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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: Washington vs. Boise State tops Saturday schedule

The Pac-12's Utah and USC were hardly overwhelming Thursday, but each team won as expected. A look at Saturday's games - plus one Sunday contest to complete the season-opening weekend for the conference.

Nicholls State at Oregon, 2 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1

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Oh, boy. Nicholls State, a Football Championship Subdivision team from Louisiana, lost 77-3 at Oregon State to conclude the 2012 season. And now the Colonels, coached by former BYU graduate assistant Charlie Stubbs, have to meet the more potent Ducks, who may not stop at 77. But I'll be conservative. Oregon 65, Nicholls State 7.

Eastern Washington at Oregon State, 4 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

In contrast to Nicholls State, Eastern Washington is a very good FCS program that's capable of sticking with Oregon State for a while. OSU coach Mike Riley needs a solid showing from quarterback Sean Mannion to prove he made the right choice. Oregon State 35, Eastern Washington 17.

Washington State at Auburn, 5 p.m. MDT, ESPNU

Based on their own ability, the Cougars face the Pac-12's toughest challenge this weekend. Auburn is rebuilding under new coach Gus Malzahn, who's an offensive guru like WSU's Mike Leach. This could be a decent game, if the Cougars' offensive line has improved, but winning in an SEC venue is asking a lot. Auburn 31, Washington State 21.

Boise State at Washington, 8 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1.

Utah's 30-26 victory over Utah State was worth watching, but this matchup should be best the of the weekend for Pac-12 viewers. Boise State is always intriguing and Washington wants to make a good impression in the renovated Husky Stadium. I rarely pick against Boise State, but I like the Huskies in this rematch of the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl. Washington 24, Boise State 21.

Nevada at UCLA, 8 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

If the Bruins are good enough to successfully defend their Pac-12 South title, they should be able to handle Nevada. The Wolf Pack beat Cal in a 2012 opener, but this is a tougher test for new coach Brian Polian. UCLA 35, Nevada 24.

Northwestern at California, 8:30 p.m. ESPN2

Northwestern has built a very solid program and Cal is just getting started with coach Sonny Dykes and a true freshman quarterback, Jared Goff. Northwestern 28, Cal 17.

Colorado vs. Colorado State, Denver, 4 p.m. MDT Sunday, CBS Sports Network

All of the talk in Colorado is about lackluster ticket sales for the rivalry game. It's the debut for Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, with the Buffaloes having a lot to prove after losing last year to a Colorado State team that didn't do much after that. Colorado 24, Colorado State 21.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Miller's good day
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra: UA football
» Greg Hansen's Video Notebook
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...Arizona football makes the most out of Spring practice

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU hockey tops Robert Morris to claim ACHA crown
» ASU baseball drops series against Tennessee
» Cancer fails to pin ASU's Eskam or derail his big plans for life
» Late errors doom ASU baseball in tough loss to Tennessee

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal women's tennis team stuns host Stanford, claims first Pac-12 title.
» Cal's Sonny Dykes gets advice from veteran coaches after 1-11 first season
» Cal football: Espitia hopes he's found home at linebacker
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Darian Hagan, former CU Buffs quarterback
» CU Buffs backup QB Jordan Gehrke impresses during spring drills
» Fleet freshman receivers shine in CU Buffs' spring game
» Spring games are important, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre says

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Edward Cheserek makes a triumphant debut at Hayward Field in the Oregon Relays
» UO women's 4x100 flies to No. 2 in school history at the Mt. SAC Relays
» Oregon Ducks' multi-dimensional Oshay Dunmore hopes reunion with Erik Chinander ends in a breakout spring

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: De Carolis statement on men's basketball
» Oregon State's tournament success caps a remarkably quick turnaround
» OSU gymnastics: Beavers headed to Penn State for NCAA regionals
» OSU wins seventh straight racquetball national title

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Cal women's tennis team stuns host Stanford, claims first Pac-12 title.
» Stanford's Olympic diving coach Rick Schavone retires
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» California avoids sweep, beats Huskies in baseball
» Jeff Lindquist shines but UW quarterback competition to continue
» Deontae Cooper, Lavon Coleman, Jeff Lindquist shine in UW spring game
» Videos: Deontae Cooper, Jonathan Smith after UW's spring game

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Hey, it's the Easter bunny. And he has links
» Sunday morning Pac-12 links
» Spokane Shock vs. Cleveland
» Shock lose on last play

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