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No. 7 USC Football Returns Home To Take on Fresno State Under Coliseum Lights

Sep 12, 2022

THEMES

  • No. 7 USC returns home for a game under the Coliseum lights as the Trojans challenge the Fresno State Bulldogs. It's a nationally-televised matchup on FOX.
     
  • The Trojans are ranked 7th in the latest AP Poll, which is their highest ranking since they were ranked No. 5 on Sept. 24, 2017.
     
  • It's just the sixth meeting between in-state opponents USC and Fresno State.

STANFORD GAME RECAP

  • QB Caleb Williams went 20-of-27 for 341 yards and 4 TDs to lead No. 10 USC to victory over conference-rival Stanford. This was the Trojans' first win over the Cardinal in Stanford Stadium since 2014.
     
  • This was also Lincoln Riley's first Pac-12 Conference win as head coach of the Trojans.
     
  • USC's 41 points are the most points scored versus Stanford since USC scored 45 points in its victory over the Cardinal in 2019 in the Coliseum.
     
  • USC is now 2-0 on the 2022 season, and 1-0 in Pac-12 Conference play.
     
  • The Trojans amassed 505 total yards of offense and scored five TDs in the first-half of play.
     
  • QB Caleb Williams was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, the CFPA National Performer of the Week and selected to the Davey O'Brien Great 8 List.
     
  • WR Jordan Addison had a team-high 172 yards on seven receptions and scored two TDs. He was named the Washington Metro College Player of the Week by the DC Touchdown Club.
     
  • RB Travis Dye led the team in rushing with 105 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD.
     
  • RB Austin Jones, previously a member of the Stanford Cardinal, played against his former team for the first time and rushed for 38 yards on eight carries.
     
  • USC collected four more turnovers against the Cardinal. DB Max Williams had an INT in the first series of the game that he returned for 32 yards. This was Williams' first career INT.
     
  • In Stanford's second offensive series, DB Mekhi Blackmon picked off Stanford QB Tanner McKee in the end zone and returned it for 17 yards to record his third career INT. Blackmon also recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
     
  • DL Tuli Tuipulotu recorded 6 tackles, including four for loss for 19 yards (with 1 sack for 11 yards). He also tallied a pass deflection and a forced fumble. He was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week.
     
  • DB Jacobe Covington also recorded a fumble recovery in the third quarter.
     
  • The last time USC's defense forced a total of 8 turnovers in consecutive games was in 2020 when the Trojans had 5 turnovers at Utah (11/21/20) and 3 the next game versus Washington State (12/6/20).
     
  • PK Denis Lynch was 2-of-3 on field goals, hitting a career-long of 45 yards, and was 5-of-5 on his PATs.

FRESNO STATE SCOUTING REPORT

  • Head coach Jeff Tedford and his Fresno State Bulldogs are coming off a heartbreaking last-second 32-35 loss to Oregon State.
     
  • The Bulldogs are 1-1 on the season.
     
  • This is Fresno State's first game against a Top 10 team since losing to No. 6 Washington and No. 1 Alabama in 2017.
     
  • Six players on the current roster had previous stops at a Pac-12 school - three on both sides of the ball.
     
  • The media selected Fresno State to win the West Division of the Mountain West Conference.
     
  • QB Jake Haener was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and All-Mountain West quarterback. Haener is the first Bulldog to be named Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year since Derek Carr in 2013.
     
  • This season, Haener is 65-87-0 (.747) for 737 yards and 3 TDs.
     
  • RB Jordan Mims leads the team with 195 rushing yards on 36 carries and 4 TDs.
     
  • WRs Nikko Remigio (15 rec. for 200 yards) and Josh Kelly (7 rec. for 134 yards) lead the receiving corps.
     
  • On the defensive side of the ball, DB Evan Williams leads the team with 17 tackles (2.5 for loss) and LB Levelle Bailey has tallied 15 tackles (0.5 for loss).
     
  • PK Abraham Montano is 4-7 with a season long of 43 yards.
     
  • Last Saturday (Sept. 10), the Bulldogs lost on the last play of the game. Instead of going for the field goal to tie, the Beavers played for the win and scored on a two-yard run as the clock ran out to give Oregon State the victory.

RANKINGS

  • USC is ranked No. 7 in the latest AP Poll and 8th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Fresno State is not ranked.

SERIES

  • USC leads its series with Fresno State, 3-1, not including Troy's 2005 victory that was vacated due to NCAA penalty (original record, 4-1).
     
  • The last meeting between the two schools was in 2019, when USC QB JT Daniels was 25-of-34 for 215 yards and a TD in the game (including 15-of-17 for 114 yards and the score in the first quarter). However, Daniels was lost for the season with a knee injury late in the first half. First year freshman QB Kedon Slovis stepped in and completed 6-of-8 passes for 57 yards and moved into the QB1 position for the next three seasons. USC snapped Fresno State's streak of 25 consecutive games without allowing 30 points. See page 4 for a complete recap of that most recent matchup.

VERSUS MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

  • USC is 33-1-1 (.955) against current Mountain West Conference teams (not including 2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 35-1-1, .957), last losing in 1992 (to Fresno State), the same year it tied San Diego State. Troy is 8-0 versus Hawaii (not including 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 9-0), 6-0 versus Utah State, 5-0 versus Nevada, 5-0 against San Jose State, 2-0 versus UNLV, 2-0-1 against San Diego State, 1-0 against Colorado State and Wyoming and 3-1 against Fresno State (not including 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 4-1). USC's most recent game against a current MWC opponent was its 2021 home-opening victory over San Jose State (30-27).
     
  • Fresno State is 27-45 (.375) against current Pac-12 teams. They last faced a Pac-12 foe this past weekend as the Bulldogs lost 32-35 on the final play of the game to the Oregon State Beavers.

IN SEPTEMBER

  • USC has a 190-55-8 (.767) all-time record while playing in the month of September (does not include 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 193-55-8, .770).

AT NIGHT

  • USC is 183-75-4 (.706) at night, including 108-35-4 in the Coliseum, 60-32 on the road and 15-8 at neutral sites. (Does not include 5 wins and 1 loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 188-76-4, .709 overall, 111-35-4 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-FRESNO STATE CONNECTIONS

  • In 1992, when current Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford held the QB coach position for the Bulldogs, Fresno State defeated USC 24-7 in the Freedom Bowl. This was USC's only loss to Fresno State in program history.
     
  • Fresno State's associate head coach/tight ends/special teams coordinator John Baxter is a familiar face for many Trojans. He spent four years (2010-13) at USC as the associate head coach and special teams coordinator. He added the tight ends to his coaching duties in 2013. He then returned to USC in 2016-18 as the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach
     
  • Jethro Franklin, Fresno State's defensive line/defensive run game coordinator, served as USC's defensive line coach in 2005 and 2009.
     
  • Bulldog LB Raymond Scott spent four seasons at USC (2018-2021) where he earned his bachelor's degree in communication.
     
  • USC DB Mekhi Blackmon was high school teammates with Fresno State WR Jalen Moss and RB Jordan Mims at Menlo Atherton HS.
     
  • USC RB Raesjon Davis and RUSH Solomon Tuliaupupu were high school teammates with Fresno State WR Nikko Remigio at Mater Dei HS.
     
  • USC DBs Zion Branch and Fabian Ross were high school teammates with Bulldog LB Charlotin Charles at Bishop Gorman HS.
     
  • USC WR Kyle Ford and TE Ethan Rae were high school teammates with Fresno State DB Reggie Strong at Orange Lutheran HS.
     
  • Fresno State DB Justin Houston's brother, John Houston Jr., was a linebacker at USC from 2015-2019

FULL GAME NOTES (PDF)