No. 14 USC Football Resumes Oldest Rivalry With Stanford On Saturday In Pac-12 Opener
*No. 14 USC will play the first Pac-12 game of 2021 when it hosts long-time foe Stanford under the lights in the Coliseum on FOX.
*It's Joint Forces Day at the Coliseum, honoring military personnel and first responders, and there will be a special pre-game recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
*Stanford is USC's oldest rival, dating to 1905. However, the teams didn't meet in 2020 for first time since 1945.
*USC has won just 40% of its past 15 games versus the Cardinal, but Troy has captured 3 of the past 4 in L.A.
*USC — under head coach Clay Helton, who has won nearly 74% of his Pac-12 games to rank sixth on the league's all-time chart and has captured a Rose Bowl, a Pac-12 Championship Game and 2 South Division titles in his tenure — is coming off a season-opening home victory over defending Mountain West champ San José State, a game that started out close until the Trojans scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The Trojan offense generated more than 400 total yards against the Spartans under the direction of 2-year starting QB Kedon Slovis, who has thrown for more than 5,600 career yards and almost 50 TDs. He completed 12 passes to WR Drake London (a personal best for London) against SJSU and 1,000-yard career rushing TBs Keaontay Ingram and Vavae Malepeai had 150-plus ground yards combined. S Greg Johnson sealed the opening win with a fourth quarter Pick Six and the defense also got stellar play from true freshman S Calen Bullock (team-best 8 tackles while getting the late start) and OLB Drake Jackson (his point-blank interception led to USC's first TD). PK Parker Lewis was perfect on all 3 field goals.
*Head coach David Shaw (whose uncle was a USC All-American) saw his Stanford team lose to Kansas State in Arlington, the fifth of 7 consecutive road games for the Cardinal dating to last season. QBs Tanner McKee and Jack West, who combined last season to throw just 26 passes, split playing time against K-State. RB Austin Jones had a team-best 550 rushing yards last year with a Pac-12 high 9 TDs and he also caught 21 passes. DE Thomas Booker, who was a 2020 Academic All-American first teamer and also made All-Pac-12 first team as a special teams player (and second team defensive lineman), headlines the defense (he has 102 career tackles). Other top Cardinal tacklers back from 2020 are ILB Levani Damuni and S Kendall Williamson.
*USC's 2021 NCAA champion women's beach volleyball team and the school's NCAA track and field individual champs will be saluted during the game.
*USC's highly-ranked men's water polo team hosts Pepperdine on Saturday morning.
*USC is ranked No. 14 in both the AP sports media poll and the USA Today coaches poll. Stanford is not ranked.
*USC holds a 63-33-3 lead over Stanford (Troy's 2005 victory was vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 64-33-3). USC has just 6 wins in the past 15 meetings. In its last 45 contests with the Cardinal, USC has gone 30-14-1 (and Troy is 45-17-1 in the past 63 games).
*Stanford is USC's oldest rival, with the series dating back to 1905.
*In games in the Los Angeles area (including a 1918 game in Pasadena), USC leads 28-19-1 (not including a USC win in 2005 vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 29-19-1) and has won 3 of the last 4, most recently 45-20 in 2019.
*In that most recent meeting in 2019, Trojan true freshman QB Kedon Slovis — subbing for injured QB JT Daniels — started for the first time and completed nearly 85% of his passes while throwing for 377 yards and 3 TDs and USC scored the game's final 35 points to give the Trojans a convincing 45-20 victory over No. 23 Stanford in the Pac-12's season opener. See page 4 for a complete recap of that most recent matchup.
*USC has won 70.1% (479-196-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not including 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 488-196-29, 70.5%).
*In conference openers, USC is 70-23-5 (.740) and Troy has won 32 of its last 50 (and 45 of its last 64). In conference openers at home, the Trojans are 42-9-3 (.806). (Does not include 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 71-23-5, .742 overall, 33 of 50, 46 of 64.)
*USC has a 187-53-8 (.770) all-time record while playing in the month of September (does not include 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 190-53-8, .773).
*USC has a 453-141-27 (.751) all-time record in the Coliseum since the stadium opened in 1923 (not including 6 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 459-141-27, .754). USC's 627 games played in the Coliseum (including the 6 vacated wins) is the third most that any school has played in its home stadium (behind Georgia Tech's 708 in Bobby Dodd Stadium and Tennessee's 629 in Neyland Stadium).
*USC is 182-68-4 (.724) at night, including 107-31-4 in the Coliseum, 60-29 on the road and 15-8 at neutral sites. (Does not include 5 wins and 1 loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 187-69-4, .727 overall, 110-31-4 in the Coliseum, 17-9 at neutral sites, USC had a school-record 32-game win streak at home at night from 1997 to 2010.)
HELTON CONFERENCE WIN PERCENTAGE
*USC head coach Clay Helton has won 73.5% (36-13) of his Pac-12 games, ranking him sixth all-time among league coaches with at least 5 years in the Pac-12. Ahead of him on the conference winning percentage chart are USC's Pete Carroll (81.6%), UCLA Henry Sanders (80.5%), USC's John McKay (79.4%), Cal's Andy Smith (75.0%) and Stanford's Pop Warner (74.4%).
*USC has 7 players who previously attended a Bay Area school: DL De'jon Benton (Pittsburg HS), OL Andres Dewerk (Los Gatos HS), TE Grant Jones (De La Salle HS), TE Erik Krommenhoek (Monte Vista HS), TE Sean Mahoney (Archbishop Mitty HS), OL Jalen McKenzie (Clayton Valley HS) and WR Danny Ryan (St. Ignatius HS).
*USC ILB Clyde Moore's uncle, Rob, was a fullback at Stanford (1980-83) and his grandfather, Robin, was the NCAA 50-yard freestyle swimming champion in 1956 for Stanford.
*USC OL Jalen McKenzie's uncle, Raleigh McKenzie, was a scout with the Oakland Raiders.
*USC ILB Spencer Gilbert's father, Greg Gilbert, played linebacker with the Oakland Raiders (1990-91).
*USC defensive line coach Vic So'oto played linebacker with the Oakland Raiders in 2012.
*USC defensive quality control analyst Michael Hutchings prepped at De La Salle High in Concord (Calif.).
*USC swimming associate head coach Lea Maurer was the Stanford women's head coach (2006-12) and also swam for the Cardinal (1992-94).
*Stanford CB Kyu Blu Kelly is the son of former USC cornerback Brian Kelly (1994-97), a 1997 All-Pac-10 first teamer.
*Stanford ILB Jake Lynch is the son of former USC women's tennis player Linda Allred (1990-92) and the nephew of former USC TE John Allred (1993-96).
*Stanford OLB Lance Keneley is the son of former USC defensive lineman Matt Keneley (1993-96), who was a 2-time Academic All-American, and Women of Troy volleyball player Antoinette Lindemann (Thomas), and the nephew of former USC football players Todd Keneley (1999) and Clay Hattabaugh (1991-95).
*Stanford head coach David Shaw is the nephew of former USC All-American cornerback (1964-66) and assistant coach (1980-86) Nate Shaw.
*Stanford tight ends coach Morgan Turner is related to former USC assistant coaches Ron Turner (1985-87), his father, and Norv Turner (1976-84), his uncle.
*Stanford women's beach volleyball coach Andrew Fuller was an assistant at USC for 3 seasons (2013- 15) and Cardinal volunteer assistant Lauren Fendrick attended law school at USC.
*Stanford men's basketball associate head coach Adam Cohen was USC's director of operations and video coordinator (2010-12).
*Stanford women's rowing assistant coach Megan Biging previously held a similar position at USC (2012-20) and also rowed for the Women of Troy (2002-06).