No. 9 USC Football Returns To Coliseum, Hosts California On Homecoming/Reunion Weekend
TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
*After a month away from the Coliseum, the Trojans return for a two week homestand that kicks off with hosting California on Saturday, Nov. 5 on Homecoming weekend.
*Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT, and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
*USC is ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
*USC is off to its first 7-1 start since the 2008 season
*Lincoln Riley is the first USC head coach to start his career 7-1 since John Robinson in 1976.
*Riley is also the first Trojan head coach other than Pete Carroll to start any season 7-1 or better since Larry Smith went 10-0 in 1988.
ARIZONA GAME RECAP
*QB Caleb Williams threw for a career-best 411 yards and 5 TDs in USC's 45-37 victory over Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Tucson.
*He went 31-of-45 (.689) with zero INTs. He also rushed for 14 yards on 4 carries.
*It was the first time that a USC QB had consecutive games with 5 passing TDs since Kedon Slovis threw 5 consecutive TDs vs. Washington State and at UCLA in 2020.
*Williams is now ranked No. 3 in the nation in passing TDs (24) and No. 1 in the Pac-12 Conference. He is also No. 5 in the nation in points responsible for (162) and No. 2 in the conference.
*Williams distributed the ball to 10 different receivers throughout the night.
*With both WRs Jordan Addison and Mario Williams out, WR Tahj Washington stepped in and didn't miss a beat. He scored 2 TDs and had 7 receptions for 118 receiving yards.
*After being plagued by injuries, WR Kyle Ford had a long-awaited breakout game. He had 114 receiving yards on 6 receptions and scored 1 TD.
*It was the first time since Nov. 7, 2020 vs. Arizona State that USC had 2 receivers with 100+ receiving yards in the same game (Drake London and Amon-Ra St. Brown).
*Williams also found WR Brenden Rice in the end zone. He had 5 receptions for 62 yards and 1 TD, the first of his Trojan career.
*RB Travis Dye had another 100+ yard rushing game as he ran for 113 yards on 20 carries and scored 1 TD.
*This was his 5th 100+ yard rushing game of the season.
*Dye is the first USC player with a rushing TD in 7 straight games since Ronald Jones II did it in the final 7 games of 2016.
*DB Bryson Shaw was a bright spot on the Trojan defense. He recorded his first interception of the season by picking off Arizona QB Jayden de Laura in the third quarter and returning it for 17 yards.
*Shaw's interception resulted in a USC TD on the very next play.
*Shaw recorded 7 tackles (5 solo) with 1 for a loss of 3 yards. He also had 1 PBU.
*As a team, USC is ranked No. 4 in the nation in passes intercepted with 13 and leads the Pac-12 Conference in the stat. USC also leads the nation and the conference in turnover margin (2.00).
*DB Max Williams led the team with 9 tackles. He also recorded 1 PBU.
*ILB Shane Lee and DL Nick Figueroa each recorded 1 sack.
*USC's DBs broke up 8 passes throughout the night. In addition to Shaw and Williams, Calen Bullock and Mekhi Blackmon each tallied 2 PBUs, while Ceyair Wright and Jacobe Covington each recorded 1 PBU.
*USC did not commit a turnover for the seventh time in eight games. USC is the only team in the nation with just one turnover during the 2022 season.
*PK Denis Lynch went 1-for-3 on field goals, making a 45-yarder, but missing a 56-yarder and a 39-yarder.
*Lynch was perfect on all 6 of his PATs.
CAL SCOUTING REPORT
*The California Golden Bears are 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Pac-12 Conference play.
*QB Jack Plummer is 178-of-291 (.612) with 13 TDs and 5 INTs.
*Plummer's favorite target is WR J.Michael Sturdivant who has 43 receptions for 516 yards and 6 TDs.
*WR Jeremiah Hunter also has over 500 receiving yards this season. He has 35 receptions for 544 yards and 2 TDs.
*WR Marvin Anderson (25 receptions for 236 yards and 2 TDs), RB Jaydn Ott (24 receptions for 143 yards and 2 TDs), TE Keleki Latu (15 receptions for 182 yards and 2 TD) and WR Monroe Young (10 receptions for 121 yards and 1 TD) are also offensive weapons.
*RB Jaydn Ott leads the rushing attack for the Golden Bears. He's rushed for 708 yards on 117 carries for 5 TDs.
*Defensively, ILB Jackson Sirmon, the son of Cal's DC Peter Sirmon, leads the team with 76 tackles with 4.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has recorded 1 INT, 2 PBUs and 1 forced fumble.
*Ten of Cal's defenders have recorded at least 0.5 sacks throughout the season, while 7 have collected at least 1 INT.
*PK Dario Longhetto is 9-for-14 on field goals this season. His long is 42 yards.
*The Golden Bears lost their fourth straight game after falling 24-42 to Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 29.
*Cal has lost 22 of its last 23 games against teams ranked in the top 10.
*The Bears' only win against a top 10 team in the last 19 seasons came five years ago against Washington State.
*QB Jack Pummer went 20-for-33(.606) with 1 TD and 2 INTs against Oregon.
*Backup QB Kai Milner relieved Plummer in the fourth quarter and went 8-for-11 (.727) with 2 TDs and 0 INTs.
*WRs Hunter, Sturdivant and Baker each scored a TD.
*WR Sturdivant led Cal with six catches for 71 yards and his team-best sixth touchdown reception while WR Hunter added five catches for 96 yards
*Cal's defense recorded 2 INTs, one each by OLB Orin Patu and ILB Oluwafemi Oladejo.
*USC is ranked No. 9 in the latest AP Poll and 9th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Cal is not ranked.
*USC leads the series with California, which dates back to 1915, 70-32-5 (not including Troy's 2005 victory that was vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 71-32-5). The Trojans have lost just twice to the Bears since 2004.
*This will be USC's 109th meeting with Cal. The Trojans have played the Golden Bears more than any other opponent.
*In Los Angeles-area games, USC holds a 34-19-4 edge
*Despite holding a significant statistical edge, USC could not overcome a pair of turnovers, 2 lost opportunities in the red zone and a couple of missed field goals in falling at California, 24-14, on a chilly night before 42,076 fans in both teams' 2021 finale. It was USC's fourth consecutive loss of 2021, the Trojans' longest losing streak since 2001. With a 4-8 final record, USC posted its fewest wins and most losses in a season since 1991 (3-8). It also was Troy's first loss to Cal in Berkeley since 2003. It was the lowest attendance for a USC-Cal game since 2001 (33,506). The game was originally set for Nov. 13 but was rescheduled to Dec. 4 because of COVID-19 issues in the Golden Bears' program (just the fourth time that USC has played a rescheduled game). It was the first time since 2009 that USC ended its regular season against a team other than UCLA or Notre Dame and the first time since 1935 that the Trojans' final 2 regular season games did not include either UCLA or Notre Dame. See page 4 for a complete recap of that most recent matchup.
VERSUS PAC-12 CONFERENCE
*USC has won 69.8% (487-203-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (does not include 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 496-203-29, 70.1%).
*USC has a 66-27-4 record in its Homecoming games, dating back to the first such event in 1924 (not including 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 67-27-4).
*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, .657).
*USC is 186-76-4 (.707) at night, including 110-35-4 in the Coliseum, 61-33 on the road and 15-8 at neutral sites (does not include 5 wins and 1 loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 191-77-4, .710 overall, 113-35-4 in the Coliseum, 17-9 at neutral sites).
*USC has 6 players who previously attended a Bay Area high school: DL De'jon Benton (Pittsburg HS), DB Mekhi Blackmon (Menlo-Atherton HS), OL Andres Dewerk (Los Gatos HS), RB Austin Jones (Bishop O'Dowd HS), WR Danny Ryan (St. Ignatius HS), RUSH Devan Thompkins (Edison HS).
*TE Jude Wolfe's cousin, Ryan Gutierrez, was a safety at California (2001-04)
*USC WR Josiah Zamora, DB Domani Jackson, WR CJ Williams, ILB Raesjon Davis, WR Kyron Hudson and RB Raleek Brown were high school teammates with Cal CB Cam Sidney at Mater Dei.
*USC ILB Eric Gentry was college teammates with Cal OL Spencer Lovell at Arizona State in 2021.
*USC QB Miller Moss and DB Jaylin Smith were high school teammates with Cal OLB Myles Williams at Bishop Alemany.
*USC RB Matt Colombo and DL Kobe Pepe were high school teammates with Cal LS Jake Arguello, DE Ieremia Ieremia and DE Nate Burrell at St. John Bosco.
*USC OL Killian O'Connor was high school teammates with Cal DE Derek Wilkins at Santa Margarita Catholic.
*USC head women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb spent eight seasons (2012-19) as the head coach of the Cal women's program. She also had a previous stint with the Golden Bears in an assistant and associate coach role from 2006-08.
*USC assistant swim coach Kevin Rapien previously served in a similar role for the Cal men's swimming team.
*USC associate director of sports brands and communications Jeremy Wu formerly held a similar position at Cal.
*Cal athletic academic advisor Cassidy Raher formerly held a similar position at USC.
*Cal men's tennis head coach Kris Kwinta spent 10 seasons at USC as an assistant coach (2012-13) and associate head coach (2014-21).
*Cal's head coach Justin Wilcox served two seasons as USC's defensive coordinator (2014-15).
*Cal defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Peter Sirmon spent two campaigns from 2014-15 at USC as the recruiting coordinator, linebackers and associate head coach.
*Cal outside linebackers coach Vic So'oto previously served as USC's defensive line (2020) and defensive line/outside linebackers coach (2020-21).
*Cal director of player personnel Marshall Cherrington previously served as USC's Director of Recruiting Strategy (2021) and was a football operations intern and student manager while in school at USC from 2017- 2018.
*Cal ILB Muelo Iosefa and S Fatu Iosefa are the younger brothers of former USC ILB Jordan Iosefa.
*Cal CB Tyson McWilliams is the son of former USC tight end Johnny McWilliams (1993-95).
*Cal women's basketball special assistant to the head coach Kai Felton previously was an assistant coach at USC.