No. 13 BYU Cougars (9-2) at USC Trojans (4-6) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 7:30pm on ESPN
Cougar to Watch: Sophomore RB Tyler Allgeier
The Cougars have an elite power rushing attack led by Allgeier, a former linebacker, who punishes tacklers with his 220-pound frame. He ranks second in the nation in rushing touchdowns with 18 to go along with 1,303 yards (5th most in FBS).
Test of Will: The Trojans better bring their hard hats against maybe the most physical opponent they have played this season. USC’s rush defense started strong against UCLA but ultimately faded, giving up 260 yards and 4 TDs on the ground. Along with Allgeier, BYU QB Jaren Hall is a threat to run, scoring three touchdowns on the ground over the last five games. He ran for 92 yards in the Cougars’ rivalry win over Utah earlier this season.
Fit the Pieces: The Trojans offense grew into the game against UCLA thanks to a patient rushing attack and the emergence of Gary Bryant Jr. It’s been a difficult adjustment without Drake London, but the Trojans are not without weapons if they can play to their strengths. Bryant has proven his ability to separate vertically. Kyle Ford can hurt opponents with his size on back shoulder throws, while Tahj Washington is at his best running after the catch. If the running game remains consistent, USC can find the dynamism in its offense again.
For the Seniors: This game is all about the Trojans’ mentality. It’s the final home game of the season, which means Senior Day for some Trojans who have been through the wars. Will the young guys lay it on the line so the vets can go out winners? Will USC rally around the goal of bowl eligibility in a must-win situation? The answers needs to be “Yes!” to all if the Trojans are going to knock off a ranked BYU team at this stage.
Credit: USC Athletic Department