No. 4 Stanford was one of the few teams gifted with a Week 1 bye. San Jose State, on the other hand, kicked off the Ron Caragher era with a 24-0 trouncing of Sacramento State. The two teams meet Saturday night in Stanford, with television coverage starting at 11:00 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network.
Stanford has not had any trouble adjusting to post-Jim Harbaugh life, posting a 23-4 record and a Rose Bowl win in two years under David Shaw. The Cardinal are led by a strong linebacking corps that boasts six seniors, but have a new set of playmakers on offense who will be relied on to make some plays. Gone are Josh Nunes, Stepfan Taylor, Zach Ertz and Drew Terrell; in are Kevin Hogan, Anthony Wilkerson, Tyler Gaffney and Ty Montgomery.
San Jose State's new head coach Ron Caragher comes from a successful background at San Diego, and after the program's renaissance under Mike MacIntyre, there were concerns the program would fall when he left for Colorado. Caragher has appeared to stymie those worries for at least a week, as the Spartans easily handled Sacramento State in their opener.
Rankings and records: Stanford leads the all-time series, 51-14-1, and has won the last five contests. The Spartans last won the game in 2006 -- the year before Jim Harbaugh was hired.
Vegas: Stanford is a 26-point favorite, with the over/under at 48.5. OddsShark has more.
Weather: High of 88, a low of 60 and clear skies.
Three names to know
Shayne Skov. The starting inside linebacker had 80 tackles with eight for a loss and 2.5 sacks for the Cardinal last season.
Keith Smith. One of the top linebackers in the Mountain West Conference, Smith had an explosive opening game last week, recording 18 tackles. With the uncertainty at running back for Stanford, Smith could play a big role.
Jason Simpson. The Spartans' starting running back had 21 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown against Sacramento State. If San Jose State is going to stand a chance in Stanford, it will need Simpson to be able to break through past the core of a strong Stanford defense.
Two things at stake
Stanford has not lost an opener since 2007 and has not lost a game to San Jose State since the pre-Harbaugh era.
San Jose State has a new coach and new hope in a new conference. This would be a huge win for the Spartans, and one that would put them in the national spotlight.
How to witness
TV: 11 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network.
Online streaming: The game may be streamed on Pac-12 Live for subscribers.