This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week One
HIGH FIVE: The Pac-12 had 5 schools in the AP Preseason Top 25, matching the SEC & Big Ten for most by conference and 41.7% (5 of 12 schools) are represented, the highest percentage of any conference. The Pac-12 last had 5 teams in the preseason AP poll in 2019.
- #11 OREGON made the preseason Top 25 for the 4th straight year and are ranked in the Top 11 in each of the last 3 years. #15 USC is in the preseason poll for the 60th time, 3rd most of any school. #20 WASHINGTON makes the preseason Top 25 for the 5th time in the last 6 yeras. For the 3rd straight year, #24 UTAH is in the preseason poll while #25 ARIZONA STATE makes it for the first time since 2015. UCLA also received votes.
ELITE 11: The Pac-12 had 11 alumni named in the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2021 countdown. Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers was the highest ranked former Pac-12 player, coming in at #3. Since the NFL began this countdown in 2011, at least one Pac-12 alum has been in the Top 10 every year.
- CALIFORNIA: #3 QB Aaron Rodgers (Packers), #46 DE Cameron Jordan (Saints), #55 WR Keenan Allen (Chargers)
- COLORADO: #36 OT David Bakhtiari (Packers)
- OREGON: #27 DT DeForest Buckner (Colts), #56 QB Justin Herbert (Chargers)
- STANFORD: #44 RB Christian McCaffrey (Panthers)
- UCLA: #70 MLB Eric Kendricks (Vikings)
- USC: #84 DE Leonard Williams (Giants)
- UTAH: #82 OT Garett Bolles (Broncos)
- WASHINGON: #19 SS Budda Baker (Cardinals)
AROUND THE PAC-12
ARIZONA: Jedd Fisch’s first game as head coach at Arizona, Fisch was 1-1 as the interim head coach at UCLA to end the 2017 season. 2-1 all-time in season openers at neutral sites. Added 17 transfers from FBS schools in the offseason. First non-conference game since beating Texas Tech 28-14 in September 2019.
ARIZONA STATE: 17-1 in non-conference home games over the last 10 seasons, only loss coming to San Diego St. in 2017. 19 of the Sun Devils 30 games under Herm Edwards have been decided by 7 points or less. Finished the 2020 season with 2 straight wins, with 116 points and 1000 total yards combined. Scored 45+ points in consecutive games for the first time since 2015. QB Jayden Daniels has 22 career pass TD and 3 INT, the 2nd highest ratio among active FBS QB.
CALIFORNIA: 10-1 in non-conference games under Justin Wilcox, 9-0 in the regular season. 14-5 in games in which QB Chase Garbers has started and played more than half the game. Defense has held opponents to under 400 yards a game in each of the last 3 seasons, prior to that had not done it in a single season since 2011.
COLORADO: 11-1 in non-conference home games since the start of the 2013 season. RB Jarek Broussard is first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year to return the following season since Bryce Love returned to Stanford after winning in 2017. LB Carson Wells led FBS with 2.7 tackles for loss per game last season.
OREGON: 12 straight home wins is the 6th longest active streak in FBS, having not lost at Autzen Stadium since Sept 2018 vs Stanford. Have not lost a non-conference home game since 2008 vs Boise State. Anthony Brown will be making his first start at QB with Oregon, but started all 28 games he played for Boston College from 2017-19. RB CJ Verdell needs 23 rush yds to pass Ricky Whittle for 8th on Oregon’s career rushing list.
OREGON STATE: First road game at a Big Ten school since 2018 season opener at Ohio State. Have averaged over 400 yards of total offense in each of the last 3 seasons, the first time in school history they’ve done that. Transfer Sam Noyer was named starting QB for this game after being 2nd team All-Pac-12 with Colorado last season.
STANFORD: 8-4 under David Shaw in games played on neutral fields (including bowl games). 3rd season opener on a neutral field since WWII (1992- Anaheim, CA, 2017- Sydney, Australia). Only Power 5 school to start 2021 season with 3 straight road/neutral gams and only school with 12 Power 5 teams on their schedule. Finished the 2020 season with a 4-game win streak, all 4 wins coming by 5 points or less. 287.3 pass YPG last season was their most since 1999.
UCLA: Won season opener vs Hawai’i 44-10 on Saturday. Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet ran for 106 yards and 3 rush TD on just 6 carries in his UCLA debut. Charbonnet is the 4th Pac-12 player since 1996 to have 100+ rush yds and 3 rush TD in their fist game with the team. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had 1 pass TD vs Hawai’i to tie him with Troy Aikman for 7th on the school’s all-time passing TD list with 41. The defense held Hawai’i to 26 yards rushing, their fewest allowed since allowing 23 at BYU in 2016. Looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 2017.
USC: 12-1 in non-conference home games since the start of the 2013 season and have won 13 straight season openers at home. 19 straight wins vs Mountain West Conference opponents. QB Kedon Slovis, in his career in the 4th quarter, has 14 pass TD and 1 INT. 319.3 pass YPG last season, just the 4th time in school history with 300+ pass YPG.
UTAH: 5-0 all-time vs Weber State (3-0 under Kyle Whittingham). 26-1 in regular season non-conference games since joining the Pac-12, with only loss coming in 2012 at Utah State Charlie Brewer named starting QB after transferring from Baylor. Brewer has 12 career 300-yard passing games, tied with Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Florida State’s McKenzie Milton for the most among active FBS players. The Utes have had 11 games with a 300-yard passer in last 10 seasons.
WASHINGTON: Have won 20 straight non-conference games at home with the last loss coming in 2010 vs then #8 Nebraska. Played all 4 games last season at home, the only FBS team to play only home games. 1 of 2 FBS teams last season that did not lose a fumble (San Jose State). LB Edefuan Ulofoshio has 10+ tackles in 5 of his last 7 games dating back to 2019.
WASHINGTON STATE: 18-3 at home since the start of the 2017 season and have won their last 8 home games vs non-conference opponents. RB Max Borghi is the only player listed on the watch list for both the Doak Walker (Top RB) and Biletnikoff (top receiver) awards.