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Pac-12 Football: Grading The Pac-12 South Week 1 Games

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Pac-12 Football: Grading The Pac-12 South Games From Week 1

Brett Hundley UCLA
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

All six Pac-12 South teams were in action during Week 1, and all but one of them came out victorious. The predicted champion struggled while most coasted to easy wins. Here is how I graded each team's performance.

Fresno State 13, USC 52

USC Football
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State 13, USC 52

USC Football
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a terrible public relations week, nobody needed a near-perfect game more than USC. Under Steve Sarkisian’s new offense, the Trojans ran a Pac-12 record 105 plays. Kessler threw for a new career-high in yards with 394, and Nelson Agholor lived up to his preseason hype by catching two TDs. Scoring 52 points and gaining 701 total yards against a team that made a bowl game in 2013 is just what the Trojans needed heading into Stanford.

A+

Idaho State 14, Utah 56

Strike quickly and strike often: that is exactly what the Utah Utes did to Idaho State on Thursday. Utah had three scoring drives that lasted under a minute and also got two return TDs from Kaelin Clay. Playmaking WR Dres Anderson only caught four passes, but gained 111 yards out of them. Meanwhile, both QBs looked sharp as Tyler Wilson and Kendal Thompson combined to throw for 334 yards. The Utes need confidence and desperately need to prove they belong in the Pac-12. They got the first part done.

A

Arizona 58, UNLV 13

Anu Solomon Arizona
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona 58, UNLV 13

Anu Solomon Arizona
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

787 Yards of total offense, 3-for-3 on fourth downs and zero turnovers is about just as close to perfect as you can get. Arizona showed they have the best WRs in the conference. Austin Hill and Davonte Neal are set for breakout years, and each caught a touchdown pass Friday. New quarterback Anu Solomon threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns. Rich Rodriguez might just finally have his high-scoring option offense back.

A

Weber State 14, Arizona State 45

Taylor Kelly did not look like he was ready to take the next step towards elite level QB status last Thursday. He had some terrible overthrows and finished 18-of-27 for 238 yards and one TD in only one half of play. Playmakers D.J. Foster and Jaelen Strong wowed the Sun Devil Stadium Crowd as they combined for 319 total yards. Weber State was 2-10 last season, and ASU should have shown more dominance on Thursday.

C+

Virginia 20, UCLA 28

The offensive line struggled mightily. Hundley was forced to panic in the pocket all game, but made plays when his team needed them. The defense gets an A as they scored three touchdowns in the second quarter. However, the offense struggled so much that the Bruins needed Myles Jack to close the game out as he swatted a pass down on 4th and 8 with three minutes remaining. This is not how a top-10 team should be playing.

D

Colorado 17, Colorado State 31

Colorado Colorado State
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado 17, Colorado State 31

Colorado Colorado State
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter, the Colorado Buffaloes gave up 17 fourth-quarter points to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The defense for the Buffs allowed two Colorado State running backs to rush for over 100 yards. Converting only 5-of-15 on third downs isn’t going to cut it in big-time CFB. Losing to your rival by being outscored 17-0 in the final quarter is not going to make the Colorado faithful happy.

F