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Deion Sanders’ 2nd game at Colorado highlights Week 2 for the undefeated Pac-12

Sep 7, 2023, 10:58 AM | Updated: 11:55 am

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college...

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEK

Nebraska at Colorado, Saturday. After Coach Prime’s spectacular debut for the Buffaloes, all eyes will be on whether there be a repeat this week. Coach Deion Sanders’ Colorado team hosts former Big 12 rival Nebraska and one of the other high-profile first-year coaches in Matt Rhule. The Buffs were the surprise team in Week 1, getting a school-record 510 yards passing from Shedeur Sanders, with four receivers topping the 100-yard mark in a 48-45 win over last year’s title-game finalist TCU. The star of the game was two-way player Travis Hunter, who had 11 catches for 119 yards on offense and an interception near the goal line on defense while playing 129 snaps. Rhule’s debut didn’t go nearly as well as the Cornhuskers lost 13-10 to Minnesota and fell to 2-14 in one-score games since the start of the 2021 season.

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

No. 13 Oregon at Texas Tech, Saturday. The Ducks weren’t exactly tested in the season opener when they beat FCS-level Portland State 81-7. Bo Nix threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns before heading for the bench early in the third quarter as the Ducks had their highest-scoring game in the modern era. The task gets much tougher this week with a trip to Big 12-foe Texas Tech. The Red Raiders should have a level of desperation after losing their opener 35-33 in double OT at Wyoming. QB Tyler Shough, who transferred from Oregon two years ago, should challenge the Ducks’ defense. He threw for 338 yards and three TDs last week.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

The Pac-12 is the only undefeated conference, with every team winning the opener and USC starting 2-0. This is the first time since 1932 that every team in the conference won the season opener, according to ESPN. … The Pac-12 has seven games this week against teams from the other power conferences, just the fifth time that has happened for a conference since 2013. … The Pac-12 leads all conferences in scoring (46.5 points per game), total yards (513.2 per game), and yards per play (7.55). … Seven Pac-12 QBs threw at least three TD passes last week. The last time that happened in the conference was Week 4 of the 2019 season.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Dante Moore, QB, UCLA. Chip Kelly’s first five-star recruit at UCLA got off to a fast start in his college career. Moore came off the bench to lead the Bruins to four scores on six drives last week against Coastal Carolina. He went 7 for 12 for 143 yards, two TDs and one interception in the game. That should earn him even more playing time — and a possible starting role — when the Bruins visit San Diego State on Saturday.

UPSET WATCH

Washington State vs. No. 19 Wisconsin. The Cougars shocked the Badgers 17-14 on the road last year and will look for a repeat in front of the home crowd on Saturday. Washington State, which is seeking a long-term conference home after 10 of the 12 Pac-12 schools committed to leave next season, got off to a good start this season under coach Jake Dickert with a 50-24 win over Colorado State. QB Cam Ward threw for 451 yards and three TDs and ran for another score. Wisconsin won its first game under coach Luke Fickell, securing a 38-17 victory over Buffalo behind 141 yards rushing from Braelon Allen, but should be in for a much tougher test this week. The Badgers are 6 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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