Can't wait to see these things this fall

Updated: May 15, 2006, 2:00 PM ET
By Ivan Maisel and Pat Forde |

Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In the Pac-10
Ivan Maisel
Pat Forde
1. Who plays quarterback at USC? Can John David Booty recover from back surgery? Will Mark Sanchez recover from being charged for sexual assault? Who plays tailback? Will the Trojans have to forfeit their Bush-el of victories from last year? Will this defense improve from last year? In total, has this dynasty peaked?

2. Who plays quarterback at Arizona State, or more to the point, how many QBs play? How will coach Dirk Koetter deal with having two talented, proven guys? Can senior Sam Keller and redshirt sophomore Rudy Carpenter coexist? Will Carpenter sit? And what of Koetter? Can he begin to close the gap between his team and USC? Can anyone on defense slow down the opposition?

3. At the end of coach Mike Stoops' second season, Arizona began to show signs of growth. Freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama revitalized the offense last season. The Wildcats should begin to climb toward Pac-10 respectability. But how will this young team respond to a brutal early schedule (BYU, at LSU, and USC in the first four weeks)? Can their self-confidence survive?

1. Not much has gone right at USC since about the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl. Does the slide stop when the season starts, or is the Trojans' sublime run done? It will be impossible to continue at the same level of dominance; the question is how far USC slips from that spot. Given the way Pete Carroll has recruited, this should still be a top-10 program.

2. Sam Keller or Rudy Carpenter? Who plays quarterback at Arizona State? Both have looked great, but only one can take snaps at a time. And neither can answer the chronic question in Tempe: Who plays defense, and how well?

Willie Tuitama3. Is it breakthrough time for Mike Stoops at Arizona? He took over a program in disarray after John Mackovic and has slowly improved the product. Now with talented young quarterback Willie Tuitama and a growing nucleus around him, this might be time for the Wildcats to jump back up into the middle of the Pac-10 pack -- or higher.

Ivan Maisel | email

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