This week in Pac-12 football
• The league’s top rushing performances in week 1 belong to ARIZONA’s Nick Wilson (138 yards vs. BYU) and STANFORD’s Christian McCaffrey (126 yards vs. Kansas State)
• A pair of QBs threw for 400 or more yards - CALIFORNIA’s Davis Webb (428 vs. Hawai’i), and WASHINGTON STATE’s Luke Falk (407 yards vs. Eastern Washington)
• Five receivers collected 100 or more receiving yards - CALIFORNIA’s Chad Nelson (14 for 160 yds), OREGON’s Darrington Carrington (7 for 117 yards), WASHINGTON STATE’s Gabe Marks (10 for 108 yards), UCLA’s Kenneth Walker III (6 for 115 yards), and UTAH’s Tim Patrick (5 for 105 yards).
POLL NOTES: Coming in at No. 8 in the AP poll this week is WASHINGTON. The Huskies are the eighth different Pac-12 team to appear in the AP Top 10 over the last three seasons. It’s the highest ranking for the Huskies since finishing the 2000 season at No. 3 ... COLORADO received one vote in each of the AP and Coaches polls for the first time since Sept. 21, 2008.
DRAWING A BLANK: On top of UTAH’s performance in pitching a 24-0 shutout against Southern Utah, five other Pac-12 teams allowed less than 20 points in their respective season-openers. Sure, it’s early, but only one Pac-12 team’s defense allowed an average fewer than 20.0 points per game during the entire 2015 season as WASHINGTON topped the league’s defenses by allowing just 18.8 points per game ... Pac-12 defenses held opponents to fewer than 20 points 41 times last season, led by Utah who held six opponents to fewer than 20 points ... 4 of 8 FBS opponents (50.0%) were held to under 20 points in the opening weekend, while 16 of 39 FBS opponents (41.0%) were held under 20 points all of last season.
WAIVE THE FLAG: Six Pac-12 teams were flagged by game officials four or fewer times during the first week of play. Last season, only one team was flagged on average that was fewer than five penalties per game - ARIZONA STATE (4.6 penalties per game in 2015).
THE SCHEDULE: The non-conference schedules include 18 opponents that participated in a bowl game last season. In all, 11 Pac-12 teams will face a team that appeared in a bowl game last season with USC facing three such opponents ... The Pac-12 posted a 35-12 record in non-conference play in 2015 and is 72-21 in non-league action over the previous two seasons ... Each Conference team will play a nine-game league schedule that includes five games within its own division and four games in the other division. Teams with the best record in their respective divisions will meet in the Pac-12 title game on Friday, Dec. 2 (FOX) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
THE HEADLINERS: Among those 169 returning starters are a number of headliners, including a total of 14 first-team and nine second-team All-Pac-12 performers.
Look for Pac-12 teams to once again posses explosive offenses as nine league teams averaged 400 yards or more in total offense last season, while 10 teams averaged 30 or more points per game. High-profile playmakers will be key in continuing the Pac-12’s success on offense. Returning all-conference performers include WASHINGTON STATE quarterback Luke Falk (380.5 passing yards/game, 38 TDs), STANFORD running back Christian McCaffrey (FBS record 3,864 all-purpose yard/276.0 per game), OREGON running back Royce Freeman (141.2 rushing yards/game, 17 TDs), WASHINGTON STATE wide receiver Gabe Marks (104 receptions, 91.7 yards/game, 15 TDs) and USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (89 receptions, 103.9 yards/game, 10 TDs) ... Defenses will look to fly to ball with strong pass rushers and run stoppers in returning All-Conference performers Lowell Lotulelei of UTAH and Deon Hollins of UCLA, as well as USC’s Cameron Smith, the Defensive Freshman of the Year. The Pac-12 will be loaded in defending the deep threat with a total of 39 starters returning to roam the secondary. Among those returnees are all four first-team All-Conference defensive backs - WASHINGTON’s Budda Baker and Sidney Jones, USC’s Adoree’ Jackson and UTAH’s Marcus Williams. In addition, three of the four second team members return - COLORADO’s Chidobe Awuzie, and UCLA’s Randall Goforth and Jaleel Wadood.
THE PAC-12 COACHING RANKS: Ten of the 12 Pac-12 head coaches have been leading their respective teams for five or fewer seasons. Only Stanford’s David Shaw (6th season) and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (12th season) have guided their respective squads for a longer period. While USC coach Clay Helton had the interim label removed prior to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, there were no off-season coaching changes in the Pac-12.
Pac-12 Success in Rio... OREGON WR/KR Devon Allen represented Team USA at the Rio Olympics in the 110m hurdles where he finished fifth ... USC CB/WR/KR Adoree’ Jackson (long jump) and ARIZONA STATE WR/KR Tim White (triple jump) attempted to make the USA squad, but came up short ... Former Cal running back Jahvid Best (100m) represented St. Lucia ... If the Pac-12 was considered a country, it’s student-athletes, both current and former, would have placed fifth in the medal count at the Rio Olympics:
USA (46 Gold, 37 Silver, 38 Bronze) 121
China (26 Gold, 18 Silver, 26 Bronze) 70
Great Britain (27 Gold, 23 Silver, 17 Bronze) 67
Russia (19 Gold, 18 Silver, 19 Bronze) 56
Pac-12 (25 Gold, 13 Silver, 17 Bronze) 55
|Sat., Sept 10||Site||Local Time/TV|
|Utah State (1-0) at nr/41 USC (0-1)
Series: USC leads, 5-0-0. Last: USC, 17-14 (2013)
|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (93,607)||11 a.m. PT
|Idaho (1-0) at 8/11 WASHINGTON (1-0)
Series: WASH leads, 35-2-2. Last: WASH: 42-23 (2009)
|Husky Stadium (70,083)||2 p.m. PT
|Idaho State (1-0) at t37/t46 COLORADO (1-0)
Series: First Meeting
|Folsom Field (50,183)||3:30 p.m. MT
|BYU (1-0) at 29/28 UTAH (1-0)
Series: Utah leads, 58-34-4. Last: Utah, 35-28 (2015 Las Vegas Bowl)
|Rice Eccles Stadium (45,807)||5:30 p.m. PT
|UNLV (1-0) at 28/30 UCLA (0-1)
Series: UCLA leads 1-0-0. Last: UCLA 37-3 (2015)
|Rose Bowl (91,500)||5 p.m. PT
|Texas Tech (1-0) at ARIZONA STATE (1-0)
Series: Series tied 1-1-0. Last: Texas Tech, 37-23 (2013)
|Sun Devil Stadium (56,232)||7 p.m. PT
|WASHINGTON STATE (0-1) at Boise State (1-0)
Series: WSU leads, 4-0-0. Last: WSU, 41-20 (2001)
|Albertsons Stadium (36,387)||7:15 p.m. PT
|CALIFORNIA (1-0) at San Diego State (1-0)
Series: CAL leads, 4-3-0. Last: CAL, 35-7 (2015)
|Qualcomm Stadium (54,000)||7:30 p.m. PT
|Virginia (0-1) at 24/23 OREGON (1-0)
Series: CAL leads, 4-3-0. Last: CAL, 35-7 (2015)
|Autzen Stadium (54,000)||7:30 p.m. PT
|Grambling State (1-0) at ARIZONA (0-1)
Series: First Meeting
|Arizona Stadium (55,675)||7:45 p.m. PT
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