The non-conference phase early in the Pac-12 season concludes with games against Big Ten and SEC opponents as well as a few from lesser conferences.  Among the storylines to follow are these.

Army strong, meet Stanford stronger:  The easiest game on Stanford’s schedule awaits in West Point, where Army’s rushing attack should run straight into the teeth of the Stanford front seven.  Its defense feasts on one-dimensional or traditional offenses, so something close to a shutout is a real possibility.  Never punting in its season opener last week, the No. 5 team in the nation will expect to cruise without reaching too deep into the playbook.  In many ways, Stanford and Army have a similar approach to the game.  Stanford simply has the superior athletes to execute it better.  Stanford at Army, 9 AM, CBS

Have points, will travel:  Having exploded for eight touchdowns in their season opener, UCLA prepares for an offensive shootout at Nebraska.  They won the first encounter with this Big Ten opponent at home last year in a tight, entertaining contest, rolling up over 650 yards.  While everyone expects Brett Hundley and Nebraska counterpart Taylor Martinez to litter the stat sheet, these underrated defenses could prove the difference by forcing a key turnover or two.  UCLA did not travel especially well last year, demolished by a mediocre Cal team among other setbacks.  UCLA at Nebraska, 9 AM, ABC

The dish best served cold:  Among the most humiliating moments of a humiliating season was the 55-point drubbing that Colorado sustained at the hands of non-AQ opponent Fresno State.  Of course, this MWC squad played themselves into a bowl game, while Colorado narrowly avoided a winless season.  Now the Buffs are undefeated at 2-0 and looking to start conference play halfway to bowl eligibility already.  Revenge against the Bulldogs would prove more than either of their two previous wins that they have turned a new leaf.   Fresno State at Colorado, 11 AM, no TV

Remember me? USC coach Lane Kiffin sometimes appears to forget the presence of wide receiver superstar Marqise Lee on his team. He deployed Lee for only seven receptions in the Week 2 disaster against Washington State.  Not all of the blame lies on Kiffin, however, despite his overly conservative offensive play-calling.  He has hesitated to name a starting quarterback this year, and for good reason.  Neither of the options, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, has shown himself worthy of inheriting Matt Barkley’s job.  Now that Kessler has received the starting nod, though, his confidence might improve.  Boston College at USC, 12 PM, Pac-12 Networks

SEC what it’s like:  Despite the accolades that the Ducks offense has received from media and rivals, their detractors continue to point out their struggles against SEC defenses.  Oregon fell to Auburn and LSU under Chip Kelly, unable to wear down those physical defenses with their blur speed.  Tennessee fields a defense far less formidable than what Auburn and LSU did, but they still combine strength with athleticism in a way that few Pac-12 defenses do.  Marcus Mariota, De’Anthony Thomas, and company can see this game as an appetizer for a possible national title game, and a chance to make a statement that people outside the West might appreciate. Tennessee at Oregon, 12:30 PM, ABC

Back to business after Boise:  The new Husky Stadium opened with a bang in Week 1 as Washington routed a Boise State team that nipped them in the Las Vegas Bowl to end 2012.  With quarterback Keith Price back to his 2011 form and a sturdy defense under coordinator Justin Wilcox, the Huskies must feel confident about their chances of improving on their recent seven-win seasons.  But they must take care of business away from their flashy new digs against Big Ten opponent Illinois.  A bye last week should help Washington come back to earth—in a good way.  Washington at Illinois, 3 PM, Big Ten Network

Beware of déjà vu:  Mike Leach’s Washington State team started 2012 2-1 and then did not win another game until the final weekend of the season.  The Cougars will hope to avoid a repeat of the latter part this year even as they strive to repeat the former part.  An airtight loss to Auburn and a three-point upset of USC, both on the road, suggests that they may play plenty of close games.  But Washington State will hope to open up some breathing room in their home opener against Southern Utah.  Leach surely does not want to go two games without an offensive touchdown.  Southern Utah at Washington State, 3:30 PM, Pac-12 Network

Hang on and keep the hope:  Barely able to edge past FCS Portland State, which never had defeated a Pac-12 team, the Golden Bears have started the Sonny Dykes era with some encouraging moments but plenty of ominous signs as well.  In the latter category lies Cal’s defense, which has given up 74 points, 45 first downs, and 1,068 yards in its first two games.  If the struggles of that unit continue, No. 4/3 Ohio State should pile up too much offense for even the plucky Jared Goff to keep up.  It will get worse for Cal before it gets better with their Pac-12 opener against Oregon looming later.  Ohio State at California, 4 PM, FOX

Moment of truth:  The only contest of Week 3 between two Pac-12 teams pits an early-season underachiever against an early-season overachiever.  Is Oregon State as bad as they looked for their first game and a half, losing to an FCS opponent and entering halftime tied against a miserable Hawaii team?  Is Utah as good as they looked in starting 2-0 behind confident quarterback play from Travis Wilson, clutch kicking, and a defense hungry for turnovers?  After a North underdog upset a favored South team in Week 2 (WSU over USC), a South underdog could upset a favored North team in Week 3.  Oregon State at Utah, 7 PM, FOX Sports 1

Staying in the Zona:  Both Arizona teams routed their overmatched opponents in Week 2, and both will stay home this weekend as they look to notch key early wins.  The task should prove much easier for Arizona, which hosts the unremarkable UTSA at the end of a virtual preseason that began with victories over Northern Arizona and UNLV.  Their in-state rivals began an arduous stretch of four straight opponents that started the season ranked:  Wisconsin, Stanford, USC, Notre Dame.  Arizona State might be ranked itself if it shines during that span, or wins at least two of four.  Wisconsin at Arizona State, 7:30 PM, ESPN2; UTSA at Arizona, 7:30 PM, Pac-12 Network