No. 5 USC looks for 14th straight win vs. California
By The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2017
No. 5 Southern California (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) at California (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Line: USC by 16 ½.
Series record: USC leads 69-30-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
After being taken to double OT at home a week ago against Texas, the Trojans look to extend their 12-game winning streak when they hit the road for the first time this season. The Bears are off to a surprising start under first-year coach Justin Wilcox and are seeking to be 4-0 for just second time in past 10 seasons.
USC QB Sam Darnold vs Cal D. The Bears are vastly improved on defense under Wilcox. They are allowing just 22 ppg, down from 42.6 last season. They get their toughest test yet against Darnold and the Trojans. Darnold has thrown for at least 200 yards in 13 straight starts and is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,002 yards so far this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
USC: WR Deontay Burnett. Burnett has stepped up with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers no longer at USC. Burnett has 24 catches for 386 yards and four TDs this season.
California: LB Devante Downs. Downs won his second Pac-12 defensive player of the week award this season, becoming the first Cal player since 2009 to do it twice in a year. He had 14 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and one INT in last week's win over Mississippi.
FACTS & FIGURES
Trojans won last 13 meetings between the schools with average margin of victory 18.1 points. ... Wilcox previously served as defensive coordinator at USC from 2014-15. ... Trojans gained at least 400 yards of offense in 13 straight games. ... USC is converting 56.1 percent of third downs. ... Trojans P Reid Budrovich leads Pac-12 with 47.8 yard average. ... Cal held last two opponents scoreless in second half and have a 57-13 second-half scoring advantage this season. ... Bears have a plus-four turnover margin. ... Cal RB Patrick Laird had career-high 22 carries last week for 78 yards and one TD. ... Bears converted 6 of 7 fourth-down tries.
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