Entering Week 5, the Pac-12 was the home to four undefeated teams. At the end of Week 5, that number’s plunged to just one.
Arizona State was one of that unbeaten quartet, but can make that claim no longer as USC pummeled the Sun Devils into submission with a 41-20 woodshedding. ASU actually took a 7-0 lead on USC six minutes into the game before the Trojans ripped off a 41-0 run over the next 33 minutes to secure for Clay Helton a much-needed second win of the season.
Sam Darnold, who began the season on the bench, showed precisely why Helton needed to make the switch at quarterback last month as the freshman passed for a career-high 352 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, Darnold had come into the game with a total of 389 passing yards and two touchdown passes in his very brief career.
Darnold was part of a Trojans offense that totaled 523 yards, a total that was in the neighborhood of doubling up the Sun Devils’ 303. Particularly in the running game, USC’s defense was stifling as they held ASU to just 2.3 yards per carry; coming into the game, the Sun Devils were third in the Pac-12 at 4.8 yards per carry.
Friday night’s matchup of Pac-12 unbeatens, Stanford and Washington, left the conference with three loss-less team as Saturday dawned. Utah was stunned by Cal on a goal-line stop as time expired earlier in the day, with ASU going down as Week 5 bled into Sunday. Add it all up, and it’s the Huskies, at 5-0, that currently carries the conference’s playoff hopes on its shoulders.
That weight will be tested almost immediately as UW must travel to Oregon to face a Ducks team they haven’t beaten in Autzen since 2002, a streak of seven in a row.