Trojan defense will have final say

Scouts Inc. goes inside the Cal-USC matchup and sees the Trojans winning a close one at home.

Originally Published: October 7, 2004
By Tony Granieri | Scouts, Inc.
Two of the nation's top teams meet in this early-season Pac-10 showdown, as No. 1 ranked and defending national champion Southern California hosts the seventh-ranked Bears on Saturday.

Who: California (7) at USC (1)
When: Sat., 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Where: L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles

The men of Troy own an all-time record of 56-30-5 in this series, which dates back to 1912. However, the Bears have won five of the last eight meetings, including a 34-31 triple-overtime victory that snapped an 11-game winning streak for USC last year. It's the Trojans' only loss in their last 25 games.

The long-awaited rematch has arrived, and it features two of the most explosive offenses in the country. Cal's multi-pronged attack, the brainchild of head coach Jeff Tedford, leads the nation in scoring (48.7), is second in total offense (539.0) and is sixth in rushing (278.0).

Meanwhile, the Trojans' offense is averaging 36.5 points per game and has been deadly efficient under the guise of veteran coordinator Norm Chow. Both defenses rank in the top 10 nationally in points allowed, making this matchup that much more interesting. Which one of these offensive gurus can make the necessary adjustments and put their players in a position to succeed?