Utah Seeks To Avoid A Repeat Of 2015 Letdown vs USC

The Trojans are 1-2 and now they face No. 24 Utah on the road Friday.

The Utah offense may be progressing, but it hasn't faced an opponent with the physical talent of USC.

The Utes are two for two on fourth down.

In the five seasons since the conference added Utah and Colorado and then split into two divisions, five of the South Division's six teams have grabbed at least a share of the division title, with only Colorado still gunning for the top perch. He'll be a handful for USC right tackle Zack Banner, who stands 6'8 and could be a top National Football League draft pick next year. The Conference's women's basketball teams will again receive unmatched television coverage with a combined 105 games broadcast on both the Pac-12 and ESPN Networks, including a Conference matchup on ESPN's Big Monday and the live telecast of all 11 games of the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament from KeyArena in Seattle. The Trojans have been outscored 61 - 86. Redshirt freshman forward Dani Milisic will check in for her first action as a Trojan this season alongside true freshmen Minyon Moore, Valerie Higgins, Asiah Jones and Ja'Tavia Tapley, while USC welcomes the savvy and skill of grad student transfer Ivana Jakubcova. Darnold has played in all three games and thrown for 136 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and completed 63.6 percent of his passes. Browne's mobility, or lack thereof, could be a concern all season in a hard Pac-12.

Quarterback Sam Darnold was inserted into the starting lineup to provide a spark.

Four games in, it's only fair to point out Utah's injuries: Kylie Fitts was already out for the season, and the defensive line lost another star mid-game when Lowell Lotulelei left with an apparent shoulder injury.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson said Helton had one message this week.

Jackson ran the ball back 100 yards, making a few people miss along the way.

Next on tap: USC will look to get their first Pac-12 win on Saturday, October 1 at the Coliseum against Arizona State.

At 1-2, the Trojans are off to their worst start since 2001 - Pete Carroll's first season on campus. Defensively, Utah is allowing 12 points and 263.7 yards per game. Last week, in a 34-17 victory over San Jose State, Utah tallied 10 sacks against the Spartans. He averaged 15 yards per catch last season.

Utah quarterback Troy Williams (3) passes the ball against Southern California in the first half during an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Utah will have success running the football, which will setup the passing game. And while Whittingham had the confidence to keep his offense on the field on fourth down, USC's Clay Helton opted to punt on 4th & 3 from the Utah 37.

Last year's tournament was one of the most exciting in the history of the event, featuring four upsets, seven games decided by 10 points or less and a pair of overtime games. The Utes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. He's started all three games with the Trojans.

Utah is 0 - 4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games. The home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings. In preparation of the game, The Daily Utah Chronicle spoke to Hailey Tucker, the sports editor of the Daily Trojan, USC's student newspaper, to gain insight into the Trojans' squad. The environment at Rice-Eccles Stadium should be electric with the crowd throwing a blackout and the hype around the fact that USC is in town.

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