points (10.1 points-per-game allowed)
  • 11th in passing (174.6 yards-per-game allowed)

Against their Pac-12 competition, Utah is crushing offenses. In their last four games, Utah’s defense was exceptional:

  • Washington State – 13 points
  • Oregon State – 7 points
  • Arizona State – 3 points
  • Cal – 0 points

Utah’s defense is destructive, powerful and suffocates opposing offenses. The UW football program will be tested.

An Offense to Match

Somehow, the Utah Utes have a fantastic offense as well. Impressively, they’ve scored at least 30 points in six of their eight games. Tyler Huntley’s 10-to-1 touchdown-to-interception rate perfectly complements Utah’s dominant defense.

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Additionally, Zack Moss is the perfect game-closing running back. His 6.6 yards-per-carry (on 728 total yards) and 10 touchdowns display this. Moss is the second-best running back in the Pac-12 and Utah’s offense is lucky to have him.

How UW Football can Reign

As noted above, Utah has a dominant defense that destroys its opponents. Moreover, they have an offense that routinely scores at least 30 points. The Huskies have to bring their A-game in order to get a victory.

Convert Third and Fourth Downs

Currently, the UW football team ranks 106th in third-down success rate. Against Oregon, this was detrimental. They converted just 3 of 13 third downs. Oregon came back from a 14-point deficit to win. If Chris Peterson wants a UW football win, he needs to create opportunities for success. Third-down play-calling may seem the most important. But, it’s the calls on first and second down that ultimately put a team in third-down success.

On top of that, the Huskies need to continue their fourth-down bravery. Last week, against Oregon, their fourth-down conversions were key to offensive success. Even though the last one didn’t work out, Washington needs to keep going for it (process-over-results).

Continue to Play Young Wide Receivers

As easy as it is to play the seniors, UW football’s been better with young players. Playing the young, talented wide receivers like Puka Nacua is a big component of success. In order to win, Chris Peterson needs to prioritize talent over age.

Pass-Pass-Pass

Last week, Jacob Eason and company displayed offensive effectiveness against a stout Oregon team. They broke Oregon’s elite defense. Granted, they didn’t win the game, but they still showed life. Eason needs to lead this team to another offensive performance. Utah’s dominant line won’t give any room to Washington’s running backs. So, it’s ultimately up to Jacob Eason to step up.

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7 Offensive Standouts

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7

Huge Performances from Pac-12 NFL Players in Week 7

Marvin jones California Golden bears Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7
Marvin Jones has come a long way since Cal

While the Oregon-Washington game was the most exciting game of the weekend, our Pac-12 alumni showed up in Week 7 of the NFL. The best Pac-12 NFL players were clearly Aaron Rodgers and Marvin Jones. They unleashed their abilities in full strength. No one could stop them and we couldn’t get enough. Who else joined them this week?

Best Quarterback Performances

Aaron Rodgers – Cal – Green Bay Packers

Against the Oakland Raiders, Aaron Rodgers went full God-mode. He dismantled them in every way possible for a quarterback. Rodgers finished with this stat line:

  • 25 of 31 (80.65-percent completion percentage)
  • 429 Passing Yards
  • 5 Passing Touchdowns
  • 1 Rushing Touchdown

With a game like that, it’s no wonder that Rodgers notched his first perfect-Passer Rating of the season. It was a vintage performance from the Cal product and it’s why he is one of the best Pac-12 NFL players of all time.

Matt Moore – Oregon State – Kansas City Chiefs

Wow. Talk about composure and stepping up. Somehow, even though Matt Moore hasn’t played since 2017, he sealed the win for the Kansas City Chiefs. With the loss of Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated knee, fans were panicking. But, calm and collected, Moore displayed exactly what teams need from a backup quarterback. He threw for a modest 117 yards, no interceptions and dropped a dime to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown.

Without Moore on the team, they’d be tempted to trade for a potential quarterback bridge until Mahomes gets healthy. But, like New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater, the Chiefs have it covered.

Best Wide Receiver Performances

Marvin Jones – Cal – Detroit Lions

Even though he was up against the Minnesota Vikings defense, Marvin Jones erupted for four touchdowns. Four! It’s rare for an NFL receiver to get three touchdowns in a game, let alone four.

He was unstoppable. Uncoverable. On 13 targets, he caught 10 for 93 yards and 4 scores. To the delight of fans’ eyes, Jones had himself a game.

Best Tight End Performance

Rhett Ellison – USC – New York Giants

Now, this isn’t one of those Pac-12 NFL tight end games for the record books. But, Rhett Ellison had one of his better performances. He caught both targets for 33 yards and a touchdown. In a tight loss to the Arizona Cardinals, those were needed receptions.

Especially considering how inconsistent and poor Daniel Jones was playing. Hopefully, Ellison can find the end zone again this season. But, at least he joined the ranks of other Pac-12 NFL greats this week.

Disagree with our Pac-12 NFL List?

If you disagree with this list or want to add anyone else in, comment or Tweet at us.

Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7

Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7

Pac-12 Football Lit up the Scoreboards in Week 7

Pac-12 Conference states

Pac-12 Football had big offensive performances, with three teams (Oregon, Washington, Utah) scoring over 45 points. Multiple receivers and running backs found the pay-dirt multiple times. These top-athletes displayed powerful running, big-play ability, and creativity to make the Pac-12 Football’s Best Offensive Performances list.

While many Pac-12 football players had big games, Unafraidshow only has room for one at each position.

Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7: Quarterback

Jayden Daniels – Arizona State

Though he’s a freshman, Jayden Daniels is ballin. He led the Sun Devils to a big win against the Cougars. He threw for three touchdowns, zero interceptions and showed off his mobility.

On Arizona State’s final drive, Daniels was poised as a senior. He executed play after play. Then, in a moment of brilliance and creativity, Daniels kept the ball and ran it in himself. It’s not every day Pac-12 football fans get to witness a freshman do this. Especially a freshman from the west coast. From San Bernardino to glory, it’s good to watch Jayden Daniels rise.

Running Back

Zack Moss – Utah

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On just five carries, Zack Moss ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Yes, only five carries. Moss continues to be an underutilized, efficient runner. His five carries yielded yards of:

  • 16 yards
  • 9 yards
  • -1 yards
  • 91 yard touchdown
  • 6 yard touchdown

Moss didn’t even play in the second half. Why? Because the Utes didn’t need him any more. Although in a limited role, Zack Moss showed why he is in the conversation with Eno Benjamin for Pac-12 football’s best back. Moss is powerful and can take any carry to the house.

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona State

There’s fast. And then there’s Brandon Aiyuk fast. As pointed out by Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Aiyuk’s route speed makes him an “underrated NFL prospect” in the 2020 class. With his acceleration and long-speed, Aiyuk torched the Cougars secondary. After a performance like this, Aiyuk’s rank among Pac-12 football receivers surges.

Against WSU, Aiyuk made the most of each target from Jayden Daniels. With 8 targets, he secured 7 receptions for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns. On those, he sped past the Cougars for touchdowns of 40, 86 and 36 yards. It was impressive!

Tight End

Jacob Breeland – Oregon

It is nigh-impossible to remove Jacob Breeland from any best Pac-12 football list. He is just too good at football. Breeland is reliable and can turn any reception into a big play. On the season, Breeland leads NCAA tight ends in receptions-per-game and touchdowns-per-game.

He’s a large target with speed and route-running skills. Like many first and second-round tight ends before him, he’s a matchup nightmare. It’s why Breeland is on scout’s lists as a potential second-round NFL pick in the 2020 draft.

However, after catching a 22-yards reception, Breeland suffered an injury that forced him from the rest of the contest. Mario Cristobal said that his leg injury is serious and will cause him to miss the rest of the season. If healthy, Breeland will get drafted on Day 1 or Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Disagree with the Unafraidshow’s Best Pac-12 football players?

If you disagree with this list, send in your own recommendations. Each week, Unafraidshow will rank the best quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end performances from Pac-12 football. Be sure to comment, tweet Unafraidshow, or email us immad@unafraidshow.com with your favorite moments of each Pac-12 football week.

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UW Huskies Get Big Win Over Wildcats, but Stay in Ducks’ Shadow

Washington Huskies

Huskies Get Another Bounce-Back Win

University of Washington Block W logo RGB brand colors

After a tight loss against Cal in Week 2 of college football, the Huskies bounced back in a big way against Hawaii. They ousted the Rainbow Warriors 52-20. Similarly, UW’s football team had another dominant performance against Arizona after an upset loss to Stanford. Even though the Wildcats were on a four-game win-streak, the Huskies beat them 51-27.

For Washington fans, the pendulum swung back into favor and joy. But, unfortunately for UW football, the Ducks had a more impressive win against the Colorado Buffaloes. With Oregon coming to town this week, does Washington have a shot?

Post-Game Notes from the Huskies Victory

Defense and Special Teams Carried the Huskies

Yes, the UW offense scored five touchdowns and three field goals. But in the first half, against an Arizona team on a four-game win-streak, the offense didn’t show up. Instead, the Dawgs made numerous big plays on defense and special teams. In the first half, the defense and special teams had:

  • 2 Sacks
  • 4 Tackles for a Loss
  • One blocked punt
  • Two forced fumbles and recoveries
  • One touchdown

At the end of the half, the Wildcats still led the Huskies. Despite incredible defensive play, the Huskies were still down 13-17 at half.

The Huskies Offense isn’t Perfect, even with 51 Points

Again, Washington decided to go for field goals. Early in the game, they played it safe. In the first quarter, they opted for two field goals instead of going for it. Fourth and five at the Arizona 10. Kick. Fourth and three at the Arizona 3. Kick. It’s unbelievable how often Chris Peterson and the Huskies exchange field goals for touchdowns. Think about it, if the Huskies converted just 50-percent of those fourth downs, they’d be better off. Yes, they tried to convert a fourth down on their first drive. They failed. But, math and analytics still show that it is optimal to go for it on the opposing half. After all, seven points is more than six.

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Additionally, the Huskies offense was sedentary, out-of-sync, and inconsistent in the first half. In fact, the Husky defense outscored the offense 7-6 in the first half. Their six drives yielded results of:

  • Turnover on Downs (4 plays, 9 yards AFTER STARTING AT THE ARIZONA 36)
  • Field Goal (8 plays, 62 yards)
  • Punt (3 plays, 5 yards)
  • Field Goal (4 plays, 0 yards AFTER STARTING AT THE ARIZONA 8)
  • Punt (6 plays, 43 yards)
  • Punt (3 plays, 4 yards)

Granted, the Huskies offense got rolling in the second half. They scored five touchdowns and a field goal in the second half. Eason and company got rolling. Sean McGrew and Salvon Ahmed showed consistency. Ahmed scored three rushing touchdowns and McGrew showed his efficient and explosive skill-set.

Arizona couldn’t stop them. However, the 2019 UW offense continues to be risk-averse and inconsistent. They need to find rhythm quicker and be willing to go for it on fourth down.

Huskies Finally Involve Puka Nacua

It is about time. In 2019, the Huskies continued to pepper their senior receivers with targets. With Aaron Fuller and Hunter Bryant making plays, that’s understandable. However, with a quality option like Puka Nacua on the bench, it didn’t make sense to keep putting Andre Baccellia on the field.

After getting his chance, Nacua let his name be known. The 6-1, 204-pound freshman caught three passes for 97 yards. Considering Jacob Eason only threw for 243 yards against Arizona, Nacua accounted for 40-percent of the team’s receiving yards. Excellent. It was a breakout performance for the freshman.

Huskies vs Ducks

Next up, the Huskies face off against the Oregon Ducks. Currently, the Ducks rank 12th in AP polls and 7th in Unafraidshow’s Power Rankings. They are impressive. So impressive, in fact, that they are 3.5 favorites in Seattle.

Against Oregon, the Huskies will be tested. The Ducks defense is elite. They’ve held opponents to 52 points in 6 games. But, more impressively, the Ducks haven’t let anyone score more than 7 points in their last five games. Because the Huskies offense has been hit-or-miss this season, Eason and company have to be on point.

Additionally, Justin Herbert and the Ducks offense continues to play well. Herbert has a touchdown in his last 34 games and Oregon has a top-5 offensive line in the nation. In Week 7, two Ducks offensive lineman were featured on PFF College’s Week 7 national team. So, it’s not going to be as easy for the defense to make big plays as they did against Arizona.

Last, it’s important to remember that Oregon’s only loss is against Auburn. In a close game. Since week 1, they’ve won each game handily. The Huskies, on the other hand, have swung back and forth between impressive and unimpressive. In order to win or even compete against the Ducks, the Huskies need to:

  • Create open looks for Jacob Eason
  • Give snaps to young talent like Puka Nacua
  • Make clean tackles and capitalize on turnover-opportunities
  • Attempt fourth down conversions early and often

If the Pac-12 is anything, it’s a conference of cannibals. So, an upset win is certainly possible for the Huskies.