No. 10 USC at Stanford Kicks off Pac-12 football Season
Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 10 Southern California at Stanford, Saturday. The first game of the Pac-12 season should be a good one. The Trojans kicked off the Lincoln Riley era with a 66-11 rout over Rice behind Caleb Williams' 249 yards and two TDs passing. The Cardinal are not the Pac-12 powerhouse they once were, but are physical and smart. Stanford opened the season with a 41-10 win over FCS opponent Colgate to snap a seven-game losing streak. Keep an eye on USC's secondary; the Trojans tied a Pac-12 record by returning three interceptions for TDs against the Owls. Stanford QB Tanner McKee threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns with an interception against Colgate.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Arizona State at No. 11 Oklahoma State. The Sun Devils kicked off their fifth season under Herm Edwards with an easy 40-3 win over FCS opponent Northern Arizona. The road gets a whole lot tougher with a trip to Stillwater. Oklahoma State had a tougher-than-expected opener against Central Michigan, needing a career-high 406 yards passing and six total touchdowns from Spencer Sanders to win 58-44. The Cowboys have won nine straight home games, one short of the school record. Arizona State QB Emory Jones and RB Xazavian Halladay had solid opening games after transferring and will need to be good again for the Sun Devils to have a chance.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Utah has won 26 straight nonconference home games heading into Saturday's game against Southern Utah. ... Colorado is playing at Air Force for the first time since 1974. The Falcons ran for 582 yards in their opener against in a 48-17 win over Northern Iowa. ... Oregon, coming off a lopsided loss to No. 2 Georgia, has won 19 straight home games heading into Saturday's matchup against Eastern Washington. ... Washington St. WR Renard Bell has caught a TD pass from seven different QBs.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jacob Cowing, Arizona. The UTEP transfer had quite a debut for the Wildcats against San Diego State. Cowing became the first Power Five to have three TDs receiving in his debut since Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree in 2007. His 152 yards receiving were most by an Arizona receiver since 2015.
Oregon State at Fresno State. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 35-7 win over Cal Poly and are slight favorites over the Beavers, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Oregon State ended an eight-year bowl drought last season and opened 2022 with a 34-17 win over Boise State. The Beavers' best chance at the road win will be to slow the Bullogs; they led the Mountain West Cofnerence with 35.7 points per game last season.