The Utah Utes and USC Trojans will face each other on Saturday, and unlike most Pac-12 matchups, it will be a battle of high-level defenses rather than high-flying offenses. They will play at 8 p.m. ET on ABC (live streaming via WatchESPN).
USC is 5-1 and the No. 13 team in the nation. It is coming off a dominant performance against Oregon State in its last outing, a good performance after it lost a very close one to Washington State the week before that. As far as losses go, that one wasn’t too surprising, but it still hurt.
Their upcoming schedule includes a tough game against Notre Dame, who are presently ranked 16th.
Utah is 4-1 on the season, coming off a loss against Stanford in its last outing. It had two interceptions on offense, and only managed 238 yards passing altogether. It needs to get more out of the passing game if it is going to win close games.
Both teams boast a strong defensive front, especially along the defensive line. Utah’s line is bigger and more formidable, but USC has found more success this season. It should be a good matchup.
Below is all you need to know to watch the action on Saturday, as well as full game odds and news for the meeting.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
- TV: ABC
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: USC opened as 11-point favorites
Utah vs. USC news:
- USC is known for strong receiver play, but have started to stagnate at the position this season… that is until Tyler Vaughns started stepping up:
Not to hyperbolize, but Vaughns certainly might be the guy to open up this offense. Lining up outside, he gives Burnett the freedom to be the slot receiver he’s built to be (NOT A DEEP THREAT!) and giving Darnold another open receiver he can trust. Alongside a consistent running game—here’s looking at you Tee, Vaughns can absolutely flourish in this offense.
His production in high school, athletic traits and small sample-size of success in college gives Trojan fans hope that this offense can grow. I fully expect it the offense to take the next step and Vaughns is the player to jump start it.
- USC defenders Uchenna Nwosu and Rasheem Green have been playing excellent football, and both have been added to the Chuck Bednarik award watch list.
- The Trojans are typically very good against the spread and straight-up against Utah, being 3-0 in both over their last three matchups. USC is the heavy favorite, and in its last 10 games against teams with winning records, it is 10-0 straight-up.
- Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley is questionable for Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury, and both teams have a few significant names on the injury report.
Utah vs. USC prediction:
While Utah’s defensive line is comparable, USC’s is simply a better, more talented unit. Things should generally be pretty close on offense, but USC is the more talented team and they should come out ahead on Saturday, probably by a healthy margin.