The USC Trojans are heading up north for their first road trip of the 2021 season to visit the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, Sept. 18. in Pullman, Washington.
Despite firing head coach Clay Helton earlier this week, USC remains the 8.5-point overall favorite over Nick Rolovich's WSU Cougars. This game will be the No. 76 meeting between the two teams, with the USC Trojans leading the all-time-series 61-10-4.
All eyes will be on Donte Williams, who is serving as USC's interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021 season. Williams was previously titled as associate head coach and cornerbacks coach for the USC Trojans.
Across the field he will face Nick Rolovich who enters his second season with the Washington State Cougars. Rolovich is riding on some momentum after defeating Portland State, 44-24 at home. The Cougars lost their first game of the season to Utah State 26-23.
The Trojans' defense will need to keep eyes on Wazzu sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura who threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns last weekend. According to Donte Williams, de Laura is a "gunslinger, that is going to run around, [and] can beat you with his legs [or arm]” and a player that makes 'NFL' type of throws.
The Cougars have plenty of weapons on offense including senior tailbacks Max Borghi and Deon McIntosh who combined average around 5.2 yards per carry. While wideouts Travell Harris and Calvin Jackson Jr. hold things down on the receiving front.
"When you look at this film, there is nothing soft about them. They have two running backs that are NFL caliber running backs that run the ball. They are a run/pass 50/50, and their O-LINE can do both very well," Donte Williams said when previewing WSU's offense.
"You look at them now on defense and up front they are slanting, their moving, they are twisting, so it could cause a problem especially for someone like us who likes to throw the ball around a lot."
So far this season the Cougars have given up 430.5 yards per game including 162 per on the ground, and tallied four turnovers.
The Trojans third game of the 2021 season kicks off Saturday, September 18 at 12:30 PM PT. The game will air on FOX.
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