Martin Stadium at 1:30 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks
Cougar to Watch: Senior QB Connor Halliday
Halliday's numbers are ridiculous, although they do not often equate to winning. He leads the nation in passing (479.1 yards per game) by a wide margin (69 yards per game more than anyone else), but the Cougars have only two wins. He threw for 734 yards and 6 TDs with 0 INTs against Cal, but still lost the game. Nevertheless, he remains a clear and present danger to the young USC secondary, which will be tested over and over and over again.
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No Holiday for Halliday
If Connor Halliday is going to throw it 80 times, and Mike Leach would like nothing more, the Trojans must find a pass rush, which is no easy task without J.R. Tavai. Leonard Williams is always an interior force, but this game provides an opportunity for the rarely used duo of Charles Burks and Quinton Powell. Neither player sees the field much because they are undersized at their positions, but against a one dimensional offense, Steve Sarkisian predicted that their skill sets could be put to good use.
The Cougars give up 38 points per game on average, but the Trojans need to think bigger than that. The winning score in this game could well be north of 50. Wazzu has given up 59 and 60 in two of its last three games, although the Cougars held Oregon to 38 and Stanford to 34. Nevertheless, rain or shine, the Trojans will see opportunities to exploit WSU's defense through pounding Buck Allen and going over the top to Nelson Agholor and JuJu Smith. No matter how many points are on the board, the Trojans cannot afford to let up knowing the potency of Leach's attack.
Bye, Bye, Bye
The injury report lengthens by the week as the Trojans have not had a break since mid-September. However, a modified bye week looms, so USC needs to find some way to go into the time off with positive momentum for the closing stretch. The Trojans do not leave Los Angeles in the month of November, so whatever it takes, they need to grind out a win in Pullman leaving the rivalry triumvirate of Cal, UCLA and Notre Dame to define this season. Fight to the finish.