This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week 2
TOP 10 TROJANS: USC leads the Pac-12 in the AP Top 25 at #10. It's the Trojans first appearance in the Top 10 since the rankings following a win over Stanford in the 2017 Pac-12 Championship Game. UTAH checks in at #13 this week. Despite their loss to Florida, this matches their highest ever ranking in the second week of the season as they were also #13 in 2019 following their win over BYU. Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona all received votes.
CONFERENCE KICKOFF: #10 USC visits Stanford Saturday for the first Pac-12 conference game of the season. Former Cardinal great Andrew Luck will be recognized at the game for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Luck was 3-0 in his career against USC.
NFL ROSTERS: The NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 8th and the Pac-12 has 180 players on active rosters on NFL.com as of Monday. Washington leads the conference with 27 alums, while UCLA (24), Stanford (23), USC (20) and Oregon (18) round out the top 5.
Number of schools with 20+ alumni on NFL active rosters:
The NFL team with the most former Pac-12 players is the Arizona Cardinals with 11 active players from eight different schools, including three from Washington. The Houston Texans are next, with 10 active players from six different schools.
The Pac-12 has five alumni that were NFL All-Pro last season including the two-time defending MVP Aaron Rodgers from Cal.
AROUND THE PAC-12
SOUTHERN UTAH (1-0) at #13 UTAH (0-1))
Sat., Sept. 10 • 11:30 pm MT • P12N
UTAH: Has won 26 straight non-conference home games with their last loss coming to Boise State in Sept. 2006. RB Tavion Thomas has scored a rush TD in 10 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS and longest in the Pac-12 since 2017. Brant Kuithe had 9 rec for 105 yards and TD at Florida, the most receptions and receiving yards by an FBS TE in a game this season. QB Cameron Rising back-to-back games with 90+ rush yards (91 at Florida, 92 vs Ohio State).
SOUTHERN UTAH: Moved from the Big Sky to the WAC this season. 0-7 vs. Pac-12 schools the last 10 years. Lost 41-14 at Arizona State in 2021 season opener and 24-0 at Utah in 2016, their only previous meeting.
COLORADO (0-1) at AIR FORCE (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 1:30 pm MT • CBS
COLORADO: Have won 6 of their last games against Mountain West opponents. Karl Dorrell has never started 0-2 in his 7 seasons as a head coach. Held TCU to just 67 total yards in the first half of their opening week loss to the Horned Frogs. QB JT Shrout had career-high 157 pass yards off the bench vs. TCU. First non-conference road game since winning 33-28 at Nebraska in 2018.
AIR FORCE: First meeting between these schools in Colorado Springs since 1974. Won at Colorado in 2019, racking up 284 rushing yards. Ran for FBS-high 582 yards last week in 48-17 win over Northern Iowa. First home game vs. Pac-12 opponent since 2004 (California).
WASHINGTON STATE (1-0) at #19 WISCONSIN (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 2:30 pm CT • FOX
WASHINGTON STATE: First road game at a Big Ten school since winning at Rutgers 37-34 in September 2015. Defense had 7 sacks last week, their most since 2017 at Utah. RB Nakia Watson career-high 117 rush yards last week and now faces his former team, playing for Wisconsin in 2019 & 2020. In his WSU debut, QB Cameron Ward threw 3 pass TD, he had 3+ pass TD in 10 of 13 games last season at Incarnate Word. Looking for first win vs. ranked team since 2018 Alamo Bowl.
WISCONSIN: Won both previous meetings with last matchup coming in 2007, 42-21 in Madison. Have lost 5 of their last 7 against Pac-12 opponents. Beat Illinois State 38-0 last week, 15th time without allowing offensive TD in last 62 games. RB Braelon Allen 100+ rush yds in 9 of last 10 games.
UNLV (1-0) at CALIFORNIA (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 1:00 pm PT • P12 NOW/P12 BAY AREA
CALIFORNIA: Have won 11 of their last 12 non-conference home games. 4-game home win streak, their longest since a 5-game streak in 2015-16. RB Jayden Ott 104 rush yards last week, first player to rush for 100+ yards in his Cal debut since Shane Vereen in 2008. QB Jack Plummer 3 pass TD in his Cal debut, 5th career game with 3+ pass TD
UNLV: First ever meeting with Cal. Have lost 9 straight games to Pac-12 with their last win coming in 2008 at Arizona State. Coming off bye after beating Idaho State in Week Zero. Head coach Marcus Arroyo was Cal’s QB Coach/Pass Game Coord in 2011-12. TE Coach Nate Longshore was Cal’s starting QB from 2005-08.
PORTLAND STATE (0-1) at WASHINGTON (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 1:00 pm PT • P12 NOW/P12 WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON: Scored on each of their first 6 possessions (5 TD, 1 FG) in their 45-20 win over Kent State. QB Michael Penix Jr just 2nd UW QB and 6th Pac-12 QB in last 25 years to have 300+ pass yds and 4+ pass TD in their team debut. Safety Asa Turner 2 INT vs. Kent State, first UW DB with 2 INT in a game since 2019. Have won 22 of their last 23 non-conference home games.
PORTLAND STATE: Lost season opener at San Jose State, when the Spartans scored the GW TD with 1:11 left in 4th quarter. 0-2 all-time vs UW. 1-18 vs. Pac-12 schools with only win coming in 2015 at Washington State.
ALABAMA STATE (2-0) at UCLA (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 2:00 pm PT • P12 NETWORK
UCLA: 626 total yards in season opening win over Kent State, Bruins first game with 350+ pass yards and 250+ rush yards since 2015 at Oregon State. Scored 38 unanswered points after trailing 17-7. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson 4th career game with 2+ pass TD and 2+ rush TD. First ever game against an HBCU opponent. Have won their last 4 games, longest streak in Chip Kelly era. Scored 42+ points in 4 straight games, first time since 1998.
ALABAMA STATE: 0-11 against FBS teams since the 2006 season and first meeting with Pac-12 school. Head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. played 11 years in NFL after being a 2nd round pick in 1992 draft out of Alabama State. Alabama State band “The Mighty Marching Hornets” performed in the 2019 Rose Parade.
#10 USC (1-0) at STANFORD (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 4:30 pm PT • P12N
USC: Scored 66 points in their first game under Lincoln Riley, their most in a season opener since 2008. QB Caleb Williams 249 pass yards, 2 pass TD in USC debut and his 86.4 comp% was his career high when attempting 20+ passes (19-22). Williams also led USC in rushing with 68 yards on 6 carries. 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison had 2 receiving TD in his USC debut. Returned 3 interceptions for TD against Rice, tying their own Pac-12 record. Have won their last 4 road games at Stanford when the Cardinal are unranked.
STANFORD: QB Tanner McKee 308 pass yards in season-opening win over Colgate, 2nd career game with 300+ pass yards. RB E.J. Smith 118 rush yds last week, first career game with 100+ rush yards and included an 87-yard TD, the 5th longest run in Stanford history. David Bailey started at EDGE last week, first true freshman to start in season opener since 2007 (FB Owen Marecic). First time unranked when hosting USC since 2008. Have won 4 of their last 5 home games against the Trojans. With a win, David Shaw will tie USC legend Howard Jones for 5th most conference wins in Pac-12 history (65).
ARIZONA STATE (1-0) at #11 OKLAHOMA STATE (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 6:30 pm CT • ESPN2
ARIZONA STATE: Beat NAU 40-3 in season opener to improve to 8-2 in regular season non-conference games under Herm Edwards. Allowed 120 total yards, the fewest they’ve given up since 2009. QB Emory Jones 2 rush TD, second career game with multiple rush TD. First true road game at Big 12 school since 2017 (Texas Tech) and looking for first road win over B12 school since 2006 at Colorado.
OKLAHOMA STATE: Allowed 22 points in the 4th quarter of their 58-44 win over Central Michigan last week. QB Spencer Sanders became the 2nd player in Big 12 history with 300 pass yards, 3 pass TD, and 2 rush TD in a half (Patrick Mahomes). Have won 7 of last 8 vs. Pac-12 opponents.
EASTERN WASHINGTON (1-0) at OREGON (0-1)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 5:30 pm PT • P12 NETWORK
OREGON: 19-game home win streak, the 3rd longest active streak in FBS behind Clemson and Cincinnati. Have won 28 straight non-conference home games with last loss coming to Boise State in 2008. 140 rushing yards last week vs. Georgia, 4.5 yards per carry were most for a Georgia opponent since 2019 Kentucky (4.6). In 18 career home games at Auburn, QB Bo Nix was 14-4 with 23 pass TD and 2 INT.
EASTERN WASHINGTON: Beat UNLV 35-33 last season in their last matchup with an FBS school. 2-10 against Pac-12 schools since 2000 with wins over Oregon State (2013) and Washington State (2016) - LA Rams star WR Cooper Kupp had multiple receiving TD in each game.
OREGON STATE (1-0) at FRESNO STATE (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 7:30 pm PT • CBS Sports Net
OREGON STATE: Looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 2014 when they won their first 3 games. 19.5 yards per completion vs. Boise State, most by an FBS team in a game this season with at least 10 completions and OSU’s best since 2006. Forced 5 turnovers last week, tied for the most in Jonathan Smith era, and have forced 12 in the 5 games with Trent Bray as defensive coordinator. Looking for first non-conference road win since 2014 at Hawai’i.
FRESNO STATE: Beat Cal Poly 35-7 in season opener with Washington transfer QB Jake Haener throwing for 377 yards and 2 TD with Cal transfer Nikko Remigio hauling in 9 catches for 100 yards plus a rushing TD. 6-0 all-time in home games against Oregon State.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (1-0) at ARIZONA (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 • 8:00 pm PT • FS1
ARIZONA: Playing a Power 5 school in their home opener for the first time since 2000 (Ohio State). Allowed 62 pass yards last week to San Diego State, their fewest allowed since 2010. QB Jayden de Laura first Arizona QB with 4 pass TD in their Arizona debut since Anu Solomon in 2014. WR Jacob Cowing most receiving TD by player making their Power 5 debut since Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree in 2007. First game against an SEC opponent since traveling to LSU in 2006 and first home game vs. SEC school since LSU in 2003.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Beat Memphis 49-23 in season opener with QB WIll Rogers throwing for a career-high 450 yards with 5 TD. First road game at Pac-12 school since 2002 loss at Oregon (36-13). Mike Leach was 4-2 against Arizona while with Washington State including winning 2 of 3 in Tucson. WR Jamire Calvin played 3 seasons at Washington State under Leach.