USC begins its final year under a NCAA postseason ban ranked No. 25 and facing off against a Minnesota team that is coming off a 3-9 season. Even though that ban has brought the Trojans down a few pegs from their lofty standards, this is still a team that is heavily favored to beat their Big Ten opponent for a second straight year.
Matt Barkley continues to lead the offense, coming off a year in which he threw for nearly 2,800 yards and 26 touchdowns. His main target will once again be Robert Woods, who had 65 catches for 792 yards and six touchdowns a year ago.
Jerry Kill will make his debut as the Gophers coach after spending the previous season at Northern Illinois. Kill's teams have been known for their rushing prowess, with Northern Illinois ranking No. 7 in the FBS a year ago. Marqueis Gray, who has played only sparingly, will take over for Adam Weber at quarterback.
Game Date, Time: 3:30pm ET, Saturday, Sept. 3
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3
Spread: USC by 23