Roundup: Utah starts 2018 season vying for Pac-12 South title
College football is back for real in the Pac-12 with Thursday night’s Utah-Weber State game (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), and Dirk Facer of the Deseret News writes that Utah opens the 2018 season vying for that elusive Pac-12 South crown. The Utes, despite being one of the most consistent teams in the division over the last four years, are the only team in the Pac-12 South to not play in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.
Get paid, son – Aaron Rodgers signed a four-year, $134 million extension with the Green Bay Packers that could be worth up to $180 million overall, Adam Schefter reports.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and this NFL.com link, former USC quarterback Sam Darnold will be the Week 1 starter for the New York Jets. That became pretty apparent once the Jets dealt QB Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints.
Former Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins plans to step away from football for the time being to focus on his mental health, he announced in a letter posted to Instagram (ESPN). After graduating from Arizona, Dawkins transferred to Indiana and lost out on the starting QB job last week.
Kyle Bonagura reports that former Nebraska quarterback Tristan Gebbia is planning to transfer to Oregon State. Bonagura notes that Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith recruited Gebbia when Smith was the offensive coordinator at Washington.
Jon Wilner is of the opinion that Washington-Auburn is the most important non-conference game for the Pac-12 in the College Football Playoff era (no pressure, Huskies). Luckily, Wilner points out, Chris Petersen won big season openers while he was at Boise State (Georgia in 2011, Virginia Tech in 2010, Oregon in 2009).
Theo Lawson writes that Washington State football will have to rebuild in order to contend for a Pac-12 title with so many players gone from last season.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen hits us with this all-encompassing 2018 UCLA football preview. It’s the start of the Chip Kelly era, y’all, and it begins against Cincinnati Saturday afternoon.
Tom FitzGerald writes that Stanford football is hoping for a different outcome against San Diego State this time around when the two meet on The Farm Friday night. Last year, the Cardinal dropped a 20-17 decision to the Aztecs in a game featuring a 25-minute delay when the stadium lights went out.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold has this feature story on former Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay trying to make the Denver Broncos as the hometown kid. He played high school football 5.7 miles away from where the Broncos play their home games and is the first player from the Denver Broncos’ Futures Program (for middle schoolers) to sign an NFL contract.
Yogi Roth breaks down Oregon’s season opener against Bowling Green on Saturday (5 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Richard Morin of The Arizona Republic features Arizona State kicker Brandon Ruiz and punter Michael Sleep-Dalton.
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