Pac-10: A quick look ahead

September, 22, 2008
9/22/08
11:42
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

A look at this week's Pac-10 slate.

No. 1 USC (2-0) at Oregon State (1-2, 0-1): Can any team in the beleaguered Pac-10 stop USC? Can any team come close? Oregon State gets the first crack at home on ESPN. Penn State bullied both Beavers lines, so it's hard to imagine the Trojans, after a week of rest, won't do the same.

No. 25 Fresno State (2-1) at UCLA (1-2): Fresno State coach Pat Hill cherishes every opportunity against BCS teams, but he particularly loves taking on the Pac-10. And California Pac-10 teams? Gosh, that's Christmas for him. And the way the Bruins have looked in their past two games -- combined score 10-90 -- this visit to the Rose Bowl has a big, red ribbon wrapped around it.

Colorado State (2-1) at California (2-1): Cal gets a chance for a little Pac-10 revenge on the Mountain West Conference, which presently leads the season series 5-zip. The Rams, now 2-1 after beating Houston, are no gimme.

Oregon (3-1, 1-0) at Washington State (1-3, 0-1): Welcome to "A Journey Through the QB Depth Chart." The Ducks might start No. 5 QB Darron Thomas, a true freshman who doffed his redshirt and was impressive in leading a fourth-quarter comeback that fell just short against Boise State. Or they might go with No. 2 QB Justin Roper, if his knee injury is better. Or someone in between. As for the Cougars, redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael, No. 3 on the depth chart, might get the call with starter Kevin Lopina nursing a bruised shoulder and No. 2 Gary Rogers lost for the season due to a fractured vertebra.

Stanford (2-2, 1-0) at Washington (0-3, 0-1): Stanford could crawl from the bottom third into the middle third of the Pac-10 with a win in Seattle, but to do it the Cardinal will have to leave footprints on the Washington career of their former coach, Tyrone Willingham. This contest, the first against an unranked foe for the Huskies, figures to be critical for Willingham's survival.

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