In week one of the 2012 college football season, the Pac-12 conference had four teams matched up against Mountain West Conference schools. What was the outcome? It was a 2-2 draw. The Mountain West will take this result and be happy while the Pac-12 will probably just slough off the outcomes. Here's a quick glance at the four games.
Nevada Wolf Pack 31 - California Golden Bears 24
There was a jammed packed Memorial Stadium crowd of 63,186, who were on hand for not only the opening game of the season but also the grand reopening of the Berkeley stadium that had an extensive $321 million renovation done to the old venerable grounds in Strawberry Canyon. But the fans went away disappointed. Not because of the fancy rebuilt facility but in their Cal Bears who were favored by a couple touchdown. The Bears lost to the Wolf Pack who played like the favorites - California never had the lead. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo was a menace to the Bears, completing 25 of 32 passes for 230 yards and gaining another 97 yards on the ground.
Both teams are in a rebuilding mode but the Rams have a brand new coach and had lost the last two games to the Buffaloes - Colorado was a touchdown favorite. Well, it looks like new Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain is off to a good start. The game was back-and-forth and neither team seemed to have the upper hand … at least not for long. The Colorado State Rams added a couple field goals late to win. McElwain is the first Rams head coach to win in their debut against rival Colorado. The schools have been playing each other since 1893.
The #1 Trojans scored on the opening play from scrimmage and never looked back, easily beating the Warriors (see related articles). Quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Marqise Lee looked like a potential All-American, gaining nearly 300 all-purpose yards along with two touchdowns. New head coach Norm Chow's new quarterback Sean Schroeder, at times showed a pretty good passing game but without much running attack to help, Hawaii was never in the game.
Washington Huskies 21 - San Diego State Aztecs 12
The Huskies jumped out to an early lead and relied on their defense to keep the Aztecs in check. Yes, the same Washington defense that was lit-up for 67 points in last year's Alamo Bowl. But the Huskies defense is not the same. They caused three turnovers and held San Diego State's new quarterback Ryan Katz to only 128 yards passing; plus the Washington defense scored a touchdown.
For the week, the Pac-12 went 8-3 while the Mountain West was .500 at 5-5. Oregon State didn't play as their game was postponed (and possibly cancelled) because Nicholls State is in the southern end of Louisiana and Hurricane Isaac's heavy rain necessitated the university to close (source - Sports Illustrated).
So the final tally saw USC and Washington win for the Pac-12 with Nevada and Colorado State winning for the Mountain West. Overall, the Mountain West should be happy about the outcomes and therefore the Pac-12 should be concerned with the two losses plus an uninspiring win (Washington). The schedule will get a little bit tougher as the season progresses and much more will be known about the teams after their second game.
Sources - Mountain West Conference, Pac-12 Conference
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On! Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!