The second week of the Pac-12 football season left most fans with more questions than answers.
Utah and Arizona State players and staff tested positive for COVID-19, which forced two more cancellations just a day prior to kickoff. Their respective opponents, UCLA and California, were rescheduled to play on Sunday in what capped off a strange, albeit entertaining, second week of West Coast football.
With such a bizarre beginning of the season, it's impossible to predict what week three holds in store. Here's a look at this Saturday's slate.
Colorado (2-0) @ Arizona State (0-1)
With multiple players and staff, including head coach Herm Edwards, testing positive for COVID-19 before Arizona State's game last week, the Colorado @ Arizona State game has already been canceled. There is no word yet on if Colorado will face a different opponent in place of the Sun Devils.
California (0-1) @ Oregon State (0-2) (12:30 p.m.)
With the loss to UCLA, it's hard to get a gauge on the California Golden Bears. They looked poor, but considering it was their first game of the season against an unexpected opponent on the road at 9 a.m., they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Oregon State, though 0-2, also deserves the benefit of the doubt after a controversial loss Saturday night — when they were stopped short of a go-ahead touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, the Beavers' Jermar Jefferson looked like he had enough yards for a first down on the Huskies' five yard-line, but the officials made a questionable spot of the ball that forced an Oregon State turnover. Washington went on to win 27-21.
It's possible that Oregon State would have beaten the Huskies had the ball been properly spotted. Still, a loss is a loss, and the Pac-12 stood by the referee's decision.
As neither team can afford another loss if they hope to compete down the stretch, expect bounceback performances on each side, making for an entertaining and hard-fought contest.
Arizona (0-1) @ Washington (1-0) (5 p.m.)
Coming in as huge underdogs at home against USC, Arizona came up just short against the Trojans. Despite losing, the Wildcats gained momentum in their season opener by forcing USC down to the wire.
Quarterback Grant Gunnell was impressive with 286 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was a 75-yard bomb to Tayvian Cunningham.
Washington, meanwhile, established their identity under first-year head coach Jimmy Lake. Running the ball on nearly 70% of their offensive snaps and dominating the time of possession, it's clear the Huskies’ strategy will be to break down teams with the run game and a staunch defense.
This cross-conference matchup will be a test of both sides' defenses and ball control.
USC (2-0) @ Utah (0-0) (7:30 p.m.)
Although the USC Trojans are undefeated, there is little reason to be confident in head coach Clay Helton's program. Both wins have come at the heels of last-minute comebacks.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis and the offense seemed off for most of the game against Arizona, and they were unable to capitalize on multiple opportunities throughout the game, particularly in the second half. In their first five possessions to begin the second half, they punted, were held to a field goal, missed a field goal, turned it over on downs and then punted again.
They came through when it mattered though, scoring consecutively in the final minutes, the second being a go-ahead touchdown with 25 seconds remaining.
Utah has yet to play a game this season, but it's hard to imagine USC as massive favorites against the defending Pac-12 South champions.
Kyle Whittingham and his squad are still struggling with COVID-19, so it's unclear if the game will happen.
Even with the rough start to Utah's season added to the fact they are replacing a bulk of their defense, their quarterback and their star running back, don't count the Utes out in their debut.
Washington State (1-1) @ Stanford (0-2) (8 p.m.)
The late game Saturday night features two Pac-12 North teams with opposite trajectories.
On one hand, Washington State, under rookie coach Nick Rolovich and freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura, are an exciting team to watch that plays with undeniable electricity. The Cougars are already surpassing expectations for this season, even with last week's loss to Oregon.
They held momentum for most of the first half and were leading at halftime, but they aren't yet able to finish off a team with the caliber of Oregon.
Still, Rolovich has found something in de Laura. The Hawaii native threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, 252 of which were split between receivers Renard Bell and Travell Harris.
On the other side, the Stanford Cardinal are reeling after back-to-back losses.
Even with the return of starting quarterback Davis Mills, Stanford was outplayed all game last week against Colorado.
The Cardinal defense has been exploited on all levels, struggling to defend read option plays, then getting beat deep on play action.
With his back against the wall, head coach David Shaw desperately needs a win.