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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)
» Future Cat Roth sets HS steeplechase record
» UA football: Camp schedule includes shorter Fort Huachuca stay
» Video collection: UA hoops incoming freshmen highlights
» Wildcats: Pac-12 Media Days, Day 2

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Graham's coaching jobs have shaped him
» ASU All Access: Who stood out at workouts
» De'Marieya Nelson to get a look at Devil-backer
» Graham: Great programs reload, not rebuild

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Atletico Madrid not at full strength against San Jose Earthquakes
» Coach Sonny Dykes promises Cal Bears will be competitive
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott disputes remarks by Big 12's Bob Bowlsby
» DirecTV still saying no to Pac-12 Network

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Pac-12 media days: Colorado eager to turn things around
» Colorado's MacIntyre at Pac-12 media days: "We will be improved"
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: league "well positioned" for playoffs
» CU Buffs picked 6th in Pac-12 football media poll; Oregon the favorite

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Late hits on Ducks' Marcus Mariota; what Oregon Ducks can expect against Michigan State: The Oregonian sports top 5
» Team USA's sprinters dominate Friday at the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships
» Leaders after Round of 64 in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Bracket Challenge
» Oregon signee Ariana Washington helps United States 4X100 relay team win heat: IAAF World Junior Championships

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local digest: Atletico Madrid not at full strength against San Jose Earthquakes
» Stanford's Evan Crower emerges as Kevin Hogan's backup
» Stanford's David Shaw open to San Jose State game at Levi's Stadium
» Pac 12 football: Stanford reacts to being picked second

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)
» Chris Petersen eager to bring some trick-playin', Goliath-slayin' fun to the Huskies
» Former Lincoln High star Alex Montgomery helps New York win
» Morning links: Chris Petersen 'nailed it' in move to Washington
» Huskies QB Cyler Miles suspended for Hawaii opener

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» WSU gets a kicker, announces fall practice dates
» Flashback: Stanford
» No shirt, no helmet, no problem
» Halliday has a chance to be special



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