As USC travels to Washington State, they face an opponent they have beaten each of the last seven years. The Trojans are 57-8-4 all time against the Cougars, and have won 34 of their last 38 meetings. Here are some pregame notes for today's contest, the opener of Pac-10 conference play for both teams.
USC ranks dead last in the Football Bowl Subdivision, 120th out of 120 teams, in penalty yards, with 321 in three games. The Trojans will have to cut down on penalties going forward, or they won't be undefeated for much longer. Perhaps being a Trojan makes one conducive to penalties, as the Troy Trojans rank 119th with 315 penalty yards.
The Trojans have had a different leading rusher in each of the first three games. Jordan Moore of the USC Ripsit Blog notes that it's time for someone to establish themselves among the running back corps:
Marc Tyler was the clear starting running back at Hawaii. Dillon Baxter was the leading rusher against Virginia. Allen Bradford dominated Minnesota. While Lane Kiffin would prefer a lead dog, he has been forced to settle on an inconsistent trio. With one more rehearsal before the grind begins, the best back should distinguish himself in the Palouse.
The Trojans are 2-for-7 in two-point conversion opportunities. Will placekicker Joe Houston get the chance to kick extra points today, or will Lane Kiffin continue to confound with his two-point tries?
The Cougars have lost 17 of their last 18 games in conference play.
Today's game will be televised only in the local markets, and is on Prime Ticket in Los Angeles. It is also available to watch online, for a fee, at USCTrojans.com.