The USC Trojans return home, hoping to keep alive slim odds of reaching the Pac-12 Championship Game. After grinding out a win over Washington State in their last game, the Trojans return fresh off an in-season bye week and prepare to face a California Golden Bears squad attempting to become bowl eligible with a victory.
USC will be tasked the responsibility of slowing down another high-powered passing attack led by sophomore quarterback Jared Goff. The former Elite 11 prodigy has thrown just four interceptions the entire season and ranks inside the top-15 in passing yards, total offense and passing efficiency this season.
For the first time all of Pac-12 play, both the Trojans and their opponents (this case the Golden Bears) enter the game with an equal amount of rest from the previous game. USC is 94-45-4 in all regular season games following the bye and have now won exactly 70% of its games against Pac-12 opponents.
Time: Thursday, 6 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN (Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Samantha Ponder)
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, CA
Betting Line: USC 14-point favorite
Radio: KSPN/710 (Pete Arbogast, John Jackson, Jordan Moore)
Records: USC 6-3 (5-2 Pac-12); Cal 5-4 (3-4 Pac-12)
Series: USC leads, 66-30-5
Last meeting: USC won, 62-38, at Memorial Stadium
After suiting up only 48 scholarship players last game, registering playing time for just 41 for the second time this season, the Trojans will be praying that long bye week of no practice has reenergized the cause. Sophomore standout Su'a Cravens returned to practice this week and believes he will play in tonight's game. It also looks like special teams ace, fullback Soma Vainuku and slot receiver Ajene Harris will be back on the field after missing multiple games while the status of freshman safety John Plattenburg is still to be determined.
Remember that no tailgating will be allowed on USC's campus, so make sure to check out the local tailgating scene on the Coliseum properties or the local bars in and around campus for pre-game festivities. This will be the second straight year the Trojans play a game on Thursday night, defeating Arizona, 38-31, in Ed Oregeron's first game last season.