To get your Friday started off right, here is a bit of trivia heading into Saturday’s games:
-- Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart has a very loose tie to Nebraska. He served as Tommie Frazier’s backup quarterback at Bradenton Manatee High School in Florida. Taggart hasn’t spoken to Frazier about Saturday’s game, but he has heard from Shevin Wiggins, another high school teammate who also played for the Cornhuskers.
“He sent me a text with a picture of (Memorial Stadium) and asked me if I was ready for ‘The Sea of Red,’” Taggart said earlier this week at his weekly press conference. “He was kind of messing with me about that, saying he didn’t know if we were ready. I had to remind him who I was, and that I don’t bow down to anyone, or any program.”
Taggart makes his head-coaching debut in Lincoln.
-- Colorado State is trying to beat Colorado in consecutive games for the first time since 1999-2000, when the Rams won the first two Mountain West titles. Even though both teams ended the season 3-9, the 23-17 win last year in the intense rivalry was the highlight of the season. This year, the Rams start true freshman Pete Thomas at quarterback, one of a handful of true freshman QBs expected to see playing time this weekend.
“The fact Pete is right out of high school, that’s going to be a challenge for him, but he’s a special young man and we expect him to go out and play well,” Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild said on the Mountain West conference call.
-- Much has been made about the way non-AQ teams play against those from BCS automatic qualifying conferences. Going into its game against Oregon State, TCU is 13-3 in its last 16 games against teams from AQ leagues. Coach Gary Patterson is 3-0 against teams from the Pac-10 as head coach at TCU.
-- New Mexico coach Mike Locksley goes into the season hoping to improve on his 1-11 debut, which firmly placed the Lobos among the worst teams in the country. The opener is going to be exceedingly difficult -- at Oregon. The Lobos are 2-21 on the road against nationally ranked opponents. They are still a young team, with 31 underclassmen on the 55-player depth chart.
Sophomore B.R. Holbrook gets the start. He played some last season, going 19-of-34 for 170 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
-- Speaking of youth, only four of the projected 22 starters for SMU are seniors as the Mustangs open the season against Texas Tech.
-- Miami (Ohio) owns the edge in its all-time series with Florida. The RedHawks won the only previous meeting, 16-7 in the 1973 Tangerine Bowl. Then coach Bill Mallory is headed to Gainesville as a special guest of coach Michael Haywood.
-- After 13 straight years of having more road games than home games, Fresno State has seven games at home this season. The Bulldogs have won nine of their 13 season openers under coach Pat Hill, including five straight. They are perfect in season home openers (6-0). The last time the Dogs lost a season opening game was in 2003 at Tennessee. Cincinnati comes to town Saturday.