Roundup: Utah and Arizona State get to 1-0
Good start to the real opening weekend of college football for the Pac-12 with Utah and Arizona State coming out victorious in their Thursday night affairs. After watching the Utes defeat North Dakota 37-16, Gordon Monson believes that Utah’s offense showed promise despite some hiccups. That kid Tyler Huntley can run, and Darren Carrington fits right in with his new squad.
Doug Haller opines that Arizona State was underwhelming in its 37-31 win over New Mexico State. The Sun Devils were up 24 in the fourth quarter before the Aggies roared back. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, you have to check out New Mexico State receiver Jaleel Scott’s one-handed touchdown catch. Early candidate for catch of the year (where you at, OBJ?).
Two games on the Pac-12 docket Friday night, beginning with the defending Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies battling Rutgers in New Jersey (5 p.m. PT, FOX Sports 1). Here’s a Washington-Rutgers game preview, courtesy of Pac-12 Networks.
Colorado, the other Pac-12 Football Championship Game participant from 2016, will be kicking off against Colorado State at the same time as the Dawgs (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks). Check out Brian Howell’s Colorado-Colorado State scouting report. Also, check out Howell’s piece on how important the season opener is for Colorado. This is a heck of a stat from the link: “In their history, the Buffs have won the opener 78 times, and have gone on to a have a winning season in 78.2 percent of those campaigns. After the 44 openers they’ve lost, they’ve finished with a losing record 56.8 percent of the time.” Ton of hype for this game in Colorado, as ticket sales have been through the roof for both fan bases.
As UCLA gets ready to try to serve a cold plate of revenge to Texas A&M on Sunday for last year’s season-opening OT loss (4:30 p.m. PT, FOX), Brian Costello of The New York Post wonders if Josh Rosen would be a better fit for the New York Jets than Sam Darnold. The Jets are projected to be pretty, pretty bad this year, and Rosen is expected to be a high pick in 2018.
The Rosen-Darnold conversation isn’t confined to The New York Post, as Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports believes that the Josh Rosen-Sam Darnold battle for Los Angeles is being overlooked. USC, the 2017 Pac-12 favorites, opens up against Western Michigan (2:15 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
The Golden Bears have the dreaded early start on the East Coast as they open 2017 against North Carolina Saturday morning (9:20 a.m. PT, ACC Network/Watch ESPN). Jeff Faraudo gives us five things to know about Cal’s matchup with North Carolina. Welcome to the Justin Wilcox-Ross Bowers era, y’all.
Oregon State will try to get back to .500 with its 11 a.m. PT kickoff on Pac-12 Networks against Portland State, and head coach Gary Andersen is eager for his team play another game, writes Kevin Hampton of the Corvallis Gazette-Times. I’d be eager too if my team lost by 31 in the season opener.
Andrew Greif features Oregon football quarterback Justin Herbert in advance of the Ducks’ 2017 opener against Southern Utah (5:15 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). It’s time for the Ducks to #DoSomething on the field.
#Pac12AfterDark begins Saturday night with Washington State taking on Montana State (7:30 p.m. PT, FOX Sports 1), and Theo Lawson discusses the possibility of the 2017 season being the year of the running back for the Cougars. You might think it’s all about the Air Raid in the Palouse, but the running backs accounted for 2,676 yards from the line of scrimmage and 29 touchdowns last year, and all the key guys in the Cougar backfield – Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks, James Williams and Keith Harrington – hath returned.
Saturday night’s action ends in Tucson, with the Wildcats hosting Northern Arizona (8 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). Writing for the Arizona Daily Star, PJ Brown notes that Kate Scott is making Pac-12 play-by-play history by being on the call for the Arizona-Northern Arizona game.
No football game for the Card, so listen to former Stanford women’s basketball star Candice Wiggins’ appearance on the Eurostep Podcast, hosted by former Stanford men’s basketball player Anthony Goods. If you wanted an explanation for Wiggins’ comments about her time in the WNBA (go to 43:00 for the start of the discussion), this is the place to hear it.