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Utah (4-3) at USC (4-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 26, 4 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: L.A. Memorial Coliseum (93,607) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Utah 3-2, USC 3-1. Away Record: Utah 1-1, USC 1-2. Neutral Record: Utah 0-0, USC 0-0. Conference Record: Utah 1-2, USC 1-2. Series Record: USC leads, 8-3.

GAME NOTES: Both the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans will be gunning for bounce- back victories this Saturday when they square off in a Pac-12 brawl at L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

A week ago at this time Utah was riding high off a stunning 27-21 upset of then No. 5 Stanford. After last weekend the Utes are a bit more grounded, entering this contest off a 35-24 defeat at Arizona. The loss was the second in three tries against conference foes and has the Utes at 1-1 on the road this season and 4-3 overall.

USC is sporting an identical 4-3 overall record as well as a 1-2 mark against the conference. However the Trojans were outside of league play last week as they took a trip to South Bend for a rivalry clash with Notre Dame. The Trojans came out on the short end of the contest, 14-10, and are now 1-1 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who took over for the fired Lane Kiffin.

This is the third time these teams are meeting since Utah joined the Pac-12. USC has taken the first two matchups, including a 38-28 triumph last season, and now leads the all-time series by an 8-3 margin.

Against Arizona, Utah posted its worst offensive game of the season, with a campaign-low 329 yards. On the whole the Utes have had much more punch offensively, scoring 35.1 points and picking up 449.3 yards of total offense per game.

The normally dynamic Travis Wilson was not at his normal standard of play against the Wildcats. He threw a pair of interceptions on 3-of-9 passing before leaving the game in the first half with a hand injury. In his place Adam Schulz threw for 142 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-23 passing. Wilson has a solid track record this season (122 of-202, 1,655 yards, 14 total TDs, 12 INTs) but is listed as questionable for Saturday's game.

Leading rusher Bubba Poole also struggled against Arizona. Poole, who has a team-high 476 yards on the season, managed just 35 yards. Wilson's loss will also be felt on the ground as he has a team-high five rushing touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Dres Anderson (31 receptions, 621 yards, five TDs) is the primary target downfield. Anderson leads the Utes in receptions, yards and touchdowns, while leading the entire conference in yards per reception (20.0). Sean Fitzgerald (23 receptions, 365 yards, four TDs) is a dependable receiver as well.

Utah is a middle of the road defensive squad in the Pac-12, ranking seventh in the league in scoring (26.7 ppg) and ninth in total defense (412.4 ypg). There is still plenty of talent on the roster, especially at linebacker where Trevor Reilly (58 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks) has been playing at a high level.

Normally one of the more potent offensive squads in the conference, USC has been far from that this season. The Trojans are better than only Colorado in total offense (396.9 ypg), scoring a modest 25.4 points per game.

The struggles have been marked by a downfall in the normally strong passing game. Cody Kessler has not looked like the next in a long line of successful Trojan quarterbacks as he has thrown for only 1,330 yards and eight scores, to five interceptions early on. Poor protection hasn't helped matters as the Trojan signal-caller has been dragged down behind the line 12 times.

However, Kessler's issues are more understandable for a first-year starter. Marqise Lee's drop from Biletnikoff Winner has been miserable to watch. Lee does lead the team in receptions but for only 403 yards and a single touchdown. Nelson Agholor (24 receptions, 442 yards, two TDs) has been more effective as a pass-catching threat.

The return of Silas Redd has been a nice improvement for the Trojans. Redd missed the first five games of the season but has come back to post 192 yards and 30 carries in the last two weeks. Redd has been needed even more with Tre Madden (611 yards, three TDs) out last week and questionable for this matchup with a hamstring injury.

USC has been able to keep itself from falling to the absolute bottom of the standings thanks to strong defense. In fact the Trojans lead the league in total defense (333.9 ypg), while behind only Oregon in points allowed (19.2 ppg). Leonard Williams (46 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks) has helped the Trojans, who are especially skilled up front.

Clearly Utah is a team that can compete with anyone in this league. However, that is really only true with Wilson under center. With his status uncertain the prospects for the Utes are not good, especially against a team like USC that excels at creating pressure.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: USC 27, Utah 20

10/23 10:40:19 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0