Los Angeles, CA - The Huskies travel down to the Coliseum to take on the Trojans in the first game against their former coach, Steve Sarkisian. The Trojans are coming into this game fresh off a bye week, just like the Huskies, and the need this win in order to appease the boosters and fan base:
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, Los Angeles, California
When: Thursday, October 7, 2015
6:00 p.m. Pacific Time
TV Info: ESPN, Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Jesse Palmer and David Pollack (analysts)
and Kaylee Hartung (sidelines)
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7; Sirius (84) and XM (84)
The Trojans lead this series 51-28-4. The last decade or so has been slightly nicer to the Huskies when playing the Trojans than when the Huskies have played the Ducks. It hasn't been pretty though. The Huskies have only won two out their last 11 games and three of their last 13. The Huskies have been outscored by USC 390 to 191 in that span, and have been shut out twice. The average score of those games was 34-17.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2012, when USC came to Seattle. The game was close, but the Huskies shot themselves in the foot, giving up three turnovers in the 4th quarter, and losing to the then-Lane-Kiffin-coached Trojans.
0 - The number of times the Trojans have run the ball this season when facing a 3rd down with 7-9 yards to go for a first down.
1 - The number of rushing touchdowns the Trojans have allowed in the first half of all their games this season.
2.61 - The number of rushing yards Husky opponents are averaging per attempt this season.
5 - The number of rushing touchdowns the Trojans have allowed in the second half of all their games this season.
6.2 - The number of yards Husky opponents are averaging per pass attempt this season. (Cal only had 8.3 per attempt.)
8 - The number of sacks the Trojans have given up this season.
10.5 - Cody Kessler's yards per attempt this season.
11.4 - Cody Kessler's yards per attempt on 1st downs this season.
19.89 - Trojan receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster's average yards per completion this season (on 27 receptions).
56.1 - Opposing QB's completion percentage against the Huskies this year. (The highest completion percentage this year was 63 % with Boise State.)
81 - Cody Kessler's completion percentage on 1st downs this season (in 58 attempts).
81.8 - Cody Kessler's completion percentage on 3rd down and 7-9 yards to go for a first down (in 11 attempts).
175 - USC average rushing yards per game this season.
201.18 - Cody Kessler's QB rating this season (through 4 games).
Questions Needing Answers
Will the turnover pandemic stop at 1 game? Can the offensive line that like to protect Jake Browning show up? What about the offensive line that likes to run block? Can I see some blocking by the wide receivers
Can the defensive line generate enough pass rush to drop allow the linebackers to drop into coverage? Will Budda Baker be back? Can the Huskies wrap up better?Who is the defensive player of the game going to be?
What would make you bark for Sark tonight? What are your pre-game libations going to look like? Will they be any different if the Huskies are getting blown out by the end of the first half?
My biggest worry about this game is that the Husky offense is going to do what it did last week against the Cal defense, and our defense is going to need to stay on the field way longer than it should. Obviously my hope is that this doesn't happen, and that Jake Browning has a much better game this time around.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Jake Browning having a better game is going to mean a much more vanilla game for the offense. Which will probably lead to much less scoring, though scoring hasn't seemed to be too high on the Huskies' priority list this season.
Look for USC to come out punching, and try to put this game away early. However, you will probably also see the Husky defense hold its own, and allow the offense to claw its way back into the game. Honestly, I see this game going down to the last drive of the game, for the third time this season, but I have no clue as to which way the game will swing.
- This is a nice feature on USC cornerback-turned-safety Chris Hawkins, and what he means to the SC secondary.
- Here's three reasons why USC is guaranteed to beat the Huskies this weekend. What do you think?
The Huskies are 3-1 against the spread this season, and have been under the point total in the first three of their four games this season. As I write this article, which is about 11:46 p.m., the Trojans are currently 17 point favorites. The over/under is sitting at 56 points. This is courtesy of Vegas Insider. I'm not a betting man, but I would say to take the points, and take the over. (I love telling people how to lose their own money.)
Get ready for what is sure to be a rowdy gamethread. I can just imagine the numerous threads of negativity as soon as Cal scores a touchdown, the calling for Jonathan Smith's head the moment the offense stalls, and the continual annointment of Jake Browning. You'll be in for a wild ride this week. Come on over to the gamethread, if for no other reason, than to have some good laughs.