When the No. 13 USC Trojans travel to Salt Lake City to square off with the Utah Utes Thursday night, the game will be the key to which direction the USC program heads after the loss to Stanford.
The Trojans are coming off a big win over California last week, but they can’t underestimate a talented Utah team. If USC wants a chance at BCS glory, it has to explode out of the gates and trounce the Utes on national TV.
Do not be the fan to miss this wild Thursday night action!
Who ya got?
When: Thursday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Rice Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: OFF, Spread: Utah (+13)
This game could be a trap for the Trojans, as the Utes are dangerous when playing well at home. Even with USC’s advantages on both sides of the ball, Utah will keep it within 13 points. Take Utah +13.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Christian Thomas, TE, Questionable
Brian Baucham, CB, Out indefinitely
Andre Heidari, PK, Early Oct
D.J. Morgan, RB, Early Oct
Isiah Wiley, CB, Out for season
Devon Kennard, DE, Out indefinitely
DeVante Wilson, DE Knee, Out for season
Eric Rowe, DB, Questionable
Jordan Wynn, QB, Out for season
Junior Salt, DT, Out for season
Anthony Denham, WR, Out for season
Keith McGill, DB, Out for season
Marc Pouvave, OL, Out indefinitely
After two losses in the first four games of the season, The Utes aren’t looking for anything out of this game except getting themselves on the right track.
For the No. 13 USC Trojans, though, this game is a huge piece in the rebuilding process.
The Trojans lost a heartbreaker to Stanford in their third game and are looking to start the slow march back to BCS title contention. No more taking teams lightly if they have any hopes of being considered for a national title.
USC Player to Watch: Silas Redd, RB
Former Penn State star and current USC running back Silas Redd has become one of the biggest factors in the Trojans' success in 2012.
While Matt Barkley gets the praise, Redd has been the team’s workhorse in his first year in the system.
If USC wants to head into Salt Lake City and secure a win, the school will need to look to its star running back to touch the ball at least 15 times. While the Utes boast a tough defense, Redd has the speed and elusiveness to get into the open field for big plays.
If Redd does well Thursday, USC wins big.
Utah Player to Watch: John White, RB
As great as the Trojans offense has been, many experts are talking about the skill of their defensive unit as the team’s biggest strength.
Utah Utes star running back John White isn’t scared, though.
Despite starting the season with two huge games, an ankle injury that forced White to miss the team’s third game may have hampered him in his 18 yards on 14 carries performance last week.
If White is healthy and has the protection that the Utah offensive line has the potential to provide, the Trojans’ defense will be on alert.
If the star running back gets loose early, this could lead to the upset USC is trying to avoid at all costs.
Prediction: USC 33, Utah 23
While the USC Trojans know what is at stake and will come out of the gates ready to play, they will be traveling to Utah. The Utes are always tough at home and will not back down from their bigger opponents.
This will turn into a legitimate football game; no blowouts here.
While USC is too deep at too many key positions to not win this game, the Utes will make this Thursday night game interesting before ultimately succumbing to the offense pressure of the Trojans.
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