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Janie Harris | NCAA.com | August 22, 2016

3 things to know about the first game of the season

  Hawaii's Paul Harris is said to be a key player in college football's season opener.

College football season is almost here, and while most can’t wait to see their favorite teams play their own season openers, football fans shouldn’t forget to watch the first game of football season: California vs. Hawaii. Before starting to plan where to watch the college football season opener, here is a little bit about this matchup.

The game will take place in Sydney, Australia

College football heads out of the country for the first game of the season, and it will be the first American football action in Australia since 1999 and the first time for college football since 1987. They are calling it the College Football Sydney Cup, expecting a crowd of about 70,000.

Also, the two teams will be competing in the ANZ Stadium, which was originally built to house the 2000 Olympics, giving a nod to the Olympics that will be finishing up just before college football season starts. 

For those planning on watching the game at home, be mindful of the time difference between here and Sydney. On game day in Australia, the teams will be playing on Aug. 27 at noon. However, those living on the east coast of the U.S. will be watching on Aug. 26 at 10 p.m., which will be 7 p.m. for fans on the west coast and 4 p.m. in Hawaii.

The two teams have not met since 1994.

In 1994, Hawaii traveled to California’s campus for the first time and defeated the Golden Bears 21-7. However, it was not the first time the teams played one another. In 1993, Cal traveled to Hawaii and won 42-18. Cal also defeated Hawaii in 1968, but Hawaii won the first meeting between the two teams in 1935.

Right now, the record is split, so who will win the game and lead historically?

Cal may have the advantage

Hawaii is coming off a 3-10 season and went winless in the Mountain West last year. However, changes have been made within the coaching staff and with talent like Paul Harris, who rushed for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns last year, they may be able to keep up with Cal. 

Cal, however, has a number of solid players and is coming off an 8-5 season. But, most of their losses come from games they traveled to, possibly giving Hawaii an advantage of being used to travel.

Still, 2016 is not 2015, and with the start of a new season, anything can happen when it comes to who will win and who will lose. 

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