No. 20 USC is about six minutes, a few key drives, an onside kick and a tipped ball away from being 0-2. The undefeated Trojans have found a way to win early games against Arizona and Arizona State, but it’s been a difficult go so far. Now on the road for the second straight week, USC heads to Utah.
The Utes haven’t played a game yet because of two COVID-19-related cancellations, so this will be the first time they’ve played for the better part of a year. The coronavirus outbreak within the program did more than enough to force Utah to cancel games against Arizona and UCLA, but the roster sounds close to being ready for USC.
The line on this game is interesting, too, with USC being just a three-point (up from 2.5 points) road favorite. That could be in response to how the Trojans have played through the majority of their two games. It’s hard to get a read on this game since one team hasn’t played and you never know quite what you’re going to get with the other.
USC: It’s no secret the Trojans have left some things to be desired. The offense sputtered against Arizona, going 6 of 15 on third and fourth downs. Quarterback Kedon Slovis looked off on his throws, too, though he and coach Clay Helton have insisted that there are no lingering problems. And the defense has given up some big plays. It’s not that USC is a bad team — they’ve made big plays when they needed them — but they are also probably a little lucky to be 2-0. Does that trend continue or will USC finally wake up for 60 minutes?
Utah: How are the Utes physically and mentally after not only such a long layoff, but the roller coasters of the last two weeks? Utah is the last FBS team to have scheduled games this fall and not played them yet. The sudden cancellations are tough on a football team that is ready to go. At the same time, the Utes had to roll heavy with scout team players during the worst days of the coronavirus outbreak. How has that affected normal preparation with the first and second teams? Who knows what to expect out of this group.