|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 AM GMT9:00 AM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Dec. 2, 2022|
Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada Attendance: 61,195
No. 4 USC must avenge loss to No. 11 Utah to seal CFP bid
Utah Utes at USC Trojans
- Utah has won the last two meetings with USC, including a 43-42 victory in Salt Lake City on October 15 this season. Each team has gone 1-2 in the Pac-12 Championship Game, with the Trojans downing Stanford in 2017 and Utah defeating Oregon last season. These teams have never met in the conference title game.
- Utah routed Colorado, 63-21, posting 662 yards of offense in the win, its most since October 16, 2004 (669 yards vs. UNC). The Utes outrushed the Buffs, 383-62, and have averaged 108.8 more rushing yards than their opponents this season, the fifth-largest differential among Power 5 programs.
- Dalton Kincaid had five catches for 102 yards against Colorado, his third 100-yard receiving game this season, tied with Notre Dame's Michael Mayer for most among FBS tight ends. Kincaid leads all FBS TEs with 850 receiving yards, and he and Mayer are the only tight ends leading their teams outright in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs.
- USC downed Notre Dame, 38-27, to finish the regular season at 11-1, its best record since 2008 (also 11-1). The Trojans have averaged 42.4 points per game this season, third-best in the FBS behind Tennessee (47.3) and Ohio State (44.5). They averaged 28.7 points per game last season -- their 13.8-point increase is the second-largest improvement in the FBS (Washington, +19.3).
- Caleb Williams rushed for 35 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Notre Dame to finish the month of November with seven rushing TDs, tied for the most in the FBS. Williams has accounted for 44 total touchdowns this season (34 pass, 10 rush), tied with Western Kentucky's Austin Reed for the most in the FBS.
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The Pac-12 Conference championship game on Friday in Las Vegas offers no shortage of stakes.
No. 4 Southern California is looking both to avenge its lone loss of 2022 and remain in contention for the College Football Playoff, while No. 11 Utah seeks a second straight league title and a shot at Rose Bowl redemption.
USC (11-1) completed its best regular season since 2008 with a 38-27 vicrory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
The Trojans' place in the conference championship game was already set heading into the regular-season finale, but USC remained alive for a first-ever CFP berth and quarterback Caleb Williams bolstered his Heisman Trophy case with three rushing touchdowns and one passing TD.
"We have bigger goals in mind that I'm a part of," Williams said at Tuesday's media availability about being in line to win the Heisman. "I do get a little bit more texts and phone calls ... but like I said, trying to block out all the noise."
Williams' standout debut season at USC this year included a 381-yard, five-touchdown passing performance when the Trojans last saw Utah on Oct. 15. The Utes ultimately came away with a 43-42 win, however, capped when quarterback Cameron Rising punctuated the last of his three rushing touchdowns on the game with a successful two-point conversion carry. Rising also threw for two scores in the win.
USC coach Lincoln Riley was adamant during his Tuesday media availability that he does not view Friday as "a revenge game."
"That's not what this is," Riley said. "We played a really good football game, as did Utah, up in Salt Lake. It came down to one play here or there. They got us that time. But this is not about that game. This is a new game, a new challenge, a new setting (and) both teams have evolved."
Utah (9-3) is playing in its fourth Pac-12 title game since 2018 and is looking for its second crown in that span. The Utes dominated Oregon 38-10 in the Pac-12 championship game a season ago, earning the program's first-ever bid to the Rose Bowl.
The prospects of going back-to-back looked bleak for the Utes last Saturday when Oregon -- which owned the head-to-head tiebreaker for the other berth in the conference title game -- led rival Oregon State 34-17 in the early fourth quarter.
Twenty-one straight points gave Oregon State the win, which -- coupled with Utah's 63-21 blowout of Colorado later in the day -- landed the Utes in Las Vegas.
"As we all know, very difficult to beat a really good team twice, but that's what our challenge is," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in his press conference on Monday. "SC is ultra-talented, very efficient on offense. I know they're not No. 1 in total offense, but they're No. 1 in yards per play, which is to me, is more important."
Indeed, while USC ranks fifth nationally in total offense at 506.6 yards per game -- remarkably, good only for fourth in the Pac-12 -- the Trojans' 7.27 yards per play ranks third nationally behind only Tennessee's 7.35 and Ohio State's 7.30.
USC and Ohio State are two of the only three opponents that have posted 40-plus points against Utah over the past two seasons. The Trojans' 42-point outburst in Salt Lake City was the most the Utes had given up since losing the Rose Bowl to Ohio State 48-45.
Utah kept pace with USC in October thanks in part to tight end Dalton Kincaid, who went for 234 yards receiving in the win.
USC running back Travis Dye rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown against the Utes. He is out due to an injury, but backup Austin Jones gained 154 yards to give USC balance in last week's defeat of the Fighting Irish.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 30, 2022