USC Football Returns Home To Host Utah

    Nelson Agholor

    Oct. 20, 2013

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    October 4, 2012
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    No. 13 Trojans Power Past Utah, 38-28
    Matt Barkley passed for 303 yards and three touchdowns, including an 83-yarder to Marqise Lee in the fourth quarter, and No. 13 Southern California came back from a two-touchdown deficit to beat Utah 38-28 Thursday night. Utah (2-3, 0-2 Pac-12) forced turnovers 1:16 apart to open the game, including a play by Nate Fakahafua to score from 8 yards out after stripping the ball from Barkley after a bad snap. But the Trojans (4-1, 2-1) turned the tables in the fourth, scoring twice in a span of less than 3 minutes to turn a 3-point game into victory in their first trip to Salt Lake City in 95 years.

    USC closes out October play by returning home to host Utah in a battle between teams each sporting 4-3 overall records and that both have just 1 Pac-12 victory to date. The Utes have not beaten Troy in the Coliseum since 1916, including a loss in 2011 in the first-ever Pac-12 football game. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from tough losses last weekend after getting inspiring victories the previous week. USC and interim head coach Ed Orgeron are coming off a low-scoring loss at intersectional rival Notre Dame, a game in which the Trojans couldn't convert numerous opportunities in a scoreless second half for both teams. The USC defense, which reverted to its earlier stingy form against the Irish, is ranked in the Top 25 nationally in total and rushing defense, as well as in sacks and tackles for loss. Key Trojan defenders include OLBs Morgan Breslin (the 2012 Hendricks Award finalist) and Devon Kennard, DEs Leonard Williams and George Uko, LB Hayes Pullard, S Dion Bailey and S-CB Josh Shaw. USC's offense, guided by QB Cody Kessler, features tailbacks such as Silas Redd and Tre Madden, who both have 100-yard outings in 2013, and receivers such as Nelson Agholor (13 catches over the past 2 weeks) and 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee (the owner of 24 USC records). Veteran Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham's club, which upset No. 5 Stanford two weeks ago, fell at Arizona this past Saturday. Ute QB Travis Wilson is a passing and running threat, joining offensive stars such as RB Bubba Poole and WR Dres Anderson. The Utah defense, which is 11th nationally in sacks, features DE/LB Trevor Reilly, LB Jared Norris, DE Nate Orchard and senior CB Keith McGill. Utah has 2 of the game's top specialists in P Tom Hackett and ex-U.S. Ski team member PK Andy Phillips, who is in his first year ever playing football (he is in the national Top 20 in field goals and scoring). It is Trojan Family Weekend. The game will be shown live nationally on Pac-12 Networks.