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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

September 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM

So far Saturday, a promising day for the Pac-12 . . .

As of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, it’s shaping up to be a big day for the Pac-12, though there are serious challenges remaining. The two most resounding results are UCLA’s stunning comeback to blast Nebraska, 41-21, and Oregon’s halftime lead of 38-7 over Tennessee. Pretty obvious this could be a special season for Oregon under first-year coach Mark Helfrich.

Stanford didn’t win particularly impressively over Army, 34-20, while USC is ahead of Boston College, 28-7, deep into the second half, bouncing back from the surprise loss to Washington State last week.

UCLA’s win is an attention-grabber, coming after a week when the Bruins mourned the loss of freshman receiver Nick Pasquale. They trailed 21-3 and Nebraska seemed to have the game completely in hand. Then, with about two minutes left in the first half, Brett Hundley scrambled for a 13-yard gain on third-and-12 from the UCLA 39, the Bruins went on to score on the drive, and it was a manageable 21-10 deficit at halftime. Suddenly, the floodgates opened, and Nebraska seemed to aid in its own demise with an emphasis on passing in the third quarter, despite uber-runner Taylor Martinez at quarterback.

For the league, there’s a lot of work left, with Washington against Illinois in Chicago, Cal hosting Ohio State and Arizona State playing Wisconsin tonight in Tempe.

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