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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Might the pass-happy Pac-10 become pass-unhappy in 2008?
Here are two interwoven issues that could restrain the typically spectacular passing numbers this fall:
And three teams enter the season with outstanding tandems at cornerback: Oregon, Oregon State and USC.
Those tandems account for six spots in our top-10 at the position.
Alterraun Verner, Jr., UCLA: Finished fourth on the Bruins with 75 tackles, he also had 15 pass breakups and four interceptions, returning one for a TD. A good student, he earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.
Walter Thurmond III, Jr., Oregon: He's broken 27 passes in 25 career starts over the past two season. Good tackler and Ducks' second-fastest player. Tallied 103 tackles -- eight for a loss -- with five interceptions and 18 pass breakups in 2007.
Cary Harris, Sr., USC: Starting for his third season, Harris recorded 48 tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception last year. Doesn't have elite speed -- and surgery this spring on both ankles may not help -- but he's a reliable player.
Keenan Lewis, Sr., Oregon State: A physical player who leads the Beavers with 34 career starts, he might end up a better NFL prospect than teammate Hughes. Led the Beavers with three interceptions in 2007. He's been Pac-10 First-Team All-Academic for three consecutive years.
Syd'Quan Thompson, Jr., California: He's started every game of his career. Had 78 tackles -- six for a loss -- with an interception and 10 passes defended in 2007. Fell a little short of high expectations after earning accolades as a true freshman.
Shareece Wright, Jr., USC: The Trojans' nickel back a year ago, Wright is an outstanding athlete who has a chance to break out in 2008. Had 29 tackles, 3.5 for losses, with four pass breakups last fall.
Wopamo Osaisai, Sr., Stanford: Who? Let's just say NFL scouts can pronounce the name of the Pac-10's 100-meters champion. Named the Cardinal's most improved player during spring practices, he started seven games last year and recorded 45 tackles with an interception in 2007.