Washington then got clobbered at Arizona State and is now trying to salvage what seemed like such a promising season.
Northwestern came within 10 minutes of defeating Ohio State on a Saturday night, in Evanston, with ESPN's "GameDay" in town.
Instead of going to 5-0, though, the Wildcats lost that game and then three more — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa — to fall to 0-4 in the Big Ten.
What UCLA needed was to get out of Oregon with a healthy quarterback and some dignity, which the Bruins accomplished.
UCLA needs to improve to 6-2 with a win against weakling Colorado next week and then get ready to attack the last four games: at Arizona, Washington, Arizona State and at USC.
The Pac-12 is as deep as it's been in years and there are fewer "gimme" games on the schedule.
The good news is other teams are also saying that about UCLA.
"I saw it on film," Addison, Oregon's sophomore receiver, said of the Bruins. "I watched a couple games on TV. We got exactly what we expected — a great team."
Well, maybe not great, but certainly good. Good enough to get better between now and December. Good enough to win the Pac-12 South and earn a return trip, possibly, to Eugene for the conference title game.
UCLA has lost three straight games to Stanford and hasn't quite reached Oregon's level.
It doesn't mean, though, that the Bruins can't get there.
They just aren't there yet.