Utah vs. USC: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 19:  Cody Kessler #6  of the University of Southern California Trojans runs against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 19, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated USC 14-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

One of the most intriguing Week 9 matchups on the college football schedule occurs when the Utah Utes travel to the Coliseum to take on the USC Trojans.

Both the Utes and Trojans are in the midst of a heated battle for position within the Pac-12, with the former at 1-3 in the conference and the latter at 1-2. 

Outside of the obvious bowl and conference implications, the two teams have also been drastically unpredictable this season. USC is in a state of flux under Ed Orgeron and lost to Notre Dame last week. Utah is just as bad, coming off a loss to Arizona, with a major upset win over then-No. 5 Stanford just the week prior.

In other words, the action from the Coliseum is sure to entertain. Here is everything fans need to know about the important matchup.

 

When: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. ET

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.

Television: Pac-12 Network

Live Stream: ESPN3

October 10, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Ed Orgeron watches game action against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)

  • Over/Under: N/A
  • Spread: USC (-7)

 

Utes Injury Report (via USA Today)

Utes Injury Report
PlayerPos.DateDetailsStatusInjury
Brian BlechenLB10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against USCQuestionableKnee
Tevin CarterS08/17/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutAcademics
Moses FolauholaDE08/11/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutConcussion
Jacoby HaleLB10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against USCQuestionableUndisclosed
Reshawn HookerS08/11/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutConcussion
Jake MurphyTE10/09/2013Expected to miss the remainder of the seasonOutWrist
Jarrell OliverRB08/17/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutFoot
Kenneth ScottWR08/30/2013Expected to miss the remainder of the seasonOutAnkle
Westlee TongaTE10/09/2013Out indefinitelyOutUndisclosed
Stevie Tu'ikolovatuT08/22/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutFoot
Travis WilsonQB10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against USCQuestionableHand
USA Today

 

Trojans Injury Report (via USA Today)

Trojans Injury Report
PlayerPos.DateDetailsStatusInjury
Zach BannerOL09/27/2013Will miss the remainder of the seasonOutHip
Victor BlackwellWR10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against UtahOutAnkle
Xavier GrimbleTE10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against UtahQuestionableShoulder
Marqise LeeWR10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against UtahQuestionableKnee
Tre MaddenRB10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against UtahQuestionableHamstring
Steven MitchellWR08/08/2013Will miss the entire seasonOutKnee
D.J. MorganRB10/20/2013Questionable for Saturday's game against UtahQuestionableKnee
Devian SheltonCB09/27/2013Will miss the remainder of the seasonOutFoot
Greg Townsend JrDL09/27/2013Will miss the remainder of the seasonOutKnee
USA Today

 

Which Cody Kessler Shows Up?

Sep 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) drops back to pass during the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Trojans go as sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler does. 

When Kessler is on his game and the play-calling is sound, the Trojans typically emerge victorious. Unfortunately, Kessler has been erratic at best and has completed less than 60 percent of his passes in four games this year. He has also thrown eight touchdowns to five interceptions.

Even worse, Utah allows just 255 yards passing per game with a 57.9 completion percentage.

While he has played better under Orgeron, Kessler needs to elevate his game in order to pull out an important conference win. A 58.8 completion percentage with an interception isn't going to get it done, which was Kessler's line in the 14-10 loss last week.

 

Prediction

Oct 12, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Travis Wilson (7) looks to pass during the first half Stanford Cardinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Should Kessler play well, this one could be close.

But Utah and quarterback Travis Wilson have little issue putting up points in a hurry. Wilson and Co. were able to drop 27 points on Top 25 defenses UCLA and Stanford, so reaching that point again versus USC is not out of the question.

USC is at home, but accounting for Wilson and his over 1,600 yards passing and 300 rushing yards, not to mention his 19 total touchdowns, will be difficult for the Trojans defense. This is especially the case after an emotional, physically demanding loss to Notre Dame on the road a week ago.

Kelly and the Utes will find a way to put enough points on the board to pull out the win.

 

Final Score: Utes win 28-27.

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling