USC is looking to rebound from their 43-22 road loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils last week, a defeat that bounced them out of this week's AP Top 25 rankings. Turnovers proved costly for the Trojans against the Sun Devils, who had blown a 12-point halftime lead before scoring 22 unanswered points to close out the game.
The Trojans will need a bounce-back game from quarterback Matt Barkley, who has completed 67.8 percent of 149 pass attempts for 1,119 yards and ten touchdowns this season. Two of Barkley's three interceptions came last week against the Sun Devils. After being suspended for the season-opener, running back Marc Tyler has topped 100 yards in two of the last three weeks, including a season-high 149 yards against Arizona State.
After opening 2011 with a win over Northern Arizona, Mike Stoops' squad has faced three straight opponents ranked in the Top 10 -- Oklahoma State and Pac-12 rivals Stanford and Oregon -- and has lost all three by a combined score of 130-55. Stoops is in his eighth season in Arizona, and entering 2011, had won nine games against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Senior quarterback Nick Foles has played well, completing over 70 percent of his 183 pass attempts for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior Juron Criner is Foles' preferred target, hauling in 21 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns in three games this season. The Wildcats' defense has not played particularly well, averaging 484 yards allowed per game, including 233.5 yards per game on the ground. Senior linebackers Paul Vassallo and Derek Earls have combined for 60 tackles (7.5 for a loss), but the Wildcats have managed just three quarterback sacks through four weeks.
Game date, time: 3:30pm ET, Saturday, October 1, 2011
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
TV channel: FSN
Spread: Trojans are favored by 13 points
Series history: Trojans lead, 27-7
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit USC blog Conquest Chronicles and Arizona blog Arizona Desert Swarm. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.