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Game Preview: USC welcomes #3 Utah to the Coliseum

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USC has won seven of the nine all-time meetings but the teams are trending in opposite directions.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss to Notre Dame in Coach Clay Helton's 2015 debut two days ago, USC Trojans (3-3, 1-2) welcome the biggest surprise in college football this season, #3 Utah Utes (6-0, 3-0). Utah is coming off of a 34-18 victory over Arizona State in which they trailed entering the fourth quarter before outscoring the Sun Devils 20-0 to move to 6-0 on the season. Meanwhile, the Trojans fell to Notre Dame 41-31 on Saturday and are now on a two-game losing streak.

Previewing the Utes

I had a feeling that Utah was going to be good in 2015 but not this good. Utah really put themselves on the map after a 62-20 victory at Oregon and have yet to allow a team to score over 24 points this season. On offense, senior quarterback Travis Wilson is completing close to 68% of his passes and has thrown for 980 yards and seven touchdowns. After missing the Utah State game with a shoulder injury, Wilson came back and had five total touchdowns against Oregon. At 6'7", Wilson is pretty mobile and has 203 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 2015. Running back Devontae Booker is one of the nation's best running backs and is 12th in the nation with 783 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Booker loves contact and is extremely tough to take down and after watching C.J. Prosise shred the USC defense, Booker could be in for a big day on Saturday. Utah has arguably the best defense in the Pac-12 and is led by defensive lineman Pita Taumoepenu, who leads the conference with six sacks. However, they might be without Jared Norris, their leading tackler from 2014 as he suffered an injury late in the fourth quarter against the Sun Devils.

Previewing the Trojans

Coming off of another tough loss against the Irish, the Trojans need to regroup quickly as they host the Utes on Saturday at 4:30 P.T. on FOX. USC had almost 600 total yards against the Irish but two costly interceptions by Cody Kessler in the fourth put the game away. JuJu Smith-Schuster had another fantastic game (six receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown). Kessler did a nice job of spreading the ball around as 11 different Trojans had a reception. USC hopes to have Steven Mitchell Jr. (ankle) back for the Utah game and if there is one area on defense in which Utah struggles, it's their passing defense which is 11th in conference. Freshman running back Ronald Jones II is averaging 8.6 yards per carry and needs to get the ball more. The most carries Jones II has had in a game in 2015 is 10. Missed tackles on defense will be the focal point as USC prepares for Booker. If the Trojans have the same problem with Booker as they had with Prosise, they could be in for a long evening.