USC-Utah Notes

Here’s some notes on the USC-Utah series:

1.  This is the first time that USC has played a ranked Utah football team.
2.  This is only the second time a ranked USC football team has played Utah. The first was in 2012, when the No. 13-ranked Trojans defeated the Utes 38-28, in the Trojans’ first game in Salt Lake City since 1917.

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Pick The Score

You saw the Gold Sheet expects a close game. This is a tough one. Utah will wear their new helmets, which Pete Carroll used to say was not good for a team because it made a game bigger than it was. So what score will you pick?

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The Gooold Sheet

The venerable betting publication, the Gold Sheet, picks Utah to defeat USC, 26-23.

“The Trojan defense, mesmerized by BC QB Murphy, will certainly see some of the same option schemes from the Utes’ 6-1 Kendal Thompson, with Utah HC Whittingham also able to call on 6-7 jr. rocket launcher Travis Wilson.”

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USC Morning Buzz: Should Special Teams Have Its Own Coach?


With USC special teams a mixed bag, Steve Sarkisian was asked if he would hire someone who only coached those units. Johnny Nansen coaches special teams and running backs.

“In this day and age, every special teams coach that I can think of in college football coaches a position,” Sarkisian said. “It’s just part of the job.”

But Kansas State is one program that does not have the special teams coach do anything else. Full story here

Can USC finish the season without any more drama? Here’s my story on all the crazy things that happened so far this season. Meanwhile, Lane Kiffin shows up this week’s Bottom Ten.

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Stat Of The Night

USC’s blocked some key field goals and won a game when Andre Heidari kicked a 53-yarder against Stanford. But the rest of special teams are well . . .

USC ranks 10th in kickoff coverage, 10th in net punting and 12th in kickoff returns. The Trojans are better on punt returns, ranking sixth.

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Andy Enfield At Pac-12 Media Day

USC coach Andy Enfield was asked today what the difference is from last season: “We have more athleticism, better shooting. We have an elite freshman point guard we recruited. We’ll be able to do more things this  year. But it is an adjustment year to year. Hopefully we’ll make the right ones.”

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Where Is Josh Shaw?

Another week passes with cornerback Josh Shaw suspended. Is he ever going to play? USC says little about his status. A reader offers his own theory: “Josh Shaw is still being listed as a USC captain in the weekly release.  He has essentially been `suspended’ seven games, and counting. That seems a bit excessive for lying, no matter how big the lie. I am guessing there is a problem arising out of the legal representation (impermissible benefit not available to other students). I am wondering when USC will come clean on this story.”

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