No. 4 USC Football Faces No. 12 Utah In Rematch at Pac-12 Championship Game – University of Southern California Official Athletic Site

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Football | November 29, 2022
*No. 4 USC is challenging No. 12 Utah in its fourth Pac-12 Championship Game, which will be played in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium.
*The game is a re-match from the two teams’ first meeting on Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City, where the Utes handed the Trojans their only loss of the season as Utah QB Cam Rising scored the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion with 48 seconds left in the game.
*The game will be broadcast live nationally on FOX.
*In the fourth round of CFP Rankings, USC was No. 6 and Utah was No. 14.
*USC’s 11-1 start is its best since the 2008 team started 11-1 and went on to finish 12-1 and defeat Penn State 38- 24 in the Rose Bowl.
*Lincoln Riley‘s 11 wins ties for the most by a USC head coach in his regular season debut, matching the 11 wins by Howard Jones in 1925 and John Robinson in 1976.
*Leading Heisman candidate QB Caleb Williams continues to impress the nation with his dazzling performances.
*Through 12 games, Williams has 44 total TDs and 3 INTs. He is 268-for-407 (.658) for 3,712 yards. He has also rushed for 351 yards on 97 carries with 10 TDs.
*Williams has accounted for 44 total touchdowns (both passing and running) in 12 games at USC. He broke the previous school record by a QB of 41 by Matt Barkley (2011) and Cody Kessler (2014).
*Williams now has 4,063 total offensive yards on the 2022 season which ranks 2nd on USC’s single- season total yards list (Sam Darnold leads the list with 4,225 total yards in 2017).
*Williams has tallied 44 total TDs this season. This breaks the previous school record by a QB of 41 by Matt Barkley (2011) and Cody Kessler (2014).
*Williams’ 351 rushing yards this season is also the most by a USC QB in the last 70 years since complete records were available. The previous record was 342 by Jim Sears in 1952.
*Williams leads the USC football team with 10 rushing TDs on the season.
*Williams is No. 1 in the nation in points responsible for per game (22.0).
*He is No. 6 in the nation in passing TDs (34) and leads the Pac-12 in the stat.
*He is No. 2 in the nation in points responsible for (264) and No. 5 in the nation in total offense (338.6).
*He is No. 6 in the nation in passing efficiency (168.6)
*He’s No. 7 in the nation in passing yards (3,712) and No. 7 in the nation in yards per pass attempt (9.12).
*He is No. 8 in the nation in passing yards per game (309.3).
*Williams is No. 12 in the nation in passing yards per completion (13.85).
*USC leads the nation in turnover margin (1.92) and turnovers lost (4).
*USC is No. 2 in the nation in 3rd down conversion percentage (.553). It is No. 3 in the nation and leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense (42.5).
*USC is No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the Pac-12 in team passing efficiency (169.35). USC also leads the Pac-12 Conference in passing yards per completion (13.82).
*It is No. 5 in the nation in total offense (506.6).
*USC is No. 6 in the nation in passing offense (322.6).
*Williams is currently No. 11 on USC’s Single Season Passing Leaders list with 268 completions. He is on pace to become USC’s all-time single season passing leader.
*Former Trojan Cody Kessler, currently holds the record for the lowest rate of interceptions in a season with 1.1% (5 in 452 attempts during the 2014 season). Williams is on pace to overtake that record since he is currently at 0.7% (3 in 407 attempts). TULI TIME
*DL Tuli Tuipulotu is a Finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award.
*By virtue of being named a Nagurski finalist, Tuipulotu will make the FWAA All-American First Team and will become USC’s 171st All-American first teamer.
*Tuipulotu is a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award
*He is No. 2 in the nation in sacks (1.04) and leads the Pac-12 Conference.
*Tuipulotu’s 12.5 sacks are the most in a single season at USC since Kenechi Udeze set the Trojans’ record with 16.5 in 2003. He is also No. 5 in the nation in tackles for loss (1.7) and leads the Pac-12.
*Leading Heisman candidate QB Caleb Williams went 18-for-22 passing (.818) for 232 yards and 1 TD. Williams also had 9 carries for 35 yards rushing and 3 TDs.
*In the last 6 games, Williams has 20 passing TDs and 7 rushing TDs and has 2,495 yards in total offense.
*Williams now has 4,063 in total yards on the 2022 season which ranks 2nd on USC’s single-season total yards list (Sam Darnold leads the list with 4,225 total yards in 2017).
*Williams now has 3,712 passing yards this season which ranks him 5th on USC’s single-season passing yards list.
*Williams threw to 9 different receivers throughout the game
*Williams has tallied 44 total TDs this season. The 44 rushing and passing TDs breaks the previous school record by a QB of 41 by Matt Barkley (2011) and Cody Kessler (2014).
*Williams also has 268 completions this season which ranks 11th on USC’s all-time single-season list.
*Williams’ 351 rushing yards this season is also the most by a USC QB in the last 70 years since complete records were available. The previous record was 342 by Jim Sears in 1952.
*Williams leads the USC football team with 10 rushing TDs on the season.
*USC has now defeated UCLA and Notre Dame in consecutive games in that order for the 11th time.
*The 38 points scored by USC against Notre Dame were the Irish have allowed in a game this season. The previous high allowed by N.D. this season was 32 (twice). The last time Notre Dame allowed as many points is when it defeated Florida State 41-38 in overtime on Sept. 5, 2021.
*RB Austin Jones had 25 carries for a career-high 154 yards. It was his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and 6th of his career. Jones’ previous career high for yards rushing in a game was 138 set on Dec. 5, 2020 at Washington while he was at Stanford.
*RB Raleek Brown had a 2-yard rushing TD in the third quarter. It was his second rushing TD of the season.
*WR Mario Williams led the team with 4 receptions for 37 yards, while WR Jordan Addison led the Trojans with 45 receiving yards on 3 catches.
*DL Tuli Tuipulotu had a sack to end the first half. The sack gives him 12.5 for the season and are the most by a Trojan since Kenechi Udeze set the USC record with 16.5 sacks in 2003. Tuipulotu entered the week third in the nation in sacks per game at 1.05.
*DB Calen Bullock had an INT in the fourth quarter. It was his seventh career INT and a team-leading fifth this season. His 5 interceptions are the most in a season by a Trojan since Adoree’ Jackson also had 5 during the 2016 season.
*LB Ralen Goforth recovered a fumble in the third quarter. It was his second career fumble recovery. He also had 5 tackles in the game.
*ILB Eric Gentry led the team with 9 tackles and also had a forced fumble.
*PK Denis Lynch nailed a 31-yard FG in the first quarter.
*The Utah Utes are 9-3 on the season.
*Since defeating the Trojans in Salt Lake City, the Utes have gone 4-1, while losing to Oregon in Eugene.
*QB Cam Rising leads the Utah offense going 219-of-330 (66.36%) for 22 TDs and 7 INTs.
*His favorite receiver is TE Dalton Kincaid, who the Trojans had difficulty stopping in their first match up in Salt Lake City.
*Kincaid has 66 receptions on the season for 850 yards and 8 TDs.
*WR Devaughn Vele is also a receiving threat. He has 50 receptions for 595 yards and 5 TDs this year.
*In the run game, RB Tavion Thomas has 142 carries for 687 yards and 7 TDs.
*QB Rising is the team’s second leading rusher with 391 yards on 60 carries and 6 TDs.
*S Cole Bishop leads the team in tackles with 68.
*DE Van Fillinger is the team’s sack leader with 5.0 for minus 33 yards.
*CB Clark Phillips III has collected 6 INTs on the season.
*USC is ranked No. 4 in the latest AP Poll and 4th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
*Utah is ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll and 12th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
*In the fourth round CFP rankings (which comes out on Tuesdays), the Trojans moved up to the No. 6 spot, while Notre Dame was No. 14.
*The AP No. 4 ranking is the highest by USC since 2017 when the Trojans were ranked No. 4 going into the Texas game (third game of the season).
*USC holds a 13-8 record over Utah, including 3-5 in Salt Lake City. Since Utah joined the Pac-12, Troy is 6-5 versus the Utes.
*This will be the 16th time that USC has played the same team twice in the same season. It previously happened in 1888 (Alliance AC), 1898 (Los Angeles HS), 1899 (Occidental), 1902 (Santa Ana), 1907 (Los Angeles HS), 1921 (Sub Base), 1943 (both UCLA and California), 1944 (both UCLA and California), 1945 (both UCLA and California), 1987 (Michigan State), 2015 (Stanford) and 2017 (Stanford). The 1888 Alliance AC, 1899 Occidental and 1902 Santa Ana rematches were played in back-to-back games. Only 3 times in those 15 contests has USC lost the first game, winning the rematch once (1902 Santa Ana) and losing twice (1987 Michigan State and 2015 Stanford).
*Twice at Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley coached against a team in the Big 12 title game that he had previously lost to during the regular season. He won both of those rematches (vs. Texas in 2018 and vs. Iowa State in 2020).
*USC has played 14 Friday games since 1990: vs. Syracuse in the 1990 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J., vs. Louisiana Tech in 1999 in the Coliseum, at Colorado in 2011, at Oregon State in 2013, at Colorado in 2015, at Utah in 2016, 3 times in 2017 (at Washington State, against Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game and against Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl), vs. Washington State in 2018 in the Coliseum, 3 times in 2019 (Utah in the Coliseum, at Colorado, vs. Iowa in the Holiday Bowl) and vs. Colorado in 2022. All were wins except the 2016 Utah, 2017 Washington State and Ohio State and 2019 Iowa contests. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, USC played occasional Friday night games in the Coliseum when sharing the stadium with UCLA.
*USC has played twice in the state of Nevada, both in Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium: a 10-6 loss to Utah in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl and a 45-20 win over Fresno State in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl.
*Speaking of Nevada, USC hosts Nevada in 2023 (on Sept. 2), marking the 100th anniversary of the teams’ 1923 meeting in the second-ever collegiate varsity football game played in the then-new Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Troy is 5-0 all-time against Nevada, with all the meetings occurring in the 1920s in the Coliseum (the last in 1929).
*USC also has a 2-0 record against UNLV (home wins in 1997 and 2018). The teams are scheduled to meet again in the Coliseum in 2027.
*USC will play LSU to open the 2024 season in the Vegas Kickoff Classic in Allegiant Stadium over Labor Day weekend.
*USC has 4 current players from Nevada, all whose hometown is Las Vegas — Michael Jackson III, Zion Branch, Garrett Pomerantz and Fabian Ross.
*USC has had 13 lettermen in its history who hailed from Nevada. 11-/12-WIN SEASONS
*USC has won at least 11 games in a season 13 times (not including 2005, when 12 wins were vacated due to NCAA penalty), most recently in 2017 when it was 11-3. USC is going after its fifth-ever 12-win season (not including 2004, when 2 of its 13 wins were vacated due to NCAA penalty, and 2005, when all 12 wins were vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC won 12 games in 1972, 1978, 2003 and 2008.
*USC has a 44-31-7 (.579) all-time record while playing in the month of December (not including 2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 46-31-7, .589).
*Since 2014, USC has played 6 games in a current NFL stadium besides the Los Angeles Coliseum (temporary home of the Los Angeles Rams). It beat Nebraska, 45-42, in the 2014 Holiday Bowl in Qualcomm Stadium, lost to Stanford, 41-22, in the 2015 Pac-12 Championship Game in Levi’s Stadium and to Wisconsin, 23-21, in the 2015 Holiday Bowl in Qualcomm Stadium, lost to Alabama, 52-6, in AT&T Stadium in the 2016 season opener and beat Stanford, 31-28, in the 2017 Championship Game in Levi’s Stadium and lost to Ohio State, 24-7, in the 2017 Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium.
*USC is 3-2 in domed (or closed roof) stadiums, beating Washington State in the Kingdome in 1976, Texas A&M in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl in the Astrodome and Houston in the Astrodome in 1996, but losing in AT&T Stadium to Alabama in 2016 and to Ohio State in the 2017 Cotton Bowl.
*The 2022 Trojans have equaled the biggest one-season victory turnaround (+7 victories) in USC history. USC’s 1962 national champs won 11 games after winning just 4 in 1961. Last season, Troy won 4 games and this year it has 11 victories.
*In 1988, USC became the first Pac-12 team to win 8 conference games in a season. USC also had at least 8 league wins in 2008, 2017 and 2022 (not including 2004 and 2005, when 1 and 8 league victories respectively were vacated due to NCAA penalty).
*Former USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao is on the current roster for the Las Vegas Raiders, while ex Trojan cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman is on the Raiders’ practice squad.
*USC running backs coach Kiel McDonald spent the previous five seasons (2017-2021) as Utah’s running backs coach. During his time, Utah led the Pac-12 in rushing in 2021 with All-Pac-12 first teamer Tavion Thomas eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing barrier (he set Utah’s single-season rushing TD record with 21) and in 2019 with First Team All-American and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Zack Moss who recorded his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and became the program’s all-time leading rusher (he set or tied 8 school records). The late Ty Jordan was a Freshman All-American, AP Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year and the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2020 while averaging 119.4 rushing yards (tops among FBS freshmen). The Utes won the Pac-12 South Division title in 2018-19-21 and were Pac-12 champs in 2021. They played in the 2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl, 2018 Holiday Bowl, 2019 Alamo Bowl and 2022 Rose Bowl.
*USC has 3 players from Utah (QB Jake Jensen of Pleasant Grove HS, ILB Tayler Katoa of Layton HS and ILB Carson Tabaracci of Park City HS), while Utah has 28 Californians on its roster.
*USC ILB Carson Tabaracci transferred to USC in the fall of 2022 from Utah after spending the spring of 2022 with the Utes.
*USC DL Brandon Pili‘s sister, Alissa, is a junior forward on the Utah women’s basketball team.
*ILB Tayler Katoa‘s sister, Eliza, was an outside hitter on the Utes’ women’s volleyball team (2014-16) and also played on the Utes’ beach volleyball team in 2017.
*ILB Solomon Tuliaupupu‘s father, Turnbull, was an offensive lineman at Southern Utah (2000-01) and Solomon spent part of his youth in Utah.
*USC DB Fabian Ross, RUSH Garrett Pomerantz and DB Zion Branch were high school teammates with Utah OL Falcon Kaumatule at Bishop Gorman high school in Nevada.
*WR Ty Shamblin and P/PK Garth White were high school teammates with Utah LB Ethan Calvert at Oaks Christian high school.
*USC SNP Nathan Weneta was a high school teammate with Utah kicker Joey Cheek at Cathedral Catholic high school.
*USC OL Brett Neilon and OL Kilian O’Conner were high school teammates with Utah CB Malone Mataele at Santa Margarita Catholic high school.
*USC TE Malcolm Epps was a college teammate with Utah RB Ja’Quinden Jackson at Texas.
*Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is related by marriage to former USC OLB-S Su’a Cravens (2013-15), who is now part of the Trojans’ radio broadcast team.
*Utah TE Munir McClain was on USC’s team in 2019 and 2020.
*Utah men’s basketball assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum was the director of operations for the USC men’s basketball team in 2005 and 2006.






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