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LINCOLN — The defensive side of the ball has more proven, vocal leaders than the offense. The line is stacked, the corners are among the best in the conference, the linebackers are trash talkers, and the safeties are young, but fierce and talented.

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For the second consecutive year, Texas A&M’s football team will kick off its season on a Thursday night — and Texas A&M Transportation Institute officials said Wednesday they view Aug. 29’s combination of a full A&M class day and a football game as “two days in one.”

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1. Utah: The Utes probably have the league’s top defensive line, eight returning starters on offense and two difference makers — QB Tyler Huntley and receiver/return man Britain Covey — and, in my opinion, the top coaching staff in the league.

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Becoming a head coach in Pac-12 football has rarely been a refuge for the Young Guns, although, ironically, the man who has coached more victories in the league than anyone else, UCLA’s Terry Donahue, was hired by the Bruins at age 32.

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Last year’s three Pac-12 powers — Utah, Washington and WSU — do not play a single Power 5 conference opponent this season. The league plays a combined total of 10 games against Power 5 foes. That’s absurd. No wonder tickets are often slow to move in Pac-12 cities.

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Colorado’s first-year coach Mel Tucker delivered the most bold quote among his Pac-12 peers during the offseason.

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1. Utah at BYU, Aug. 29, 8:15 p.m., Tucson time, ESPN. It doesn’t get the attention of the Apple Cup, Civil War, Territorial Cup or Big Game, but the Utes and Cougars have a rivalry that makes the term “bitter” seem mild.

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1. He needs to gain 1,698 yards to pass Ka’Deem Carey and become Arizona’s career rushing leader. Taylor has 2,542 yards; Carey had 4,239. If Taylor remains healthy for two seasons, he should get more than 1,698 yards. Try to get a grasp on that possibility.

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1. It has about 60 million subscribers — about half of ESPN’s reach — and is perceived as the home of the military academy football teams. Army will play eight games on the CBS Sports Network, Navy six games and Air Force five.

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Wyoming coach Craig Bohl discusses moving into game preparation for the season opener against Missouri, the plan for the rest of the week, quarterback Sean Chambers, injuries and more following the Cowboys' practice Wednesday in Laramie.

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