This week in Pac-12 football

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Pac-12 play begins this weekend as USC visits No. 7/No. 6 STANFORD, the same two teams that met in the 2015 Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

•  Over the next couple of weeks, Pac-12 members will participate in Extra Yard for Teachers, a CFP sponsored program. The CFP is awarding each institution within the Pac-12 $10,000 to benefit an elementary school teacher or teachers in their community.

• 216 players with Pac-12 ties were listed on active NFL rosters for opening day (see page 6 on full release). 

POLL NOTES: WASHINGTON is the eighth different Pac-12 team to appear in the AP Top 10 over the last three seasons. Coming in at No. 8 again this week in the AP poll, it’s the highest ranking for the Huskies since finishing the 2000 season at No. 3. 

MAKING A POINT: 12 FBS teams are averaging 50 or more points per game through the first two weeks of the season, three hail from the Pac-12 - No. 6 ARIZONA STATE (56.0 ppg), No. 9 WASHINGTON (53.5 ppg) and No. 11 COLORADO (50.0 ppg).

POINTLESS: Nine times Pac-12 teams have allowed less than 20 points in a game this season. Five teams are currently allowing an average of less than 20.0 points per game to their opponents. Sure, it’s only two weeks into the season, but only one Pac-12 team’s defense allowed an average fewer than 20.0 points per game during the entire 2015 season (WASHINGTON allowed just 18.8 points per game) ... Pac-12 defenses held opponents to fewer than 20 points 41 times last season, led by Utah which held six opponents to fewer than 20 points (it’s done so twice this season) ... 7 of 16 FBS non-conference opponents (43.8%) were held to under 20 points in the first two weeks, while 16 of 39 FBS non-conference opponents (41.0%) were held under 20 points all of last season.

TAKE TWO: Four players each had a pair of interceptions last Saturday - De’Chavon Hayes, ASU vs. Texas Tech; Sunia Tauleoli, Utah vs. BYU; Shalom Luani, WSU vs. Boise State; Randall Goforth, UCLA vs. UNLV. Eight different Pac-12 players had multiple picks in a game all of last season.

RECORD SETTER: ARIZONA STATE junior RB Kalen Ballage tied an NCAA record for most touchdowns in a game with 8 (7 rush, 1 receiving) in Arizona State’s 68-55 win over Texas Tech. He broke the following Pac-12 records:

- Touchdowns accounted for in a regular season game (scored or passed for) - 8 (old record of seven set four times)

- Touchdowns scored in a game - 8 (old record of six set by USC’s Anthony Davis vs. Notre Dame in 1972 and California’s Dick Dunn vs. Nevada in 1922)

- Rushing touchdowns, 7 (old record of five set nine times)

- Points scored, 48 (old record of 36 set by Davis in 1972 and Dunn in 1922)

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 the 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 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 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

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Fri., Sept 16 Site Local Time/TV
t38/39 ARIZONA STATE (2-0) at UTSA (1-1)
Series: First meeting
Alamodome (39,582) 8:30 a.m. CT
ESPN2
Sat., Sept 17 Site Local Time/TV
Idaho (1-1) at WASHINGTON STATE (0-2)
Series: WASH leads, 71-17-3. Last: WASH: 42-0 (2013)
Martin Stadium (32,952) 11 a.m. PT
PAC12/PACWA
22/21 OREGON (2-0) at 33/29 Nebraska (2-0)
Series: Nebraska leads, 5-1-0. Last: Nebraska (2-0)
Memorial Stadium (86,047) 2:30 p.m. CT
ABC
37/t41 COLORADO (2-0) at 4/5 Michigan
Series: Michigan leads, 3-1-0. Last: Michigan, 27-3 (1997)
Michigan Stadium (107,601) 3:30 p.m. ET
BTN
Idaho State (1-1) at OREGON STATE (0-1)
Series: OSU leads, 1-0-0. Last, OSU, 61-10 (2007)
Reser Stadium (45,674) 2 p.m. PT
PAC12/PAC12OR
USC (1-1) at 7/6 STANFORD
Series: USC leads, 60-30-3. Last: STAN, 41-31 (2015)
Stanford Stadium (50,000) 5 p.m. PT
ABC
Portland State (1-1) at 8/9 WASHINGTON (2-0)
Series: WASH leads, 35-2-2. Last: WASH, 42-23 (2009)
Husky Stadium (70,083) 5 p.m. PT
PAC12/PACWA
11/16 Texas (2-0) at CALIFORNIA (1-1)
Series: Texas leads, 5-1-0. Last: CAL, 45-44 (2015)
Memorial Stadium (62,367) 7:30 p.m. PT
ESPN
9/28 UTAH (2-0) at San Jose State (1-1) 
Series: CAL leads, 4-3-0. Last: CAL, 35-7 (2015)
CEFCU Stadium (63,470) 7:30 p.m. PT
CBSSN
28/30 UCLA (1-1) at BYU (1-1)
Series: UCLA leads, 8-3-0. Last: UCLA, 24-23 (2015)
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470) 8:15 p.m. PT
ESPN2
Hawai'i (1-2) at ARIZONA (1-1)
Series: ARIZ leads, 4-0-0. Last: ARIZ, 27-6 (1988)
Arizona Stadium (55,675) 7:45 p.m. PT
PAC12/PACAZ
     
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