first_imgUSC looks to stay atop the Pac-12 South and move up from its new No. 20 ranking when the squad heads to the mountains and clashes with the Utah Utes, who are only ranked one slot higher than the Trojans at No. 19.Rush hour · Redshirt junior running back Javorius “Buck” Allen leads the Pac-12 with 909 rushing yards this season. The Tallahassee, Florida, native will be going up against the No. 2 rush defense in the Pac-12 at Utah. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanInjury ReportThough there were many Trojans who weren’t up to full speed at Tuesday’s practice, all the players are expected to be game-ready by Saturday.Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard, who suffered a knee scare during the Colorado game but was back in just a few plays later to make a touchdown-saving play, was limited to the exercise bike Tuesday.Senior safety Gerald Bowman was also limited to the exercise bike. Redshirt junior wide receiver George Farmer participated in practice. Redshirt junior fullback Soma Vainuku’s hamstring injury kept him out of practice.Showdown in the SouthThe Trojans will travel to Utah on Saturday to mix it up with the No. 19 ranked Utah Utes. Utah is tied for third in the Pac-12 South, where five of the six teams are ranked in the AP Poll. The Trojans still sit atop the division at 4-1 and 5-2 overall, but it is clear that Utah is a must-win.USC head coach Steve Sarkisian did not want to underestimate Utah, but also did not want to overemphasize this game over others the Trojans have played, despite it being a clash between two ranked teams in the same division.“We have to treat it just like the other ones,” he said. “It’s a valuable one and we need to understand the environment we are heading into.”Redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen says the team is focused heading into the new week and expecting Utah to come after them.“USC is always going to have a target on their back,” Allen said. “[Utah’s] home, and it’s going to be a tough game.”Utah has been alternating between two quarterbacks all season, but on Tuesday Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham announced that Travis Wilson will start against the Trojans. Wilson has thrown for 833 yards and seven touchdowns this season.The Utah defense has long been thought of as the biggest challenge the Trojans will face this season, as they currently lead the Pac-12 in sacks.Sarkisian cited two specific aspects of the game the offensive line could potentially struggle with: an all-around talented opponent and the crowd noise from a hostile environment.“The best way to prepare is to go out and execute at a high level,” Sarkisian said. “We need to be prepared for the physicality [of Utah].”It’s History NowRedshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler made history Saturday when he threw seven touchdown passes, the most ever by a USC quarterback in a single game (one more than former Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley threw four times). Because of his performance, Kessler also brought home the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week award.“I would love to do that every week,” Kessler said. “It’s all preparation, and I’m going into each game trying to play my best.”Kessler drew considerable praise from Sarkisian, who sees Kessler as a fantastic teammate and leader who demonstrates a workmanlike attitude at practice every day.“There’s still stuff I could improve on,” Kessler said. “I approach every game as a new game and prepare the same way I prepare for every game.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *