SPORTING ALERT — No. 14 Stanford and No. 19 South Florida are the Associated Press – AP Top 25 ranked teams in action on the opening weekend for college football on Saturday, August 26.
At the Allianz Stadium located in Moore Park, Sydney, Australia, the 14th ranked Stanford opens its 2017 season against Rice. The game will be the first American football outing to be played at the Australian venue.
Live national broadcast will be on ESPN with Roy Philpott (play-by-play), Tom Ramsey (analyst) and Quint Kessenich (sideline reporter) making the call. Live streaming is also available on the WatchESPN app, starting at 10:00 pm ET.
The Cardinal from the Pac-12 Conference, head into this game trailing 3-2 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1957, but have won the last two head-to-head battles, including the 41-17 schooling of the Owls in 2016.
Rice has won both its encounters away from the Stanford stadium, but both teams will be meeting at a neutral site for the first time.
The last time the Owls beat the Cardinal was in 1963 when they secured a 23-13 victory.
In the meeting last November, Stanford tallied 534 total yards, including 373 rushing with Christian McCaffrey running for 204 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the win.
Meanwhile, the second game involving an AP top 25 team sees No. 19 South Florida traveling to face San José State at CEFCU Stadium – Home of the Spartans in San Jose, California.
Live coverage of this game will be on the CBS Sports Network, starting on 7:30 pm ET.
South Florida won five straight to finish last year and closed out the term with a an overtime 46-39 victory over South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.
The Bulls finished the season with an 11-2 overall record after winning eight of the last nine games and it has certainly lifted the spirits in the camp going into the new campaign.
“Everybody is happy college football is back and we’re the ones that are playing on TV,” senior running back D’Ernest Johnson said at USF’s weekly press conference.
“I’m very excited, I’ve been waiting on this opportunity since last year, after the bowl game.”
USF new head coach Charlie Strong is delighted about his team’s position heading into the start of the new season but warned there’s lots of work to do.
The Bulls finished last season tied for first in the American Athletic Conference East Division and were also ranked 19th in the final Associated Press poll.
“It’s great that we’re in a position we’re in, but still at the end of the day, nobody is going to roll that ball out there and just let us go up and down the field,” Strong said.
“Now, we have a target on our back and we’re going to get the best. You expect that and that’s really what you want.”
This will be USF’s first game in California since 1999.
For San Jose State, it’s a rebuilding year and new head coach Brent Brennan will be hoping to make a winning start in his first game as a major college football head coach.
Brennan, an assistant coach during the 2005 through 2010 seasons, returns to lead the Spartans after spending six seasons as a receivers coach at Oregon State.
In other games on the 2017 college football opening weekend, Oregon State will face Colorado State at CSU Stadium, Fort Collins, CO, starting at 2:30 pm, live on CBSSN, while Portland State travels to BYU to face the Cougars at the LaVell Edwards Stadium, live on ESPN and WatchESPN at 3:00 pm ET.
College Football Week 1 Schedule
Saturday, August 26
Oregon State at Colorado State 2:30 PM CBSSN at CSU Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
Portland State at BYU 3:00 PM ESPN and WatchESPN at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Hawai’i at Massachusetts 6:00 PM at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Amherst, MA
No. 19 South Florida at San José State 7:30 PM CBSSN at CEFCU Stadium, San Jose, CA
No. 14 Stanford vs Rice 10:00 PM ESPN and WatchESPN at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia