Utah (2-2) at USC (3-2)
- Kickoff: Saturday, 6 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (77,500 capacity)
- TV: Fox
- Livestream: Fox
- Radio: ESPN 700 AM
- Series: USC leads, 13-6
- Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the high 60s at kickoff.
For USC … The Trojans fired head coach Clay Helton on Sept. 13 following a 42-28 loss to Stanford. Under interim head coach Donte Williams, USC is 2-1, with three-plus score wins over Washington State and Colorado but a blowout home loss in between to Oregon State.
For Utah … After starting the season 1-2 in nonconference play, Utah bounced back with a 24-13 win over Washington State to open Pac-12 play before a bye last week.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
In the grand scheme of things, this football game is irrelevant. Utah’s football team has been through a lot of pain this past year, losing two teammates, friends and brothers in Ty Jordan in December 2020 and Aaron Lowe, who was murdered on Sept. 26. After the USC game, the team will fly to Mesquite, Texas, for Lowe’s funeral on Monday.
As the team grieves and tries to process Lowe’s senseless death, absolutely no one would blame the Utes if they just come out flat on Saturday. On the flip side, Utah could come out inspired and fired up, playing for their fallen brothers.
Drake London, WR, USC: London is one of the best receivers in the country. He leads the nation with 670 receiving yards on 48 catches and has four touchdowns this season.
London has been tabbed as a first-round selection in next year’s NFL draft and is the key to the Trojans’ offense. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound receiver will be targeted early and often by USC quarterback Kedon Slovis.
“They got a little more simplistic on defense than they have been in weeks past. They cut down on zone pressures, just stayed more basic and it was very successful for them. They did a nice job on defense. Offensively, (wide receiver Drake London) is as good as there is in the country, maybe the best in the country. He’s certainly a weapon for them. Their quarterback, (Kedon) Slovis played well against Colorado. They ran the ball exceptionally well. Colorado was almost daring them to run the ball with some of their schemes and fronts. They did and they were successful. They’ve got a ton of talent like I said at the onset, and we’ll have our work cut out for us. Our track record at the Coliseum hasn’t been good. But that’s history, and we’re hoping that has no bearing on this year.”
— Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on USC
“Utah is going to do what they do. They’ve run the offense for a while. It’s physical play, it’s going to be different kinds of formations, they put different guys in positions that they feel they can win one-on-one matchups. They use their tight ends really, really, well, and their O-line is going to fire off the ball.”
— USC interim head coach Donte Williams on Utah
Utah hosts No. 22 Arizona State on Oct. 16; USC has a bye next week before traveling to No. 14 Notre Dame on Oct. 23.
Sept. 2 — Utah 40, Weber State 17
Sept. 11 — BYU 26, Utah 17
Sept. 18 — San Diego State 33, Utah 31 (3OT)
Sept. 25 — Utah 24, Washington State 13
Oct. 2 — BYE
Oct. 9 — at USC (6 p.m., FOX)
Oct. 16 — Arizona State (8 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 23 — at Oregon State
Oct. 30 — UCLA
Nov. 5 — at Stanford (8:30 p.m., FS1)
Nov. 13 — at Arizona
Nov. 20 — Oregon
Nov. 26 — Colorado
All times MDT