Even if Lyle Moevao's shoulder had been 100 percent for Oregon State's opener against Portland State, there's a chance he still might not have played.
Moevao, who is the Pac-10's leading returning passer, had rotator cuff surgery in the offseason and has not progressed as quickly as the Beavers would have hoped. To top its off, he's been under the weather, coach Mike Riley said.
The senior quarterback's shoulder is almost ready, but he hasn't reached the final stage, "which is the zip on the ball," Riley said.
But it's not that big of a crisis for the Beavers, given that backup Sean Canfield has established himself as a capable starter.
Canfield had six scoring passes and two interceptions in a pair of starts. Moevao threw 19 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in 11 starts last season.
"I've taken nothing for granted this time," Canfield said abut his opportunity. "It's going to be a great opportunity for me and the team so I'm excited to get going."
As far as Riley is concerned, the biggest problem is what to do with Moevao when he gets back — because of how well Canfield has done this fall.
"When Lyle does get healthy, we'll study this thing, see where we are in the season," the coach said.
Also out for the Beavers for Saturday's opener at Reser Stadium is wide receiver Darrell Catchings, who is nursing a wrist injury, and running back Ryan McCants, who has a knee injury.
Kevin Lopina will start at quarterback for Washington State this Saturday in the season opener against Stanford. But Marshall Lobbestael will also take snaps, perhaps as early as the third series of the game.
The players have been locked in a battle for the starting job since fall camp began, and neither has built a strong enough case to lay full-time claim to the job, coach Paul Wulff said.
But someone has to take the first WSU snap of the game, and Wulff said earlier this week that would be Lopina.
Both players started games in last year's 2-11 campaign, and both struggled with injuries.
Lopina, a junior, appeared in nine games, completing 56.9 percent of his passes for 841 yards with no touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Lopina started his career at Kansas State as a redshirt, then had to sit out a season before becoming eligible last year.
Lobbestael, a sophomore, played in five games, completing 51.5 percent of his passes for 571 yards, with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
In the team's first scrimmage, Lopina completed all six of his pass attempts for 94 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to tight end Zach Tatman. Lobbestael completed 4 of 7 passes for 32 yards.
In the final scrimmage on Friday, Lopina completed 9-of-11 for 123 yards, with a seven-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Gino Simone. Lobbestael completed 7-of-13 for 88 yards.
The Cougars open the season against Stanford on Saturday in Martin Stadium.
New Washington coach Steve Sarkisian isn't going to be afraid to play some of his younger players in the Huskies season opener Saturday against No. 11 LSU.
Washington has listed freshman James Johnson as a possible starter at wide receiver and freshman Desmond Trufant as a possible starter at cornerback. Sarkisian says a number of freshman will likely play this season as the Huskies try and recover from last year's 0-12 record, the worst in school history.