Pac-12 Championship Preview 2022: Utah vs. USC
The Pac-12 Championship Game is set for Friday night at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders and features the likes of No. 6 USC and No. 14 Utah.
Utah clinched a berth into the game after winning the tiebreaker over Oregon after Washington beat Washington State in the Apple Cup.
These teams have already played this year with the Utes beating out USC in the fourth quarter to win 43-42 on Oct. 16. The Trojans had multiple two-touchdown leads but Utah kept fighting till the very end.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising scored with 48 seconds left in the previous matchup and eventually won it by getting the two-point conversion.
Expect a lot of passing in this game as Heisman frontrunner Caleb Williams will be leading the Trojans and Rising threw for 424 yards the last time these teams played.
The key to the game will be which team can stop the pass the best, specifically who will be able to cover Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid who had 16 receptions for 234 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting.
Another key to the game will be who can get the run game going and how will it set up the passing game, as both of these offenses are very talented.
USC’s defense stepped up last weekend and kept Notre Dame to under 30 points which will be a goal this week as the Trojans are 8-0 when allowing under 30 points.
As for common opponents there are three solid teams that both teams played, and they are 7-5 Washington State, No. 16 Oregon State and No. 17 UCLA.
Against Washington State, Utah barely pulled off the win beating the Cougars 21-17 in a road game.
Utah jumped out to an early lead, but Washington State made it close with a ten-point fourth quarter.
USC had much more luck against the Cougars and beat them 30-14 and outscored them 13-0 in the second half.
The Trojans had a much tougher time with Oregon State as they only won on the road by a score of 17-14.
USC needed a 14-point fourth quarter to not get upset as Jordan Addison scored a touchdown with around a minute left on the clock to take the lead.
Utah hosted Oregon State the next week and blew them out by a score of 42-16.
At UCLA, the Utes would falter and lose the game 42-32.
The game was a three-point game in the fourth quarter but then UCLA scored two touchdowns in two minutes to pull away for good.
USC also went on the road to play the Bruins and won by a score of 48-45 in a classic.
The teams traded points throughout the game, but the Trojans defense stepped up in the fourth quarter with Korey Foreman getting a pick to seal the game.
With a win, USC will likely make the college football playoff but with a loss the future becomes a lot more unclear where they could potentially end up.
James Morrison is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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