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The (2-1) USC Trojans will take on the (3-0) Utah Utes on Friday, September 20, 2019. USC was off to a good start this season, although many things are happening behind the scenes. Their season took another drastic turn with an overtime loss to BYU on Saturday, 30-27. The best way to overcome that loss is to win against a PAC-12 Conference competitor, the Utes.

Utah is approaching the game hot after finishing off the Idaho State Bengals 31-0. In their last four encounters at the Coliseum, the Trojans have had the upper hand. However, USC must watch out for these 5 players to get the win.

USC Must Watch Out For These 5 Utah Players

Tyler Huntley – QB

Quarterback, Tyler Huntley, has been off to a fantastic offensive start this season and is someone the Trojan’s defense needs to pick on first. His innate ability to keep plays alive could be a serious problem for ‘SC if they allow him to get comfortable. In the 31-0 win against Idaho State, Huntley threw 282 yards for three touchdowns. He was getting his way and that is something that USC needs to avoid. 

Orlando Umana – C

Utah’s offensive line has been spectacular and has allowed Huntley to move around as he wishes in the pocket. That line will only get better with the possible return of center, Orlando Umana. In the last two games without Umana, the Utes have given Huntley protection and freedom in the pocket. With Umana, that feeling of safety will just get better. To get to Huntley, USC will not only need to fight through the O line but possibly through Umana first.

Zack Moss – RB

USC needs to be prepared for senior running back, Zack Moss. Moss has been playing phenomenally and breaking Utes records while he’s at it. When it comes to making plays or getting extra yards, Moss is the go-to guy for Utah. Case in point, in their win against Idaho State, their first offensive play was Moss breaking through the defense for a 38-yard gain. Again, that was the first play. USC will need to have their defense and, especially their linebackers, on 10. 

Bryan Thompson – WR

The other offensive weapon that USC needs to look out for is Bryan Thompson. He has started in all three games and is leading the Utes in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. In the first quarter of last Saturday’s game, Thompson caught an 82-yard touchdown to give Utah a 17-0 lead, continuing to chip away at Idaho State. Crushing that confidence early will be the key for ‘SC. Stopping Thompson from any big plays is a top priority. 

Devin Lloyd – LB

The offense has received a lot of attention, but there is one defensive player that USC needs to watch and that is Devin Lloyd. In his last two games, Lloyd has been dominating, scoring a career-high 10 tackles against Northern Illinois and nine tackles against Idaho State. Lloyd and Utah’s defense have kept their last three opponents from scoring more than 17 points. And not one point was scored on them in their last game. To avoid this embarrassment, USC will need to be ready for this defense that is about to hit them. 

Although this will be Utah’s first in-conference game, USC should not get too comfortable. They need to pay extra attention to these five players to not only win but re-cement themselves as PAC-12 contenders.

Rice-Eccles Stadium, Home Of The Utah Utes. USC And Utah Square Off On Friday Night. Photo Credit: Sam Klein | Under Creative Commons License

Rice-Eccles Stadium, Home Of The Utah Utes. USC And Utah Square Off On Friday Night. Photo Credit: Sam Klein | Under Creative Commons License

Leslie Torres-Valadez

Author Leslie Torres-Valadez

West coast sports nerd, with a love for east coast football.

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