USC Football Returns To Coliseum, Hosts Oregon State For First Time Since 2017
*USC, coming off an energizing comeback victory in the Palouse, welcomes Oregon State to the Coliseum for the first time since 2017 as the Pac-12 teams battle under the lights on FS1.
*USC has won 85% of its games versus the Beavers, including 24 consecutive victories in Los Angeles.
*USC interim head coach Donte Williams makes his Coliseum coaching debut in a stadium just several miles from where he grew up.
*It is USC's Zero Waste Game, part of the Pac-12's Zero Waste Challenge to see which school can divert the most waste from landfills to recycling and composting.
*USC overcame a heap of adversity — rain, a freshman backup quarterback, a 14-point second half deficit, a week of coaching change distractions — to go on a 45-point run in its Washington State victory last week. True freshman QB Jaxson Dart was called into his first collegiate action when QB Kedon Slovis went down on the game's opening drive and Dart delivered a historic performance (his 391 passing yards were the most by a Trojan in a debut). WR Drake London, who is second in the nation in receptions and sixth in receiving yards, had a career-best 13 catches at WSU, while WR Gary Bryant Jr. also played a prominent role. USC's defense stiffened in the second half behind inspired play from the likes of OLB Drake Jackson (end zone strip sack), DL Tuli Tuipulotu (TD fumble recovery) and Ss Calen Bullock (key interception) and Chase Williams (6 stops). PK Parker Lewis has been perfect on field goals and PATs this season, while 30-year-old Aussie P Ben Griffiths is averaging more than 46 yards on his boots. USC's offense has scored all 12 times it has been in the red zone this season, while the Trojan defense has limited opponents to do so less than 60% of the time.
*Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith's club has won its past 2 games, including this past weekend over Idaho. The OSU offense tops the Pac-12 in total offense. Calling the signals offensively is QB Chance Nolan (a 70% passer), while RB B.J. Baylor leads the ground attack (his 7 rushing TDs are most in the country) and WRs Trevon Bradford and Anthony Gould are the top pass catchers. ILBs Avery Roberts, an All-Pac-12 first teamer who lead the league in tackles, and Omar Speights highlight the Beaver defense.
*USC's 2020 Tokyo Olympians (65 Trojans competed and they brought home 21 medals) will be honored during the game, as will the Women of Troy's 2021 NCAA championship track and field team.
*The Trojans and Beavers also clash in women's soccer this weekend, on Friday at USC's Soni McAlister Field.
*USC and Oregon State are not ranked in the current AP sports media and USA Today coaches polls.
*USC leads its series with Oregon State, 63-11-4, dating back to 1914. The Trojans have won 36 of the last 40 meetings with the Beavers (a loss in 2000 snapped Troy's Pac-10 record of 26 consecutive victories over the Beavers), including the past 4. USC has posted 17 shutouts in the series (including 2 scoreless ties).
*In Los Angeles-area games, USC has won 24 in a row over the Beavers (OSU last won in L.A. in 1960) and is 42-3-3 overall.
*The teams last met in 2018 in Corvallis, as USC TB Aca'Cedric Ware ran for a career-high 205 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a pair of long ones, and the Trojan defense posted 6 sacks to help the Trojans get a 38-21 victory over the Beavers. Ware averaged 12.1 yards on his 17 carries. Fellow TB Vavae Malepeai ran for a career-best 101 yards on 15 attempts. USC jumped out to a 21-0 lead.
*USC has won 70.0% (480-197-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not including 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 489-197-29, 70.4%).
*USC has a 188-54-8 (.768) all-time record while playing in the month of September (does not include 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 191-54-8, .771).
*USC has a 453-142-27 (.750) all-time record in the Coliseum since the stadium opened in 1923 (not including 6 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 459-142-27, .752). USC's 628 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 709 in Bobby Dodd Stadium and Tennessee's 631 in Neyland Stadium).
*USC is 182-69-4 (.722) at night, including 107-32-4 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: 187-70-4, .724 overall, 110-32-4 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.)
USC-OREGON STATE CONNECTIONS
*USC has 2 players on its roster who attended Oregon high schools — DL Brandon Pili (Westview HS) and ILB Eli'jah Winston (Central Catholic HS) — while the Beavers have 44 Californians.