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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 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)
» UA football: 2015 schedule released
» Wildcats Show: UA needs more takeaways
» UA football: On Bondurant, Solomon, Foles and Briggs
» Wildcats gear up for Cal

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» View the complete 2015 Pac-12 football schedule
» Highlights of the Oregon Ducks' 2015 football schedule include USC, Arizona State matchups
» Oregon Ducks' 2015 college football schedule released

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» 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
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

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)
» Why the Huskies, and most of college football, buried the fullback
» Huskies get commitment from defensive end Jason Scrempos
» Pac-12 schedule release: Huskies to visit USC on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015
» Robert Upshaw expected to play 2014-15 season

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» WSU 2015-16 schedule released
» WSU vs. Oregon: Game notes
» Superlative WSU statistics
» Isiah Myers added to Biletnikoff Award watch list



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