PAC-12 SOUTH OUTLOOK

Here's a closer look at the Pac-12 South Division after spring practice:

 

ARIZONA WILDCATS

2017 record: 7-6, 5-4 in Pac-12 (third place)

2018 opener: Sept. 1 vs. BYU

Faces Oregon: Oct. 27 in Tucson.

Key losses: RB Nick Wilson, CB Dane Kruikshank.

Key returners: QB Khalil Tate, LB Tony Fields II, LB Colin Schooler, DE Kylan Wilborn, RB J.J. Taylor, CB Lorenzo Burns, WR Shun Brown, WR Tony Ellison

Coach speak: "Everybody has seen Khalil's talent, it is amazing to me the guy has only started eight games. I think he's be the first one to tell you there is room for improvement. He's been dynamic in six or seven of those eight starts. He has huge potential, but there are some things we can do to help him," new ASU coach Kevin Sumlin on junior quarterback Khalil Tate.

 

ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

2017 record: 7-6, 6-3 in Pac-12 (second place)

2018 opener: September 1 vs. UT-San Antonio.

Faces Oregon: Nov. 17 in Eugene.

Key losses: DE JoJo Wicker, RB Demario Richard, RB Kalen Ballage, LB Christian Sam, LB D.J. Calhoun, OL Sam Jones.

Key returners: WR N'Keal Harry, CB Chase Lucas, QB Manny Wilkins, WR Kyle Williams.

Coach speak: "The biggest adjustment is the time. You have less time with these guys than you do in pro football, which is a good thing because they are student-athletes first. I wasn't in a bubble. I was more global because when you sit there on TV, you have the ability to watch a lot of football, not just watching one conference or one team. That enhanced my ability to understand what I was walking into," new ASU coach Herm Edwards on moving to college football after coaching in the NFL and working as a television analyst.

 

COLORADO BUFFALOES

2017 record: 5-7, 2-7 Pac-12 (sixth place)

2018 opener: Aug. 31 vs. Colorado State in Denver.

Faces Oregon: No regular-season meeting.

Key losses: RB Phillip Lindsay, WR Shay Fields, WR Bryce Bobo, WR Devin Ross, DB Isaiah Oliver.

Key returners: LB Rick Gamboa, QB Steven Montez, LB Drew Lewis, OL Tim Lynott, DB Evan Worthington.

Coach speak: "We will see how fall camp goes but if we feel like we have enough guys, we will rely on that. If we have one or two, we will do that. If we have a hot guy running it, I will run him as much as I can. That has worked for us in the past but we have done it by committee too," Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre on his plans to replace all-conference running back Phillip Lindsay.

 

UCLA

2017 record: 6-7, 4-5 in Pac-12 (fourth place)

2018 opener: Sept. 1 vs. Cincinnati.

Faces Oregon: Nov. 3 in Eugene.

Key losses: QB Josh Rosen, OT Kolten Miller, LB Kenny Young, C Scott Quessenberry, WR Jordan Lasley, WR Darren Andrews.

Key returners: RB Soso Jamabo, RB Bolu Olorunfunmi, WR Theo Howard, S Adarius Pickett.

Coach speak: "We are just trying to get better every day throughout the spring. You have nothing to compare it to because you don't play anybody so it is all relative," Chip Kelly on his expectations taking over UCLA.

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

2017 record: 11-3, 8-1 in Pac-12 (South champion)

2018 opener: Sept. 1 vs. UNLV

Faces Oregon: No regular-season meeting.

Key losses: QB Sam Darnold,RB Ronald Jones II, LB Uchenna Nwosu, DL Rasheem Green, Deontay Burnett.

Key returners: WR Tyler Vaughns, OG Chris Brown, LB Cameron Smith, LB John Houston Jr., DB Iman Marshall.

Coach speak: "You look at a guy like JT Daniels, who comes in to play, he has trained year-round with good coaches. In his case at Mater Dei, one of the better programs in the country, he has played against elite competition," Clay Helton on true freshman quarterback JT Daniels, who could be the replacement for Sam Darnold.

 

UTAH

2017 record: 7-6, 3-6 (fifth place)

2018 opener: Aug. 30 vs. Weber State.

Faces Oregon: Nov. 10 in Salt Lake City.

Key losses: OL Salesi Uhatafe, WR Darren Carrington, LB Kavika Luafatasaga, LB Sunia Tauteoli.

Key returners: QB Tyler Huntley, RB Zack Moss, PK Matt Gay, P Mitch Wishnowsky, DB Julian Blackmon,

Coach speak: "When Gary became available and expressed interest, it was an easy process and I didn't look any further than him. I didn't have a lot of thinking to do. I brought him on board and he has been a great addition," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on hiring ex-Oregon State coach Gary Anderson as associate head coach in charge of the defensive line.