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Pac-12 Conference

The Conference
of Champions

This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week One

Aug 31, 2022
Evan Jones



SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: In one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire college football season, #11 Oregon heads to Atlanta to take on #3 Georgia.  It is the third time in the last 10 years that a Pac-12 school have faced the reigning national champions.  USC kicked off the 2016 season with Alabama in Arlington, TX while Oregon knocked off 2013 champion Florida State in the first ever CFP semifinal game.

#7 Utah heads to The Swamp to take on Florida, becoming the first Pac-12 school to head to Gainesville since USC in 1982.  The last time the Utes faced an SEC team, they beat #4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

NEW FACES:  The Pac-12 has 4 new head coaches since the start of last season.  Dan Lanning comes to Oregon from defending national champion Georgia.  Lincoln Riley heads to USC after leading Oklahoma to 3 CFP appearances.  Washington’s Kalen DeBoer led Fresno State to 10 wins last year.  Jake Dickert opens his first full season at Washington State after leading the Cougars

NFL TOP 100: The Pac-12 had 9 alumni named in the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2022 countdown. Reigning back-to-back 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), #35 WR Keenan Allen (Chargers), #69 DE Cameron Jordan (Saints)

OREGON:  #40 QB Justin Herbert (Chargers), #66 DT DeForest Buckner (Colts),

USC:  #92 OT Tyron Smith (Cowboys), #97 DE Leonard Williams (Giants)

OREGON STATE:  #45 S Jordan Poyer (Bills)

WASHINGON:  #67 SS Budda Baker (Cardinals)




Thurs., Sept. 1 • 7:00 pm PT • P12N

ARIZONA STATE: Have not lost a season opener at home to a non-conference opponent since 1984.  RB Xazavian Valladay, a transfer from Wyoming, is the FBS active leader in career rushing yards with 3,274.  QB Emory Jones, a transfer from Florida, is one of 2 active FBS players with at least 2,500 pass yards and 700 rush yards last season.

NAU:  Have lost 10 straight to ASU since a tie in 1946, with last NAU win coming in 1938 .  Last meeting was in 2016 season opener, which ASU won 44-13 after Sun Devils scored 34 points in second half.  Head coach Chris Ball was an assistant at Arizona State from 2012-15 under Todd Graham.


TCU (0-0) at COLORADO (0-0)

Fri., Sept. 2 • 8:00 pm MT • ESPN

COLORADO: Have won their last 6 season openers, and scored 35+ points in each of their last 4 openers.  First time opening season against a Power 5 non-conference opponent since 1996 (Washington State).  One of four schools last year to finish in the Top 20 in the FBS in both Red Zone Offense and Red Zone Defense.  Brenden Lewis was the only Pac-12 QB to start every one of their team’s games last season. First ever meeting with TCU.

TCU: Have won their last 8 games against Pac-12 schools with last loss coming in 1999 to Arizona.  First game under head coach Sonny Dykes who led SMU from 2018-21 and California from 2013-16.  Safety Mark Perry transferred to TCU this season after leading Colorado with 3 INT and third on Buffs with 72 tackles.


BOWLING GREEN (0-0) at UCLA (0-0)

Sat., Sept. 3 • 11:30 am MT • P12N

UCLA: First of 8 home games this season, their first time with 8 home games since 1942.  Have not faced an opponent from the MAC since the 2009 EagleBank Bowl (Temple).  Won their last 3 games of last season, averaging 49.3 PPG and 518.7 YPG.  QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson 1 of 7 Pac-12 QBs in last 25 yards with 7500 pass yds and 1,000 rush yards in their career.  RB Zach Charbonnet led Pac-12 last season with 7 games with 100+ rush yards.

BOWLING GREEN: First ever meeting with UCLA and first MAC team to play at Rose Bowl in FBS era (1978).  QB Matt McDonald is the son of former USC All-American QB Paul McDonald.  WR Austin Osborne led the team with 64 receptions last season was at Washington from 2018-20 (HS teammate of McDonald).



Sat., Sept. 3 • 12:30 pm PT • CBS

ARIZONA:  4-0 all-time vs SDSU in season openers.  Looking to win season opener for first time since 2017.  Added transfer QB Jayden de Laura, the 2021 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.  Transfer WR Jacob Cowing had 1,354 receiving yards at UTEP last season, the 4th most among returning FBS players.  Freshman WR Tetairoa McMillan is the highest rated recruit in program history.

SAN DIEGO STATE: 1st game at new SnapDragon Stadium.  7-2 against Pac-12 teams since the start of the 2016 season including a 38-14 win in Tucson last year.  School record 12 wins last season.  QB Braxton Burmeister committed to Arizona out of high school and played at Oregon in 2017-18.


#11 OREGON (0-0) vs #3 GEORGIA (0-0)

in Atlanta. GA

Sat., Sept. 3 • 3:30 pm ET • ABC

OREGON: First game as head coach for Dan Lanning.  Looking to beat a Top 5 team in back-to-back seasons for first time in school history.  1 of 8 FBS teams with 5 returning starters on offensive line.  While no starting QB has been publicly announced, Auburn transfer Bo Nix has faced Georgia each of the last 3 seasons. First game against SEC team since losing to Nix and Auburn in 2019 opener.

GEORGIA: First game against a Pac-12 opponent since 2009 vs. Arizona State.Won only previous meeting vs. Oregon n 1977.  Defense allowed 10.2 PPG last season, the lowest in FBS since 2011 Alabama (8.2).  WR Coach Bryan McClendon had the same role at Oregon the last 2 seasons and was the Ducks’ interim head coach in the Alamo Bowl.


UC DAVIS (0-0) at CALIFORNIA (0-0)

Sat., Sept. 3 • 1:00 pm PT • P12 NOW/P12 BAY AREA

CALIFORNIA: 11-3 in non-conference gams under Justin Wilcox.  Won 4 of their final 6 games last season, allowing 14 points or less 4 times in that span.  DL Brett Johnson will miss this season after suffering a lower-body injury, the second straight year Johnson will miss due to injury.  LB Jackson Sirmon transferred from Washington to play for his father, Def Coord Peter Sirmon.

UC DAVIS: 0-10 all-time vs. Cal and first meeting since 2019 opener.  Preseason FCS All-American TE McCallan Castles has 7 rec TD over last 2 seasons, transferred from Cal following the 2019 season.


RICE (0-0) at #14 USC (0-0)

Sat., Sept. 3 • 3:00 pm ET • P12N

USC: 1st game under new head coach Lincoln Riley.  Riley is 23-2 in his career against teams from Texas.  Have won their last 14 season openers in the Coliseum since 1997.  Has never lost to a team currently in Conference USA.  Added 24 players through the transfer portal.  Oklahoma transfer QB Caleb Williams was only FBS freshman with 20+ pass TD and 5+ rush TD last season.  Pitt transfer WR Jordan Addison looks to become the first repeat winner of the the Biletnikoff Award

RICE: 0-2-1 all-time vs USC, with last meeting in 1971.  Have not beaten a ranked opponent since 1961.  Head Coach Mike Bloomgren in his 5th season at Rice was an assistant at Stanford from 2011-17.  Off Coordinator Marques Tuiasosopo was a USC assistant from 2014-15.  WR Luke McCaffrey is younger brother of Christian.


#7 UTAH (0-0) at FLORIDA (0-0)

Sat., Sept. 3 • 7:00 pm ET • ESPN

UTAH: #7 is their highest ever ranking in AP Preseason Poll.  27-3 in regular season non-conference games since joining the Pac-12.  First road game at an SEC team since 1984 at Tennessee.  RB Tavion Thomas 21 rush TD last season, most in Pac-12 since UW’s Miles Gaskin in 2017.  LB Mohamoud Diabate transferred from Florida after starting 17 games last 3 seasons.  Since the start of 2014 season, Utah is 23-0 when converting 50.0% or more of their 3rd downs.

FLORIDA: Have won 32 straight home openers, longest active streak in FBSWon only previous meeting in 1977.  First time hosting a Pac-12 school since September 1982 when the Gators beat #10 USC 17-9 in the season opener.  First game for head coach Billy Napier who was the offensive coordinator at Arizona State in 2017.


COLGATE (0-0) at STANFORD (0-0)

Sat., Sept. 3 • 5:30 pm PT • P12 NOW/P12 BAY AREA

STANFORD:  9-2 in home openers under David Shaw and 17-2 at home against non-conference opponents.  First game against a non-Power 5 school since Sept 2019 at #17 UCF.  QB Tanner McKee had 19 total TD last season (15 pass, 4 rush), the most ever by a Stanford freshman.  Return all 5 starting offensive lineman who have started a combined 101 career games. Safety Patrick Fields (Oklahoma) just the third grad transfer in program history.

COLGATE:  First ever game against a Pac-12 opponent. 4-38 against FBS opponents since 1980 with last win coming in Sept. 2003 at Buffalo.



Sat., Sept. 3 • 6:30 pm PT • P12N

WASHINGTON STATE:  Start of first full season with Jake Dickert as head coach.  Led the Pac-12 and was 5th in FBS with 29 turnovers forced.  Transfer QB Cameron Ward had 47 pass TD and 4,648 pass yards last year at Incarnate Word where he played for new WSU Off Coord Eric Morris.  WR Renard Bell returns after missing last season with a knee injury and has caught a pass in last 18 games he’s played.

IDAHO:  Have lost 9 straight to WSU since winning in Pullman in 2000.  Have lost 23 straight against Pac-12 teams since that 2000 win over the Cougars.  First game under new head coach Jason Eck.



Sat., Sept. 3 • 7:30 pm PT • ESPN

OREGON STATE:  6-0 at home last season, their first perfect season at home since 2000.  Coming off first bowl game since the 2013 season.  212.4 rush YPG last season, their first season with 200+ rush YPG since 1996.  Return 16 players who have started at least 1 game on defense including 5 defensive backs that have at least 12 career starts each.

BOISE STATE:  First game at Oregon State since a victory in September 2016.  Head coach Andy Avalos in his 2nd season at Boise State, was Oregon’s Def Coordinator from 2019-20.  Have been bowl eligible for 24 straight seasons, 3rd longest active streak in country.



Sat., Sept. 3 • 7:30 pm PT • FS1

WASHINGTON:  First game for new head coach Kalen DeBoer.  QB Michael Penix named starter after transferring from Indiana, where DeBoer was his offensive coordinator in 2019.  21-1 in non-conference home games in the Pac-12 era.  EDGE Zion Tupuola-Fetui has 8 sacks in 9 games over the last 2 seasons.  8 of their 12 games last season decided by 7 points or less.

KENT STATE:  First ever meeting with Washington.  Washington Hall of Fame coach Don James spent 4 seasons at Kent State (1971-74) before his 16-year tenure with the Huskies (1975-92)