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3 Pac-12 Games to Watch Tomorrow

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Southern California vs Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Utes (1-0) are on the road this week facing the Northern Illinois Huskies (0-1), so there is plenty of opportunity to take in some other Pac-12 games while also tuning into the Utah game. The first conference game of the year is this week. Also, two Pac-12 teams face marquee opponents in non-conference play.

UCLA Bruins at #6 Oklahoma Sooners - 11:00 a.m. MT - Fox

The Bruins struggled in week one, especially on offense, falling 26-17 at home to the Cincinnati Bearcats in Chip Kelly’s return to college football. The difficulty level gets ramped up considerably in this one. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray looked fantastic in his first career start against the Florida Atlantic Owls. This one is unlikely to remain close, but it is another marquee opponent for the Pac-12 in non-conference play (Pac-12 teams played the Auburn Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes in week one). As no one expects the Bruins to win, this is a chance for them to play looser and attempt to grow. True freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson could see his first career start for UCLA after coming in to relieve the injured Michigan Wolverines transfer Wilton Speight.

#17 USC Trojans at #10 Stanford Cardinal - 6:30 p.m. MT - Fox

The first Pac-12 conference game is the game of the week. This is one of only two games this week between ranked teams (the other is #3 Georgia Bulldogs at the #24 South Carolina Gamecocks). This is a game that Utah fans should keep an eye on. USC is Utah’s main competition in the Pac-12 South. A USC loss would be a big help to Utah’s Pac-12 South Championship aspirations. Utah also has to face Stanford on the road in week six and USC at home in week eight, so this will be a good representation of how good Stanford and USC are this year. The Trojans struggled against the run in week one against the UNLV Rebels, giving up over 300 yards rushing on more than 7.0 yards per carry. Now they get to face Stanford and Bryce Love, who will be looking to bounce back from his 18-carry, 29-yard performance in week one against the San Diego State Aztecs. The winner of this game will get a jump start on winning their division, the loser will have a hole to climb out of.

#15 Michigan State Spartans at Arizona State Sun Devils - 8:45 p.m. MT - ESPN

Michigan State struggled against the Utah State Aggies in week one, needing to score at the end of the game to secure the 38-31 win at home. Arizona State dominated the UTSA Roadrunners. This game will be a great barometer for both teams. Did Michigan State just overlook the Aggies? Is Arizona State going to be better under Herm Edwards than people thought in the preseason? We will begin to get some answers to those questions. This is a great chance for the Pac-12 to secure a marquee non-conference win after the Washington Huskies lost to Auburn in week one. If Arizona State wins, they will put the rest of the Pac-12 South on notice. This is a late game in the desert. It is tough to play in Arizona in September because of the heat. We could see some serious Pac-12 After Dark action, especially in the desert where things tend to get weird.