Roundup: Stanford-USC highlights the weekend
By far the biggest game of the Pac-12 weekend will go down in Troy, where No. 6 USC will host No. 14 Stanford (5:30 p.m. PT, FOX), and Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports writes that Stanford could have USC on upset alert. The Cardinal have won the last three in the series and have only lost to the Trojans twice since 2009. Also, Jon Wilner relives Stanford’s historic upset of USC in 2007 (sorry, not sorry; I can’t get enough of those 2007 upset links).
On the SC side of things, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Johnson writes that USC needs to go through Stanford to regain its claim to the throne in the Pac-12. Also, long snapper Jake Olson writes about the path to his first snap in a college football game in this piece for ESPN.
The folks in the SLC might take exception to that claim about USC-Stanford being the biggest game in the conference, because the Utah-BYU rivalry is unlike any other (7:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. MT, ESPN2). Kurt Kragthorpe details the history of winning streaks in the Utah-BYU rivalry. Also, Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated writes about how former Utes quarterback Alex Smith “made the Patriots look like Clowns” in leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 42-27 win over the defending Super Bowl champs, throwing for 368 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
Very intriguing game in Pullman, with No. 20 Washington State hosting Boise State (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN), and Theo Lawson dives into the Rypien family ties with Washington State and Boise State. Mark Rypien, of course, was a star QB for the Cougs before winning two Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins, while his nephew, Brett Rypien, is the starting QB at Boise State.
As the Ducks get ready for a big non-league tilt against Nebraska (1:30 p.m. PT, FOX), Edward Aschoff of ESPN has the story of how three young cancer survivors came up with the design for Oregon’s uniforms for Saturday’s game, entitled the “Nike Vapor Untouchable Performance System” uniforms.
Zack Rosenblatt wonders if Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins is the most important recruit of the Rich Rodriguez era in Tucson. Dawkins will lead the 'Cats into battle against Houston Saturday night (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPNU).
Humorous article here from Doug Haller, who goes into Arizona State head coach Todd Graham’s distaste for the color blue, since Arizona wears navy. He’ll probably have a distaste for red and black Saturday night as well, what with the Sun Devils playing host to San Diego State and all (8 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Danny Moran gives us five things to watch for in the Oregon State-Minnesota game (7 p.m. PT, FOX Sports 1). It hasn’t been a pretty first two games for the Beavs, but they can make up for it with a good showing against a Big Ten team.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen tells us that UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen wants to improve upon his heroic performance against Texas A&M as his Bruins get ready to host Hawai’i (2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Kyle Frederickson of The Denver Post features Colorado kicker James Stefanou, a 30-year-old from Australia who is the second-oldest active college football player in the FBS. His Buffs host Texas State Saturday afternoon (11 a.m. PT/noon MT, Pac-12 Networks). Well, I guess I still have hope to start up my college football career.
Rusty Simmons features Cal safety Quentin Tartabull, who brings a hard edge to a Cal secondary that appears to be much improved after one week. Tartabull had eight tackles in the Golden Bears’ 35-30 win at North Carolina. Cal will look to make it 2-0 when it hosts Weber State (2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Bay Area).
In this video from The News Tribune, Washington quarterback Jake Browning talks about expecting to improve in the second week as the Huskies ready themselves for their home opener against Montana (5 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).