2011 Pac-12 Football Season Opens Thursday
Thursday, Sept. 1
Montana State (0-0) at Utah (0-0), 6 p.m. MT (KJZZ-TV)
Ute Notes: Senior OT Tony Bergstrom has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Bergstrom, a chemical engineering major, was named to the preseason watch list for the 2011 Outland Trophy. . . Junior QB Jordan Wynn has recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and will look to return to his 2010 form when he completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,334 yards and 17 TDs.
UC Davis (0-0) at Arizona State (0-0), 7 p.m. PT (FSAZ)
Sun Devil Notes: Junior QB Brock Osweiler looks to pick up where he finished the 2010 season. In the final two games, he led ASU to victories over UCLA and Arizona, throwing for 647 yards and 5 TDs. . . ASU's passing offense ranked 15th in the nation last year (286.4 yards per game) and returns veteran receivers Aaron Pflugrad, Gerell Robinson and Mike Willie. Those three combined for 90 catches, 1,158 yards and 13 TDs. . . ASU has won its last eight openers.
Saturday, Sept. 3
Minnesota (0-0) at USC (0-0), 12:30 p.m. PT (ABC)
Trojan Notes: USC's record in all season openers is 87-23- 8 (.771), with 36 shutout victories. Troy has won its last 13 openers and 15 of the last 17. . . USC is 72-27-3 (.721) against current Big Ten opponents. USC has won its last 11 games against Big Ten foes, as well as 32 of its last 40 games (and 39 of its last 48). . . 13 returning starters (6 offense/7 defense). However, 70 players on USC's 112-man roster have never taken a snap at Troy.
UCLA (0-0) at Houston (0-0), 2:30 p.m. CT (FSN)
Bruin Notes: Senior WR Taylor Embree has caught 30 or more passes in each of his first three seasons for 1,548 yards. . . The Bruin backfield is balanced with junior RB Johnathan Franklin (1,127 rushing yards - UCLA's 10th best single-season performance) and senior RB Derrick Coleman (1,015 yards rushing over the last three seasons). . . UCLA has won five of its last six openers.
Sacramento State (0-0) at Oregon State (0-0), 1 p.m. PT
Beaver Notes: Junior QB Ryan Katz has recuperated from offseason wrist surgery and will look to add to his impressive numbers from a year ago. He threw for 2,386 yards and 18 TDs in 2010. He is considered to have one of the strongest arms among Pac-12 quarterbacks and arguably the strongest of any quarterback in OSU history. . . . Senior S Lance Mitchell has 24 career starts and was among the defensive leaders last season with 74 tackles and two interceptions.
San Jose State (0-0) at Stanford (0-0), 2 p.m. PT (CSNBA)
Cardinal Notes: The highly-rated Cardinal - No. 6 in the coaches poll (which is believed to be the highest preseason ranking ever for Stanford), No. 7 in the AP - return Heisman runner-up junior QB Andrew Luck. All Luck did last season was throw for 3,338 yards and 32 TDs. However, the Cardinal offense was not one-dimensional as junior RB Stepfan Taylor rushed for 1,137 yards and 15 TDs.
Idaho State (0-0) at Washington State (0-0), 2 p.m. PT
Cougar Notes: Senior WR Jared Karstetter has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, joining Utah's Tony Bergstrom as the Pac-12's representatives on the list. He carries a 3.61 gpa while majoring in zoology with plans to attend dental school. . . Junior QB Jeff Tuel threw for 2,780 yards last year with 18 TDs. He threw for over 200 yards 10 times last year, including the first nine games of the season.
California (0-0) vs. Fresno State (0-0), 4 p.m. PT (CSNCA)
Golden Bear Notes: After playing the last 88 seasons and every home game at Memorial Stadium since the facility opened for the 1923 Big Game, Cal will host its home games outside of Berkeley for the first time in 2011 while Memorial Stadium undergoes extensive renovation. . . Junior QB Zach Maynard earned the starting nod during spring practice. He threw for 2,694 yards and 18 TDs as a soph at Buffalo.
Eastern Washington (0-0) at Washington (0-0), 4 pm PT (ROOT)
Husky Notes: Washington will be looking for its first season-opening win since 2007 (def. Syracuse) as it takes on defending FCS champion Eastern Washington. . . The Husky offense will be led by junior RB Chris Polk. Polk rushed for 1,415 yards (108.8 per game) in 2010.
Oregon (0-0) vs. LSU (0-0), 7 p.m. CT (ABC)
Duck Notes: Oregon enters the season ranked No. 3 in the preseason polls, but will get tested right away in the Cowboys Classic vs. No. 4 LSU. . . Junior RB LaMichael James, a Heisman finalist, rushed for an FBS-leading 1,731 yards, along with 21 TDs. . . The Ducks led the country in 2010, averaging 530.69 yards and 47.0 points per game, respectively.
Northern Arizona (0-0) at Arizona (0-0), 7 p.m. PT (FSAZ)
Wildcat Notes: Senior QB Nick Foles and senior WR Juron Criner take the field as the ringleaders of the Wildcat offense. Foles threw for 3,191 yards and 20 TDs, while Criner caught 82 passes for 1,233 yards and 11 TDs.
Colorado (0-0) at Hawai'i (0-0), 4:15 p.m. HT (ESPN2)
Buffalo Notes: Colorado boasts one of the nation's top rushers last season with senior RB Rodney Stewart. He tallied 1,318 yards with 10 TDs. . . The Buffaloes head to Hawai'i where he looks to snap a 17-game road losing streak.