California (5-4, 3-4 in Pac-12) vs. USC (6-3, 5-2)
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Last Time Out: USC 62 at Cal 28 (Nov. 9, 2013)
Last Meeting at USC: USC 27, Cal 9 (Sept. 22, 2012)
Series Note: USC has won every meeting since Cal downed the Trojans 34-31 in Berkeley in 2003.
The Betting Line: USC -15
When: Thursday, Nov. 13, 6:00 PM Pacific
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
Watch: ESPN; Rece Davis (play-by-play), Jesse Palmer (analyst), David Pollack (analyst), Samantha Ponder (sideline)
Listen: KGO 810 AM, Cal IMG Sports Network; Joe Starkey (play-by-play), Mike Pawlawski (analyst), Todd McKim (sideline reporter)
National Radio: ESPN Radio, Bill Rosinski (play-by-play), David Norrie (analyst), Joe Schad (sideline)
Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM; Eamonn Shannon (play-by-play), Justin Allen (analyst)
Cal Game Notes
USC Game Notes
DISCUSS: Message Boards
FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS
1. Jared Goff throws for at least four plays of 20 yards or more.
2. Trevor Davis and Kenny Lawler combine for 10 catches.
3. USC records one sack or fewer.
4. Cal picks off Cody Kessler, and that pick comes from (drumroll please) Stefan McClure.
5. Noah Westerfield has two quarterback hurries.
THIS GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With both Davis and Lawler back, and the running game as hot as its been over the past two seasons, the Cal offense could be too much for an inconsistent USC defense that hasn't gotten much of a pass rush this year, with 20 sacks -- ninth in the Pac-12. USC does have the most interceptions in the conference (11), but Cal has thrown just five -- the third-fewest in the Pac-12 -- and Goff himself has thrown just four. Yes, the Trojans have the athletes, but when Goff has time in the pocket, and his two favorite toys back, he's going to be very dangerous. On the other side, Kessler is perhaps one of the most quietly efficient quarterbacks in the nation, with a 168.2 QB rating that is second in the conference to Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota. Only Brett Hundley of UCLA completes a higher percentage of passes than Kessler, among Pac-12 quarterbacks. Cal's passing defense is dead last in the conference, allowing 376.4 yards per game through the air. This could very well be the highest-scoring Cal-USC battle we've seen over the past 10 years, and if it comes to a shootout, it's hard not to favor the Bears, who have the ninth most explosive offense in the nation, while the Trojans are 31st in that category, according to KnowHuddle.com.
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