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Five L.A. Football Storylines To Watch This Weekend

USC and UCLA both get to downgrade their degrees of difficulty this weekend with Pac-10 home stands. Here's what to watch for as USC hosts Arizona State at the Coliseum and UCLA meets Oregon State at the Rose Bowl.

EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 21:  Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins  scrambles out of the pocket against the Oregon Ducks on October 21 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 21: Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins scrambles out of the pocket against the Oregon Ducks on October 21 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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1. Even the Trojan secondary should be able to shut down Steven Threet, right?
Don't be fooled by his 300-yard, three-touchdown performance against Wazzu last week: While we celebrate the return of Steven Threet, late of Michigan, to the gridiron, it's more because we like making "Threet Level Midnight" jokes and less because he's any great revelation at football. Threet's put up his solid stat lines against unspectacular competition, and he's piled up 13 interceptions already this season. Look for that number to tick up again this Saturday.

2. Which back will break free for USC?
For all their on-field woes, Arizona State does boast the nation's No. 15 rushing defense. Look for tinkering with the ground game to happen on the fly, as Trojan coaches seek the piece that works.

3. Will Richard Brehaut's improvement against Arizona prove to be a blip or a trend?
UCLA's replacement QB saw a sharp drop in completion percentage but a marked increase in aerial yardage from Week 8 to Week 9. Bruins Nation would like to see his decision process speed up.

4. How will the middle-linebacking shuffle affect USC's defense cohesion?
The flip-flopping between Devon Kennard and Chris Galippo might not matter so much against an Arizona State-caliber team, but whoever wins out should get in some quality gelling reps this Saturday before facing tougher opponents -- like, for example, Arizona in Week 11.

5. How much do common opponents matter in this topsy-turvy season?
UCLA got waxed by Cal. Oregon State beat the Golden Bears by precisely the same score. Yet both teams played No. 15 Arizona close and hard. In Is there any reliable predictor for Saturday's game, aside from perhaps the Bruins' injury report?