In Kessler and Hogan, two decorated QBs off to very different starts

Here are 10 things to keep an eye on in the Pac-12 in Week 3.

  1. And we're off: Week 3 features the first conference game of the season when Stanford travels down the California coast to face USC. The last five meetings between the two schools has been decided by one possession and the last two meetings in LA have been spectacular theatre. Two years ago, Ed Orgeron (and Andrei Heidari) cured the Trojans of their Stanford problem. In 2011, it was the Cardinal winning the triple-overtime thriller.

  2. QB matchups: Cody Kessler has thrown 41 more touchdowns than interceptions since the start of last season -- tied for the best TD-to-INT differential in the country. Kevin Hogan has zero touchdowns and two interceptions in two games against USC. And across town, freshmen quarterbacks square off with BYU's Tanner Mangum and UCLA's Josh Rosen squaring off. If you're a BYU fan hoping for more late-game drama, this might not be the game. UCLA is 57-2 since 2007 when holding a lead at any point in the fourth quarter. That's tied for the third-best winning percentage in FBS over that stretch.

  3. QB question marks: Will they or won't they? Utah quarterback Travis Wilson (shoulder, non-throwing) and Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (finger) are nursing injuries this week. Both teams are heavy favorites in their games (Utah by 15.5 and Oregon by 45) so the question is whether it's prudent to sit them this week. Because next week, they'll face each other in Eugene in the league opener for both squads.

  4. More Mountain West: After dropping both games to Mountain West opponents in Week 1 (Washington lost at Boise State, Colorado last at Hawaii) the Pac-12 rebounded with four wins in Week 2 against its West Coast cousins. This week features six more matchups between the two leagues, including: Arizona State vs. New Mexico, Washington vs. Utah State, Colorado vs. Colorado State, Oregon State vs. San Jose State, Washington State vs. Wyoming and Utah at Fresno State.

  5. Points at a premium: Through two weeks, five Pac-12 programs rank among the top 20 in scoring defense. Among them: USC (6th, 7.5 PPG), Washington (7th, 8.0 ), UCLA (11th, 9.5), Cal (15th, 10.5) and Stanford (18th, 11.5). As noted above, USC and Stanford square off this week in the first league game of the season.

  6. Where'd all the sacks go? Through the first two weeks of the season, the Pac-12 has just 34 sacks. Through the first two weeks of last season there were 55. Ted Miller has a theory coming out later today, so so be sure to look for that. But with Scooby Wright III sidelined, I'm guessing a lot of the sacks went to Cleveland (Danny Shelton, Nate Orchard) and New Orleans (Hau'oli Kikaha).

  7. For the record: Last week, we tipped our cap to Nelson Spruce for becoming Colorado's all-time leading receiver. This week, Cal quarterback Jared Goff is inching toward five records on top of the 19 he already holds. Goff (8,111 passing yards, 677 completions, 59 touchdowns, 1,096 passing attempts, 7,984 total offense yards) is 15 passing yards, six completions and 252 yards of total offense shy of equaling marks held by Troy Taylor, while he is five touchdown passes and 105 passing attempts short of Kyle Boller.

  8. Revenge game (seriously, this time): The 2011 Holiday Bowl was supposed to be Cal's big revenge game against Texas for the 2004 Rose Bowl snubbing. That didn't work out so well with Texas winning 21-10. Ted Miller chronicled Cal coach Sonny Dykes' connection to that 2004 group. Maybe Cal will get its revenge this time around. Though they are 0-5 all-time against Texas.

  9. Back on track: Even the most glass-half-empty Oregon fan has to feel pretty good about this week's matchup with Georgia State. The Ducks haven't lost back-to-back games in the regular season since dropping three straight in 2007. And they are 28-1 in their last 29 home games against unranked opponents. (It was last year against Arizona, in case you were wondering).

  10. DYK: Utah running back Devontae Booker was once a Fresno State commit. He's rushed for a touchdown in four straight games dating back to last year. A fifth-straight game would be a career high. The Utes are 0-3 all-time on the road at Fresno State. But ESPN's FPI index picks Utah as having an 89 percent chance to win.