2021 Game 6: USC Football vs. Utah
Utah Utes (2-2, 1-0) vs. USC Trojans (3-2, 2-2)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 5pm PT on FOX
Ute to Watch: Junior LB Devin Lloyd
Lloyd will not be hard to find on the field. He will be sitting in the middle of the Utah defense, rocking the No. 0 and flying to the football. In four games this season, he has racked up 46 tackles (most per game in the Pac-12), 2 interceptions, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Other than that, he's been pretty quiet through the first month.
When it comes to Kyle Whittingham, you can always count on his teams to be big and strong at the line of scrimmage. This year's version may not be his best, but they will be a test for the Trojans nonetheless. In its wins this season, USC has held opponents to 82 rush yards per game, but in their losses, the Trojans have allowed 231.5 yards on the ground. Along with putting pressure on USC's run defense, the Utes are averaging 3 sacks per game, which ranks second in the Pac-12. The Trojans must protect Kedon Slovis who was knocked out of the 2019 Utah game on the first drive.
Big Play Potential
After Slovis was injured in 2019, Matt Fink came off the bench and threw for 351 yards and 3 TDs. Last season, Slovis passed for 264 yards and 2 TDs in a victory in Salt Lake City. The Utes have the No. 13 ranked pass defense in the nation, but it's an aggressive scheme which has leaked big plays against Graham Harrell's passing offense. If the quarterback has time, Drake London, Gary Bryant Jr. and Michael Trigg can get behind the Utes.
This projects to be a close game which means special teams could play a huge role. Historically, Utah is elite in the kicking game. So far this season though, USC's specialists are at the top of the Pac-12. Parker Lewis is 9/9 kicking field goals and ranks third in the conference in scoring. Ben Griffiths is averaging more than 45 yards per punt, but needs to avoid Britain Covey, the leading punt returner in the Pac-12. A blocked kick or a long return could swing this result one way or the other.