The USC Trojans enter the bye week at the perfect time. While the team goes back to the drawing board to fix their mistakes and make the needed adjustments as they prepare for their next game in South Bend against Notre Dame. For fans its a chance to enjoy some games without the stress and worry of what the Trojans will do on the field. Maybe you decide to watch some historic USC games or watch ESPN’s 30 for 30 Trojan war. Saturday will feature a few games that fans can watch. Here are a couple of games that fans can keep their eye on during the bye week.
No. 9 Notre Dame vs Bowling Green: 12:30 PM PT on NBC
Fans can take the time to take a look at the Trojans opponent next week. The Fighting Irish will have in what appears to be a tune up game at home before they welcome USC for the greatest Intersectional rivalry in college football. Notre Dame is coming off a victory over Virginia while Bowling Green is looking to end a three game losing streak. The Falcons were defeated by Kent State 62-20. Teams from the MAC tend to put a scare into teams, however this don’t look like a game the Irish can drop.
Why should USC fans watch?: If USC fans haven’t gotten the chance to watch Notre Dame then here it is. Especially if you like to scout teams to see what your team is up against. Maybe look at match ups that the Trojans could have and see if the Irish drop eight into coverage.
Illinois @ Minnesota: 12:30 PM PT on the Big Ten Network
This game features three former USC players in Trevon Sidney, Josh Imahtorbhebhe, and Oluwole Betiku. The trio are currently having huge success with the Fighting Illini. Imatorbhebhe is currently second on the team in receiving yards at 193 while Sidney is second on the team in receptions at 11. Betiku has been one of the best players on Lovey Smith’s Illinois team as he currently holds a team leading 7 sacks through four games. They will have another shot at knocking off an undefeated team in conference play as they face Minnesota, who is currently 4-0. After two narrow losses, the Illini will try to turn their fortunes around in what could be an entertaining game.
Why should USC fans watch: As mentioned, this game will feature three former Trojans. With the success they’ve been having with Illinois, it never hurts to support those young men. You could say it’s the closest thing to a USC game for fans.
Arizona @ Colorado: 1:30 PM PT on Pac-12 Network
If you get the Pac-12 Network then you’ll want to keep your eye on this game. Last week Arizona won a narrow game against UCLA without their star senior quarterback in Kahlil Tate and running back J.J. Taylor. Colorado on the other hand had a bye week last week. An afternoon Pac-12 South match up is always fun to watch. Both teams come into the game with a 3-1 record and have a chance to go up in the division with a 2-0 conference record. The difference in this game will be if the dangerous backfield of Tate and Taylor will play in this game.
Why should USC fans watch: USC welcomes Arizona for homecoming in two weeks. They also hit the road for a Friday night meeting against Colorado the week after. It won’t be a cake walk for the Trojans as they could see both Kahlil Tate and J.J. Taylor in two weeks. Mel Tucker also has Colorado playing tough football so far this season too. This is a chance for USC fans to get a look at their Week 7 and 8 opponent.
Cal @ No. 13 Oregon: 5:00 PM on Fox
Another marquee Pac-12 primetime match up between two of the top teams in the Pac-12 North. The Cal Golden Bears will try to bounce back from their Friday night home loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils. Before that game Cal was the conference’s only undefeated team. They now travel up to Eugene for a meeting with Oregon. The Ducks return home after defeating Stanford 21-6 two weeks ago. After having the bye week to recover from a physical game with the Cardinal, Oregon will have another task in facing one of the Pac-12’s best defenses. Cal on the other hand must defeat Oregon without their starting quarterback Chase Garbers. UCLA transfer Devon Modster will make the start against the Ducks.
Why USC fans should watch: Yes USC doesn’t face these two teams until November, but again it’s a marque Pac-12 matchup that should have the attention of Pac-12 fans. A Cal victory over Oregon would mean the Bears would be in the drivers seat in the Pac-12 North as they would own the tie breaker over both Washington and Oregon. That would be a huge improvement for current Cal head coach Justin Wilcox. The Oregon Ducks have been firing on all cylinders since their week 1 loss to Auburn. They’re currently the highest ranked Pac-12 team and could remain that way for a while.