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USC vs. Boston College: East Coast Primer

Taking a look at how Boston College and USC stack up.

It was a breakout performance at the Coliseum
It was a breakout performance at the Coliseum
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

The USC Trojans open a 20-point favorite against Boston College, an opponent USC dominated 35-7 last season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In the first game, Cody Kessler was named the full-time starter. The Bakersfield native completed 15-of-17 passes for 237 yards while the USC defense dominated the Eagles. Heisman Trophy candidate Andre Williams was limited to just 38 yards on 17 carries, while departed senior quarterback Chase Rettig completed 11-of-24 passes for a season-low 83 yards.

Although USC played on the East Coast just two years ago, in a 2012 game versus Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J. (which was slowed by thunder storms and sloppy football), the Trojans have ventured only once before into Boston: a convincing season-opening win at Boston College in 1988, Troy's first-ever appearance on ESPN.

This ESPN Saturday Night Showdown slots the No. 9 Trojans against a 1-1 Boston College squad led by Florida transfer Tyler Murphy and experienced head coach Steve Addazio, who returns just nine starters from last season.

Last season, the Trojans had 521 yards of total offense (averaging 8.4 yards per play), including 257 on the ground on 43 tries, held the ball 36:36 and converted 5-of-10 third downs. The new and improved uptempo offense will look to push the pace closer to the 105-play output against Fresno State when the Trojans square with the ACC opponent.

The genesis of the USC-Boston College football series can be traced to Jeff Keith, a one-time recipient of a Swim With Mike scholarship at USC. Keith, who ran across the United States in 1984 on an artificial leg after losing his right leg to cancer, played a large part in matching USC, where he was a graduate student in the late ‘80s, with his undergraduate alma mater, Boston College, in a football game. --Via USC Athletics Media Guide

After running a play ever 26.7 seconds, which was nearly four seconds slower than last week, the Trojans will look to amp up the pace of their offense against the Boston College Eagles. For a full preview of the Week Three meeting, head coach Steve Sarkisian breaks down all things USC Football.


  • USC has been in the AP Top 10 for 91 of its past 150 games, including a since-snapped school record of 62 consecutive games and USC has also scored at least 20 points in 140 of its past 160 contests.
  • USC's defense currently is seventh nationally in interceptions (4, first in Pac-12), eighth in turnover margin (+2.0, first in Pac-12), 14th in scoring defense (11.5, second in Pac-12) and 15th in red zone defense (.571, first in Pac-12).
  • USC's offense currently is 10th nationally in third down conversions (.563, first in Pac-12), 19th in first downs (53, second in Pac-12), 20th in passing efficiency (163.7, fifth in Pac-12) and 24th in sacks allowed (1.0, second in Pac-12).
  • Thanks to the help of Delvon Simmons' left thumb, USC has now blocked 25 kicks since 2010.