Utes ready to host struggling USC Trojans

Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 11:45:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utes finished out nonconference play with a win on the road against San Jose State.

The defense, led by Senior Defensive End Hunter Dimick, recorded 10 sacks against the Spartans -- the most in the nation this year for a single game.

Dimick leads the Pac-12 in sacks (3.0) and is tied for third in tackles for loss (4.0). Utah is also #2 in the nation, leading the Pac-12, in total sacks (15) and sacks per game (5.0).

This Friday, Utah hosts Southern Cal.

USC comes into the matchup with a 1-2 record, having lost to Alabama and Pac-12 South powerhouse Stanford.

The Trojans will likely bring with them a strong sense desperation along with a lot of emotion, but Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham said they don’t pay attention to USC’s record. They know what their capabilities are and are aware of how Utah needs to play to have a chance to win the game.

“We’ve got to be at our best. They’re a very talented team, probably the best 1-2 team in the country; very dangerous. They got a lot of weapons, they’re physical, they’re fast,” Whittingham said.

Last season, Utah was 6-0 and ranked third nationally heading to the Coliseum. The Trojans spoiled what could have been a championship run with four interceptions, holding Devontae Booker to only 62 yards.

This year, Utah is ready for revenge. The Utes will meet the Trojans on the field on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Rice-Eccles Stadium.

“It’s USC. We know the type of guys they have there. You can’t let the record fool you, they’re a dangerous team. But, we know we’re also dangerous and we’ll be ready to play,” said Junior Quarterback Troy Williams.

Utah’s first football game as a member of the Pac-12 was against USC at the Coliseum in 2011. The Utes lost 14-23.

All-time against the Trojans, Utah is 4-10 and 2-2 in Salt Lake City. The Utes last beat USC in 2014 at Rice-Eccles Stadium 24-21.