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Pac-12 Games to Watch: Week 2

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NCAA Football: Southern California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 slate this week includes two conference games and a game against a ranked Power Five non-conference opponent. Many of the Pac-12 games this week will not kickoff until after the Utah Utes game against the Northern Illinois Huskies ends.

No. 25 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Colorado Buffaloes - FOX 1:30 p.m. MT

This one will start before the Utah game ends, but Utah fans should be able to catch the end of it. This game would be a huge win for Colorado and the Pac-12 if they can pull it off. This is a road rivalry game for Nebraska, who I think is wildly overrated. This game has some impact on Utah’s College Gameday hopes. As of now, Utah’s week five home game against the Washington State Cougars is one of only two ranked games that week. The other is Nebraska hosting the Ohio State Buckeyes. Now there is a lot of football between now and week five, (Utah has to travel to the USC Trojans and WSU has to play the Houston Cougars at NRG Stadium in Houston), but a Nebraska loss would certainly help Utah’s chances. Nebraska’s two opponents after Colorado before OSU are NIU and the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road.

Cal Golden Bears at No. 14 Washington Huskies - FS1 8:30 p.m. MT

The Huskies get a shot at revenge of one of the only two Pac-12 teams that defeated them last year. Cal’s offense does not look to have improved from last season, but their defense is again nasty. This will be a great game to see how good Washington’s new quarterback Jacob Eason is. Eason looked fantastic against Eastern Washington last week, but Cal could have the best secondary in the conference. He will be tested by the Golden Bears. Washington is a favorite (along with the Oregon Ducks) in the Pac-12 North and to repeat as conference champions. This will be a great look at Utah’s toughest opponent this year.

No. 23 Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans - ESPN 8:30 p.m. MT

The battle of backup quarterbacks. USC lost JT Daniels for the season in their week one win over the Fresno State Bulldogs. Stanford lost K.J. Costello on a dirty late hit against the Northwestern Wildcats last week. Kedon Slovis, a true freshman, will make his first career start for USC, while Stanford will feature junior Davis Mills in his first start. While Utah is the heavy favorite in the Pac-12 South, USC likely represents Utah’s biggest threat in the division. USC has as much talent as anyone, so they are always dangerous. A loss to Stanford would put them in a hole in conference standings and help Utah’s chances in the South.