Share “USC-Utah Preview Capsule”

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 23, 2014 at 9:50 am •  Published: October 23, 2014

No. 20 USC (5-2, 4-1 Pac-12) at No. 19 UTAH (5-1, 2-1), 10 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)

Line: USC by 1.

Series Record: USC leads 9-3.


USC is making just its second trek to Salt Lake City to face Utah since 1917 in a showdown between two top-20 teams contending for the South Division title. Cody Kessler is coming off a game against Colorado in which he threw a school-record seven TD passes. Travis Wilson reclaims his starting job at QB from Kendal Thompson. The Utes are coming off a 29-23 double-overtime win at Oregon State.


USC RB Javorius Allen vs. Utah's defensive line. Allen leads the conference in rushing and all-purpose yards. He's the only player in the country who has at least 900 yards rushing and 250 yards receiving. The Utes D-line is led by Nate Orchard. The senior is third in the nation with 13 tackles for loss.


USC: WR Nelson Agholor. Hauled in three of Kessler's TD passes against Colorado. He's averaging seven catches per game for the Trojans.

UTAH: Wilson. The junior QB with 30 TD passes in his career will be the starter on Saturday. He's been sharing time with Thompson, who began the game last weekend at Oregon State before giving way to Wilson in the second half.


USC has had just three lettermen from Utah: RE Joe Davis (1940-42), FB Stanley Havili (2006-10) and OG John Martinez (2010-13). ... USC AD Pat Haden threw seven TD passes the entire year when he helped USC to a national title in 1972. ... USC fares well against teams from Utah. Besides being 9-3 against the Utes, the Trojans are also 5-0 against Utah State and 2-0 vs. BYU. ... Kessler was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. ... Utah leads the country with 33 sacks. ... The Utes will wear their black uniforms for this game. ... The Utes have their highest ranking in the AP poll since Nov. 7, 2010, when they were 15th. ... Utes RB Devontae Booker rushed for 229 yards and three TDs last week.


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