USC comes into Salt Lake City for another key Pac-12 South battle against the Utah Utes. Both teams come into the game with a 4-2 overall record. The Utes brings plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but who are some players that should have the spotlight on them for this week’s game?
Linebacker Chase Hansen
Utah has a defense that’s top 5 in the nation in total defense. Utes senior linebacker Chase Hansen is a key part of that defense. Hansen has a team leading 52 total tackles with 11 of them for a loss. The senior linebacker also has 4 sacks on the season and a pick returned for a touchdown. Hansen has a knack for getting into the backfield and disrupting things. USC offensive line will really have their hands full neutralizing him and keeping him out the backfield.
Defensive End Bradlee Anae
Bradlee Anae is another key defensive player on the Utes defense that fans must keep an eye on. The junior defensive end leads the team in sacks with 5. Against Stanford Anae sacked Cardinal quarterback KJ Costello twice. He also deflected a total 3 passes on the season showing that he can disrupt the passing game in multiple ways. USC offensive line has given up a total of 10 sacks on the season, however they’ve shown progress in protecting JT Daniels. This week Anae will look to continue to disrupt offenses by throwing the timing off for the Trojans freshman quarterback.
Wide Receiver Britain Covey
The Utes leading receiver in Britain Covey is having an outstanding 6 games in his sophomore season. Covey left for an LDS mission following his freshman season back in 2015. Trojan fans may remember him from the 2015 game back at the Coliseum when Covey caught a 30 yard touchdown pass to tie the game up in the first quarter. The sophomore receiver has caught for 379 yards off 38 receptions, however Covey has yet to catch a touchdown pass. Covey is also a threat on special teams as a punt returner. Utah will likely line up Covey in the slot which calls for Ajene Harris to match up with the sophomore.
Running Back Zach Moss
One of the Utes more dangerous players offensively in running back Zack Moss will draw the attention of the Trojans. The junior running back has a team leading 617 yards on the ground off 110 carries, which is 5th in the Pac-12 in terms of rushing yardage. He’s also averaging 5.6 yards per carry and 110 yards a game. Moss can be a handful to bring down with his physical style. With Utah being a running team, USC will see a lot of Moss this week. Last season Moss rushed for 141 yards off 20 carries against the Trojans. USC defense gives up an average 151 yards on the ground. Last week against Colorado the Trojans stuffed running game and held the Buffaloes under 100 yards on the ground. A much tougher test will come against one of the best running backs in the Pac-12.