The Stanford Cardinal and Arizona State Sun Devils open up conference play on Saturday evening with no shortage of storylines.
The Cardinal, who some view as a darkhorse candidate to win the national championship, haven't played up to their full potential through their first two games of the season. With Pac-12 play now in full swing, Stanford won't have the luxury of coming out sloppy and living to tell about it.
The Sun Devils are also 2-0, though they're coming off a highly controversial win against Wisconsin. Some felt Arizona State was gifted a win by the officials last weekend, and now it'll have a chance to prove it's for real. Armed with as much talent as almost anyone on the West Coast, some feel this is the year ASU finally breaks through.
Rankings and records: With both teams ranked in the latest polls, the showdown in Palo Alto is arguably the best game of the weekend. A win for No. 5 Stanford will only strengthen its resume once the BCS standings are released, while a road win for No. 23 ASU would likely propel the Sun Devils into the top 15.
Vegas: Stanford opened as a 6.5-point favorite, according to OddsShark. The over/under is set around 50 points despite both teams featuring a lot of defensive talent on their rosters.
Weather: It'll be a beautiful night for football at Stanford Stadium with temperatures expected to be in the high-60s at kickoff.
Three names to know
Taylor Kelly: The ASU quarterback has thrown for 652 yards and five touchdowns through two games this season. In 15 career starts, Kelly has 34 touchdowns passes and just 10 interceptions.
Kevin Hogan: Hogan has been no slouch under center for the Cardinal this season, throwing for 395 yards and five touchdowns while completing 62.2 percent of his pass attempts.
Marion Grice: It's tough to have a better start to the season than what Grice has done thus far with the Sun Devils. He's scored six total touchdowns and has torched defenses with 258 yards from scrimmage.
Two things at stake
If Stanford can make it through the season undefeated, there's a pretty good chance it'll play for the national championship. A loss this weekend would clearly derail those plans and would also put the Cardinal in an unfavorable hole to begin Pac-12 play. Given all the talent in the Pac-12 North this season, an 0-1 start would not be ideal.
A win for the Sun Devils would prove last weekend's controversial win over Wisconsin was no fluke. Arizona State is playing arguably the toughest early-season schedule of anyone in the country this year, and a 3-0 start would be a huge momentum booster for the program. A 1-0 start in the wide-open Pac-12 South would also be big for Todd Graham's squad.
How to witness
TV: Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Fox. Gus Johnson is in the booth alongside Charles Davis.
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM across the Bay Area. Sun Devil IMG Radio Network across central Arizona.