USC vs. Utah

October 2, 2012

The Trojans were able to get back on track last week after a tough loss to Stanford. They next head to Rice-Eccles Stadium to play the 2-2 Utah Utes.

Some were wondering how USC would respond against California after a relatively surprising loss to the Cardinal. Well, they did just fine.

Matt Barkley, though, struggled a little bit, completing 22-of-34 passes for 192 yards, while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both scores were caught by Marqise Lee, who had 11 receptions for 94 yards.

The Trojans instead could thank a stellar run game for their win over California.

Silas Redd had his best game in a USC jersey, running 21 times for 158 yards and a touchdown. Curtis McNeal was also efficient, carrying 10 times for 115 yards.

USC’s defense was stingy all game, holding a typically potent Golden Bears offense to nine points and 250 total yards.

This Thursday the Trojans will play the Utes, who are 2-2 this season with wins over Northern Colorado and Brigham Young and losses to Utah State and Arizona State. Last weekend they were demolished 37-7 by the Sun Devils.

Defensively, Utah has been solid, ranking in the top fifty in both pass and run defense. That said, the Utes haven’t encountered a team as dangerous as the Trojans.

Plus, Utah just doesn’t possess the firepower themselves on offense that would suggest they can keep this game close. The Utes are averaging only 190.8 YPG through the air and 107.5 YPG on the ground.

That explains why USC is favored by almost two touchdowns in the college football odds for this Pac-12 matchup.

With a tough game against Washington coming up two weekends from now, the Trojans can’t afford to slip up and take their full attention off the Utes, who are a completely different team at home.

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