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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)
» Wildcats: Who's gonna be the QB?
» UA football: QB Patterson decommits from Arizona
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Tucson's streetcar leads to soccer
» UA football: 3-star lineman commits to Cats

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football overview: Defensive backs
» Why is Sendek watching film of VCU, Louisville?
» ASU adds linebacker from Purdue
» Randall expected to compete for All-Pac-12 honors

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Internazionale Milan scores 3-2 shootout victory over Real Madrid
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Former Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour hired as Penn State AD

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Pac-12 living up to tradition as tops in quarterbacks
» Changes in college football a cause of excitement and concern
» Pac-12 media days: Colorado eager to turn things around
» Colorado's MacIntyre at Pac-12 media days: "We will be improved"

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks target Josh Sweat becomes ESPN's top-ranked football prospect, joining other future Ducks on the rise
» Oregon Ducks opponent preview: Washington State brings back its passing attack
» Report: Oregon Ducks' freshman Ray Kasongo denied admission: Oregon rundown
» Danny Ainge vs. Johnny Pesky and more in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Round of 32 Day 3 (vote)

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 sports digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh captures World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Stanford's Carol Zhao advances in Bank of the West tennis qualifying

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)
» Morning links: More love for Huskies' Shaq Thompson
» Huskies to open three fall-camp practices to the public
» Mike Anderson stars in summer-league game
» UW releases another teaser video

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Washington works on body, mind
» Wednesday WSU chat
» To paraphrase Frank, it was a very good day
» Catching up in time for fall camp

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