USA Today

What Keeps Pac-12 Coaches Up At Night?

Pac-12 coaches have a lot to worry about, but what's probably their biggest concerns? We asked our experts.

Arizona - "Quarterback play. Rich Rodriguez is obsessed with it and has said in the past he is harder on the QB than he is on any other position." - Jason Scheer, Wildcat Authority

Arizona State - "Last year, ASU finished last in the country in passing yards allowed, pass efficiency defense and 40-plus yard plays from scrimmage, and doesn't have a lot of experience returning to its secondary. That's dangerous for a team as blitz-heavy as the Sun Devils." - Chris Karpman, Sun Devil Source

California - "The defensive backfield. The linebackers. The defense in general. Defensive linemen Jonathan Johnson, Kyle Kragen and Mustafa Jalil have all graduated. Two linebacker transfers and one injury retirement, plus the loss of both starting safeties -- Stefan McClure to the Colts, and Damariay Drew to a knee injury -- plus the loss of starting corner Darius White to graduation leave this defense very thin, and very young. There's a lot of athleticism on defense, but it's inexperienced." - Ryan Gorcey, Bear Territory

Colorado - "The Buffaloes' offensive line gave up as many sacks as any program in the Pac-12 last season, and while it should be a more experienced group this season, it is still a big question mark going into preseason camp." - Adam Munsterteiger, Buff Stampede

Oregon - "Mark Helfrich is probably sleeping just fine, but Duck fans are worried if Dakota Prukop or Travis Jonsen can take the reigns from the departed Vernon Adams, and if Jake Hanson is the solution at center. In the annual spring game all three players had good days and so it appears the two spots that are most critical in handling the ball is in good hands." - Steve Summers, eDuck

Oregon State - "Opposing quarterbacks. Even in a relatively down year for QBs in the Pac-12, the lack of a pack Beavers pass rush will keep Gary Andersen tossing and turning in bed." - Charlie Richenstein,

Stanford - "The schedule. After breezing through Kansas State in week one Stanford's next few games are USC, UCLA, Washington, WSU, and Notre Dame, with three of those on the road. All of those teams will be improved from last year with the possible exception of Notre Dame. Stanford has one of the toughest schedules in the country." - Jackson Safon,

UCLA - "The offensive line and its playable depth. UCLA is loaded at just about every position and unit, but the OL is a bit thin. There is enough talent that the starting OL should be good, but if UCLA can't get top-end production out of its OL, at least solid pass protection, for the season, everything could break down." - Tracy Pierson, Bruin Report Online

USC - "The schedule. USC has one of the toughest, if not the single toughest, schedule in the entire country, with Alabama and Utah State in addition to a daunting Pac-12 schedule." - Jackson Safon,

Utah - "Losing Travis Wilson, Devontae Booker, and Britain Covey, because they made up most of last season's offense." - Zane Hopen,

Washington - "The hype machine has been working overtime this summer, with possible playoff projections. Chris Petersen had to answer these questions at the end of spring and certainly bother him to no end. The Huskies haven't done anything yet - and he knows it. How does he manage expectations?" - Chris Fetters, Dawgman

Washington State - "As Luke Falk goes, so go the Cougs. Fans last year saw what happened when Falk was injured. Keeping Falk upright and healthy is paramount to WSU's hopes of a Rose Bowl season." - Barry Bolton, Cougfan

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