College Football
California at Southern California
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, October 27, 2016
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

California has played back-to-back overtime games and will be coming off a short week when they travel to USC to face the well-rested Trojans in a Pac-12 game Thursday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Golden Bears beat host Oregon 52-49 in double-overtime Friday night while USC enjoyed a bye last weekend, marking the first time a Pac-12 team played on a short week against a team coming off bye.

Fatigue might be the only thing that can slow a California offense that ranks second in the conference in scoring (43.7 points), and has put up at least 40 points in six of seven games this season. Davis Webb has done very well for the Golden Bears after taking over at quarterback for No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff, and he enters this game leading the nation in pass attempts (362), fourth in passing yards (2,581) and second in touchdown throws (27). He'll be up against an increasingly confident USC defense that has held opponents to 20 points or fewer in each of its last three games, a big reason for its three-game winning streak. Another has been the steady play of quarterback Sam Darnold, who has 11 touchdown passes and one interception since taking over as the starter in the fourth game -- completing 100-of-150 attempts overall.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: USC -16.5

ABOUT CALIFORNIA (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12): The Golden Bears have their weaknesses and they're mainly on defense, where they rank second-to-last in the Pac-12 in points allowed, surrendering an average of 41.3 -- including at least 40 five times. That's one of the reasons California has been unable to remain consistent this season, failing to win two straight games or lose two in a row. USC didn't offer California running back Khalfani Muhammad a scholarship when he was at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, and he could be looking for another big game after combining for 313 rushing yards in the last two contests.

ABOUT USC (4-3, 3-2): During the three-game winning streak, USC's offensive line has played a large role as the Trojans have posted at least 157 rushing yards in each win and Darnold has been sacked just once. USC might be without running back Justin Davis (high ankle sprain) for a second straight game, but Ronald Jones II and Aca’Cedric Ware did a fine job picking up the slack against Arizona. The Trojans will also need to find a replacement for wide receiver/punt returner Steven Mitchell Jr., who tore his ACL during a punt return against Arizona.


1. California scored the first touchdown in last season's 27-21 loss to USC, the only time they've led against the Trojans since 2007.

2. Darnold’s 137 rushing yards are the most in a season by a USC quarterback since Reggie Perry rushed for 254 in 1991.

3. Of the 28 punts by USC this season, only four have been returned for a total of 18 yards.

PREDICTION: USC 45, California 35
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
California 4-3 W1 43.7 41.3 3-0 1-3 1-2 0-0 2-2
Southern California 4-3 W3 28.3 24.0 3-0 1-3 4-1 0-0 3-2
Last Meeting
California Southern California
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/31/15 USC 27 CAL 21 389 117 272 405 185 220
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
California J. Goff 74.2 272 2 2
Southern California C. Kessler 81.8 186 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
California D. Lasco 15 64 4.3 1
Southern California R. Jones 11 80 7.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
California B. Treggs 4 85 21.2 1
Southern California D. Burnett 3 82 27.3 0
Touchdowns Player TD
California S. Anderson 1
Southern California A. Jackson 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
California D. Webb 62.2 2581 27 7
Southern California S. Darnold 66.7 1334 13 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
California K. Muhammad 78 525 6.7 2
Southern California J. Davis 74 467 6.3 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
California C. Hansen 59 770 13.1 8
Southern California J. Smith-Schuster 40 565 14.1 8
Touchdowns Player TD
California C. Hansen 8
Southern California J. Smith-Schuster 8
Quickchart Matchup
California California Off vs  Southern California Southern California Def
California 545.3 yards
Southern California 370.7 yards
California 4.9 yards/rush
Southern California 4.2 yards/rush
California 7.1 yards/attempt
Southern California 6.8 yards/attempt
Southern California Southern California Off vs  California California Def
Southern California 438.7 yards
California 488.3 yards
Southern California 4.9 yards/rush
California 5.7 yards/rush
Southern California 7.6 yards/attempt
California 6.5 yards/attempt