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USC Football Hosts No. 14 Brigham Young Saturday In Must-Win Home Finale At Coliseum

Nov 21, 2021


*USC welcomes independent No. 13 BYU to the Coliseum for just the second time ever. ESPN will air the night game.

*It's the final Coliseum appearance for the Trojan seniors, who will be honored before the game.

*It's a rare Thanksgiving week game when USC isn't playing Notre Dame or UCLA (the Trojans have won most of those such contests).

*USC — needing to win its final 2 games to become bowl eligible — originally was to face BYU in its 2021 regular-season finale, but now Troy's Dec. 4 game at California will conclude the regular season after it was rescheduled from Nov. 13 due to COVID-19 issues in the Bears' program.

*Two members of the Trojan coaching staff played at BYU.

*Interim head coach Donte Williams' USC club dropped its crosstown rivalry game to UCLA last Saturday, allowing an opponent record-tying 62 points. True freshman QB Jaxson Dart showed fairly well against the Bruins in his first career start, subbing for injured QB Kedon Slovis. WR Gary Bryant Jr. had a big day versus UCLA, with personal bests in receptions and receiving yards, while TB Vavae Malepeai ran for a career-high 3 TDs. TB Keaontay Ingram is less than 100 yards from a 1,000-yard rushing season. ILB Kana'i Mauga, who had a game-best 14 tackles against the Bruins, continues to lead the Trojans in tackles. Also against the Bruins, S Xavion Alford snatched his third interception in 2 games, while CB Chris Steele got his second pick of 2021. WR Drake London, despite breaking his ankle in Game 8 and being sidelined, remains a leading candidate for the Biletnikoff Award and All-American honors based on his impressive body of work in 2021 (88 catches, 1,084 yards, 7 TDs).

*Head coach Kalani Sitake's BYU club, coming off a road win at Georgia Southern (the school that recently hired ex-USC head coach Clay Helton for the 2022 season), is 4-0 versus the Pac-12 in 2021. The Cougar offense, in the nation's Top 20 in total offense and passing efficiency, is directed by QB Jaren Hall. Talented RB Tyler Allgeier, in his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season to rank eighth on BYU's career rushing ladder, is in the national Top 10 in rushing TDs, rushing and scoring. Leading Cougar receivers are WRs Neil Pau'u, Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney. BYU's defense is Top 10 nationally in turnover margin and interceptions. Top defenders are LBs Ben Bywater and Payton Wilgar and DB Malik Moore, who has 3 interceptions this year. PK Jake Oldroyd, whose overtime field goal beat USC in 2021, had made 16 consecutive field goals before missing earlier this year.


*USC is not ranked in the current AP sports media and USA Today coaches polls. BYU is 13th by AP and 15th by USA Today.


*USC is 2-1 versus BYU, with wins in the first 2 meetings (35-18 at home in 2003 and 42-10 on the road in 2004) and an overtime loss in Provo in 2019, 30-27.

*In 2019 in the teams' most recent meeting, PK Jake Oldroyd kicked a 43-yard field goal at the start of overtime and then BYU intercepted a third down pass on No. 24 USC's ensuing possession to preserve the Cougars' 30-27 victory over the Trojans on a hot (upper 80s) afternoon in Provo. USC PK Chase McGrath tied the game with 1:43 to play on a career-long 52-yard field goal. After Oldroyd's overtime field goal, CB Dayan Ghanwoloku intercepted a tipped pass by QB Kedon Slovis to give BYU the victory.


*USC is 40-51-5 against current FBS independent schools: 2-1 versus BYU, 2-0 versus Army and 36-50-5 against Notre Dame (not including 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 41-51-5 overall, 37- 50-5 versus Notre Dame).


*Besides its 2-1 mark versus BYU, USC is 6-0 against Utah State and 13-7 versus Utah.


*USC has a 266-136-20 (.654) all-time record while playing in the month of November (not including 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 269-136-20, .656).


*USC has a 454-145-27 (.747) all-time record in the Coliseum since the stadium opened in 1923 (not including 6 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 460-145-27, .749). USC's 632 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 712 in Bobby Dodd Stadium and Tennessee's 635 in Neyland Stadium).


*USC is 183-73-4 (.712) at night, including 108-34-4 in the Coliseum, 60-31 on the road and 15-8 at neutral sites. (Does not include 5 wins and 1 loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 188-74-4, .714 overall, 111-34-4 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.)


*This will be just the 13th time since 1926 that USC will not face either Notre Dame or UCLA when the Trojans had a game scheduled during Thanksgiving week (the Irish first came on Troy's schedule in 1926, the Bruins in 1929). The other years: 1926 (Montana), 1929 (Washington State), 1930-32-34-41 (Washington), 1933 (Georgia), 1965 (Wyoming), 1978 (Hawaii), 1985 (Oregon), 1999 (Louisiana Tech) and 2017 (Stanford). The Trojans won all those games except the 1934 and 1941 Washington games. Last year's game against Colorado scheduled for the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend was canceled because of COVID-19 issues in the USC program.


*USC has 2 players from Utah (QB Jaxson Dart from Corner Canyon HS and ILB Tayler Katoa from Layton HS), while BYU has 20 Californians on its roster.

*USC defensive line coach Vic So'oto was a 4-year (2005-07-09-10) letterwinner at BYU, where he began his career as a tight end and played his final 3 seasons on defense (linebacker and defensive end).

*USC defensive quality control analyst C.J. Ah You began his collegiate playing career at BYU (2001, 03) before transferring. His father, Charles Sr. (1973-75), and brother, Matt (2003-04, 08), played football at BYU, his nephew, Chaz Ah You, is a junior linebacker at BYU, his cousins, Kingsley (1992-93) and Harland (1995- 97) Ah You, played football at BYU and his brother, Jasen Ah You, is the director of recruiting and player personnel at BYU.

*USC ILB Tayler Katoa's sister, Eliza, was a outside hitter on Utah's women's volleyball team (2014-16) and also played on the Utes' beach volleyball team in 2017.

*USC QB Jaxson Dart's father, Brandon, was a safety at Utah (1994-96, 1999-2000).

*USC graduate assistant coach Toa Lobendahn's father, Vince, was a lineman at Utah (1990-93) and also was a graduate assistant coach at BYU (1998-99).

*USC ILB Solomon Tuliaupupu's father, Turnbull, was an offensive lineman at Southern Utah (2000-01) and Solomon spent part of his youth in Utah.

*USC defensive quality control analyst Brett Arce's father was an assistant basketball coach at Utah State.

*BYU director of football strength and conditioning Nu'u Tafisi was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at USC in 2015.