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Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Southern California’s vision of a perfect season was trampled by Stanford and the No. 12 Trojans look to regroup when they host California on Saturday. The Trojans lost 21-14 to the Cardinal last week and were blanked over the final 40-plus minutes, a stunning development with all the offensive firepower on the roster. Now the task for USC is to win the remainder of its games and see how the national championship picture shakes out. The Golden Bears have lost eight straight games to USC but are coming off an impressive performance while losing at Ohio State. Upsetting the Trojans in the 100th meeting between the two schools would be big for Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who is just 13-15 since the start of the 2010 campaign.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12): The Golden Bears are allowing 32.3 points per game and will need a sharp turnaround to silence USC’s offensive weaponry. Rolling up yards on the ground behind senior Isi Sofele (team-high 212 rushing yards) and sophomore Brendan Bigelow (160 yards against Ohio State) would benefit the defense as well as senior quarterback Zach Maynard, who has completed 66.7 percent of his passes. Maynard passed for 280 yards against the Buckeyes in a 35-28 loss. Senior receiver Keenan Allen has a team-best 20 catches and is averaging 17.7 yards on seven punt returns, including a 69-yard score.
ABOUT USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12): Senior quarterback Matt Barkley didn’t play like a projected No. 1 overall NFL pick in USC’s 21-14 loss to Stanford. Barkley was intercepted twice while passing for 254 yards and no touchdowns. He is 133 yards away from joining Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart as the only USC quarterbacks to reach 10,000 career passing yards. Junior receiver Robert Woods is four catches away from becoming the fifth Trojan with 200 career receptions. Woods has 20 catches this season but just 173 yards as sophomore Marqise Lee (29 for 363) has been more effective. Getting the running attack going will be crucial after Stanford held the Trojans to 26 yards on the ground. Sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey has a team-high three interceptions.
1. USC leads the series 64-30-5 and has won the last three meetings by a combined score of 108-26.
2. During the eight-game losing streak to the Trojans, Cal has scored 10 or fewer points five times and hasn’t scored more than 17.
3. Trojans coach Lane Kiffin was a backup quarterback at Fresno State for three seasons when Tedford was the offensive coordinator at the school.