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Five L.A. Football Storylines To Watch This Weekend

UCLA is taking a much-needed breather this weekend, but they're not entirely out of our minds. Here's what to watch for as the Bruins prep for Oregon and the Trojans play host to Cal.

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans after the Stanford Cardinal missed a extra point attempt at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans after the Stanford Cardinal missed a extra point attempt at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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1. De-fense? The Bears are currently rolling with the nation's 4th-ranked pass efficiency defense, but that stat may be suspect thanks to their mostly-shaky competition. Conquest Chronicles sees the way to success lying with Matt Barkley:

One thing I see is that Cal is a little suspect against the pass, giving up an average of around 190 yards to the three teams I mentioned above. But with a solid linebacker unit that can drop into coverage Cal can also bring pressure that will not bode well in giving opposing QB's a lot of time to throw. It just depends on how you catch them.That is the key for 'SC...give Barkley time in the pocket and the receivers to run their routes and they should have some success.

2. Whither, throwin'? And here's something that shouldn't be suspect, given Cal's previous opponents: Despite Jeff Tedford's reputation as a quarterbacks guru, the Bears currently rank 82nd nationally in passing offense. If they can be enticed to open it up against the Trojans, a certain beleaguered secondary could get some useful reps in.

3. Which Cal shows up?
The team that put away a flailing UCLA squad in Berkeley last week, or the team that sustained two very different sorts of losses to Arizona and Nevada in September? Tedford's boys are still very much an unknown factor.

4. Looming Ducks. With two whole weeks to build this matchup, keep an eye on UCLA's quarterback situation in particular as they gear up and bear down for Oregon

5. Spoiler alert! Three of the four ranked teams in the Pac-10 are still ahead. USC can't affect the BCS standings directly this year, but they can still upset the seasons of Oregon State, Arizona, and Oregon if they get good and lucky.