Neither Cal nor USC are living up to past performances, mainly because of their struggling defenses.
This year's USC-Cal matchup lacks some of the big-time implications of recent years, but it should still be interesting. A big part of both teams' struggles has been somewhat lackluster defenses. The Trojans are coming off a game in which they allowed 41 points, albeit during a victory over Arizona, and are allowing an uncharacteristic 26.4 points per contest. The Bears are allowing 28 points per game and just had 43 hung on them by Oregon.
For USC, part of the problem seems to be at linebacker, at least according Conquest Chronicles:
Chris Galippo has not lived up to his billing. It isn't all his fault though, injuries have plagued Galippo almost from the time he got to USC.
2) Losing Anthony could also be an issue with our perimeter run defense. He was our best run-support corner. Williams and McClure have trouble consistently shedding blocks. Lack of elite safety play + young OLBs = lots of vulnerability on the edges.
Game date, time: 9 pm ET, Thursday, Oct. 13
Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco
TV channel: ESPN
Spread: USC favored by 3
Series history: USC leads 62-29-5
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit USC blog Conquest Chronicles and Cal blog California Golden Blogs. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.