Arizona State at Stanford top Pac-12 game of Week 4

There are a handful of watchable Pac-12 games on a dismal college football Saturday, including the week's only meeting of ranked teams. Stanford gets its first major test of the season, and Arizona State looks to capitalize on the momentum from its controversial win over Wisconsin and prove it is among the conference's elite.

7. New Mexico State at UCLA, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: New Mexico State has allowed 56, 44 and 42 points in its first three games, so at least the Aggies are improving. Even if the Bruins have a letdown after their emotional win at Nebraska, quarterback Brett Hundley, linebacker Anthony Barr and a handful of other UCLA starters will be watching the fourth quarter from the bench.

6. Idaho at Washington State, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Barring a meltdown, the Cougars will be halfway to bowl eligibility in September, a terrific accomplishment in head coach Mike Leach's second year on the Palouse. The Cougars are ranked 11th in the FBS in total defense, but the offense will have to be more efficient in the red zone to hit that six-win threshold. In 11 trips inside the 20-yard line, Washington State has six touchdowns and three turnovers.

5. Idaho State at Washington, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Idaho State is 2-0 after wins over Dixie State and Western State. This should be a good chance to get some much-deserved rest for Huskies running back Bishop Sankey, the leading rusher in college football, after he carried the ball 60 times in two games. Washington can also get tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (three receptions for 8 yards in season debut vs. Illinois) on track before opening Pac-12 play next week.

4. Oregon State at San Diego State, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Rating: 1.5 stars

The skinny: Beavers head coach Mike Riley spent three seasons on the sideline of what used to be Jack Murphy Stadium when he led the San Diego Chargers. Now Riley returns to America's Finest City hoping for a drama-free afternoon after a shootout loss to Eastern Washington in Oregon State's opener and shootout win at Utah last week. Quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks should feast on an Aztecs defense that is allowing 271.5 passing yards and 41 points per game.

3. Utah State at USC, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton is one of the most exciting dual-threat quarterbacks in college football, but keep an eye on the battle between Utah State center Tyler Larsen and USC defensive tackle George Uko as well. Larsen will be the one of the top centers in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Uko leads the Trojans' resurrected pass rush with three sacks.

2. Utah at BYU, Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: The Holy War won't return until 2017-18, but this last installment before the hiatus features two outstanding mobile quarterbacks in Utah sophomore Travis Wilson and BYU sophomore Taysom Hill, last seen embarrassing Texas with 259 rushing yards. Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy has been bothering opposing quarterbacks but has only one sack to show for it. Van Noy will need to be in top form to bring down the 6-foot-6 Wilson.

1. Arizona State at Stanford, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Fox

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: Talk about contrasting styles. The Cardinal wants to play a methodical, punishing style that highlights its powerful offensive line and defensive front seven, whereas Arizona State wants to push the pace. The Sun Devils ran 93 plays against the Badgers, 31 fewer than Stanford has run in its two games. For ASU to impose its will, defensive tackle Will Sutton will have to overpower left guard David Yankey and force Stanford into long, obvious passing downs where Sutton and linebacker Carl Bradford can go after quarterback Kevin Hogan.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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