Each Saturday through the season, the Hotline will highlight a handful of memorable Pac-12 games.
Here we go …
Sept. 30, 1972: Wyoming 45, No. 11 Arizona State 43
Call this item an ode to the WAC at its WAC-iest, when Arizona State was a national power and posting no-huddle scores before the no-huddle era.
The Devils were a powerhouse in ’72 under coach Frank Kush and quarterback Danny White.
In this case, though, they walked into an ambush in Laramie against a Wyoming team that would win just four games.
The Cowboys’ coach was Fritz Shurmur, who became one of the most innovative defensive coaches in the NFL.
Sept. 30, 2000: Oregon 23, No. 6 Washington 16
One of the greatest days in the history of college football in the Willamette Valley began (12:30 p.m. kickoff) with the Ducks toppling UW in at the peak of the Rick Neuheisel era. (Weeks earlier, the Huskies had beaten No. 4 Miami.)
Oregon was fresh off a convincing win over UCLA. Joey Harrington and Co. jumped to a big lead, then held off Marques Tuiasosopo. (Not a bad QB matchup.)
Diehard Ducks might remember this nugget: Keenan Howry had three punt returns in the first half called back because of penalties.
The game helped set the stage for the amazing 2000 season in the Pacific Northwest, in which the Ducks, Huskies and Beavers tied for first place.
Sept. 30, 2000: Oregon Stats 31, No. 8 USC 21
When Oregon and Washington finished, the Beavers and Trojans took the stage (3:30 p.m. kickoff).
This was the Dennis Erickson Beavers, the Chad Johnson Beavers … the Ken Simonton Beavers.
And Simonton was brilliant on this day: He carved up USC for 243 yards and three touchdowns to fuel a victory that ended decades of OSU frustration against USC.
The Trojans had opened the season with a convincing victory over Penn State in the Meadowlands, but they never recovered from the loss in Corvallis:
They dropped the next four, ended up 5-7, and Paul Hackett was fired after the season.
USC’s fourth choice to replace Hackett turned out OK.
Sept. 30, 2016: Washington 44, Stanford 6
A dominant victory from start to finish and, one could argue, much more.
Stanford was the defending conference champ, undefeated, ranked seventh — and never in the game as a sold out Husky Stadium rocked like it was 1991 all over again.
The Huskies stuffed Christian McCaffrey, recorded eight sacks, led 23-0 at halftime, doubled Stanford’s yardage total and sent word to the rest of the Pac-12 that they were, in fact, the team to beat.
“We did not rise to the challenge,” Stanford coach David Shaw said.
UW has been in control of the conference ever since.
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