The USC Trojans are back at home this week with a difficult Utah Utes coming into the Coliseum Saturday evening. Last season the Utes won a close game in the first start of Sam Darnold’s career. That loss would also eventually keep the Trojans out of the Pac-12 Conference championship game. In 2015 Utah was red hot coming into the Coliseum with a 6-0 record and ranked third in the nation. Cam Smith led the USC defense with 3 interceptions and a touchdown for the win. Clay Helton has yet to lose at home since becoming the head coach. Utah has also never won in the Coliseum.
Key USC Injuries:
Probable: WR Deontay Burnett, WR Jalen Greene, LB Jordan Iosefa
Doubtful: RB Stephen Carr; QUESTIONABLE: TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, RT Chuma Edoga;
Out: LB Porter Gustin, DT Marlon Tuipulotu, RG Viane Talamaivao;
Questionable: DE Kyle Fitts
Doubtful: QB Tyler Huntley
Utah football looking to bounce back:
Utah is coming off a loss at home to Stanford. The Cardinal is the toughest opponent Utah had played so far and Utah did not play well. While it is tough to determine yet if the 4-1 Utes just had a bad night and can bounce back or if their early success (particularly in the statistical rankings) was a result of playing some of the worst teams in the nation and they were exposed against stronger competition.
Stanford is a very physical team and playing them (like many physical teams) can have a bit of a hangover. In addition to a physical hangover there may be a mental one too. When coming off a close, hard fought, loss coaches frequently try to avoid one loss turning into two. The Utes now hope to get their mind right for a road game in a place where they have never won against a top team.
USC wants to keep improving:
The Trojans have been riddled with injuries and the offense had stalled. USC wanted to use their win last week against the Oregon State Beavers as a bit of a reset button for the offense while getting players healthy. USC has a much shorter injury report than they have had in a while and the offense showed strategic improvements as well. Turnovers, penalties, and missed opportunities, however, still plagued the Trojans.
Full game information is below.
Utah Utes (4-1) at USC Trojans (5-1)
How to Watch:
Start time: Saturday, October 14, 5:00 p.m. PST
Location: L.A. Coliseum - Los Angeles, California
Radio: Tune in
Live Streaming: Watch ESPN
USC Trojans - Utah Utes Preview
Vegas Odds: USC -13, O/U 52.5
FPI Matchup Predictor: USC 86.2% chance to win
S&P+ Score Prediction: USC-33 Utah-23
Massey Prediction: USC-34 Utah-20. USC with an 85% chance to win.
CFP Predictions Composite: USC wins by 13
Utah-USC football game preview
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