After Beating Utah, USC To Face Cal
October 29, 2015
By Myke Williams
The 4-3 USC football team, fresh off its 42-24 upset win over No. 3 Utah last week will need to continue to play at a high level this Saturday when they take on the California Golden Bears at noon in Berkeley. The Bears are looking to get back into the win column after losing to UCLA last week.
USC, UCLA and Arizona State are tied for second place in the Pac-12 South with a record of 2-2, while Utah continues to lead the South with a record of 3-1.
In two of the Trojans’ three losses the defense has given up over 40 points but last Saturday at the Coliseum the defense set the tone behind a three interception performance by freshman linebacker Cameron Smith.
The 6-2, 245 pound inside linebacker returned one of his interceptions 54 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter which made the score 28-17 at half time. The defense also held Devontae Booker, one of the best running backs in the nation, to 62 yards on 14 carries.
The win also marked the first victory for interim head coach Clay Helton after taking over for the fired Steve Sarkisian a few weeks ago. Helton is 1-1 after losing his first game to Notre Dame on October 17.
The USC defense will be tested again when it faces California’s high scoring offense, led by quarterback Jared Goff. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Goff is considered to be one of the best signal callers in the Pac-12. He has thrown for 20 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season. Five of his interceptions happened against Utah.
Cal is also led on offense by a very good group of wide receivers. Trevor Davis, Bryce Treggs, Stephen Johnson and Kenny Lawler have come up with some big catches for the Bears. Running back Khalfani Muhammad is also a threat to gain yards on the ground.
On offense the Trojans continue to rely on quarterback Cody Kessler. Against Utah he completed 21 of 28 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. His number one target was sophomore JuJu Smith-Schuster who caught eight passes for 143 yards and 25 yard touchdown.
On the ground the Trojans relied on freshman Ronald Jones II and junior Justin Davis. Jones II ran 15 times for 73 yards and Davis gained 66 yards on 19 carries against Utah.