No. 6 Trojans continue early season tune-up by hosting Wolf Pack
The sixth-ranked Southern California Trojans will prepare for their Pac-12 Conference opener by hosting the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday. The Trojans kicked off their season with a 56-28 win over San José State, with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams throwing for four touchdown passes. The Wolf Pack will start Colorado transfer Brendon Lewis at quarterback to begin their second season under coach Ken Wilson.
Nevada (0-0) at No. 6 Southern California (1-0), Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Line: USC by 38 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: USC leads 5-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Trojans will be looking for second game improvements after defeating San José State 56-28 in their season opener on Saturday. The defense is clearly more talented than a year ago, but there were still too many issues with a lack of lane integrity from the pass rush and blown coverages in the secondary. The Wolf Pack kick off their second season under coach Ken Wilson seeking improvements from a 2-10 debut campaign.
Nevada QB Brendon Lewis vs. USC edge rushers Anthony Lucas and Jamil Muhammad. Lewis, who started all 12 games at Colorado in 2021 before entering the transfer portal midway through last season, will make his Wolf Pack debut. His ability to navigate the pocket was a key factor in Lewis winning the starting job, and it will be immediately tested against the Trojans. Lucas had two tackles for loss and Muhammad forced a fumble as both newcomers from the transfer portal made solid debuts. They’ll be looking to turn the pressure without allowing Lewis to break containment, something Spartans QB Chevan Cordeiro did frequently as he ran for 52 yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nevada: RB Sean Dollars had 316 yards rushing and one touchdown in four seasons at Oregon before transferring to Nevada. His standout moment for the Ducks came at the Coliseum during the shortened 2020 season when he ran for 52 yards on seven carries in the Pac-12 title game against USC.
USC: WR Zachariah Branch introduced himself to college football in spectacular fashion by scoring on a 96-yard kickoff return and a 25-yard reception. The touted five-star prospect from Las Vegas finished with four receptions for 58 yards and 232 all-purpose yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
Lincoln Riley is 17-0 as a head coach in regular season non-conference games. ... Nevada has 17 transfers from Pac-12 schools on its roster, including former USC LB Eli’jah Winston and WR John Jackson III. … Trojans QB Caleb Williams threw four touchdowns in his season debut, giving him at least four scoring passes in six of 15 games since transferring to USC. ... The Wolf Pack are on a 10-game losing streak, having allowed 345 points in that span. ... Trojans LB Mason Cobb had six tackles, including two tackles for loss, in his USC debut. … The last time Nevada and USC played was Nov. 9, 1929, when the Trojans won 66-0.
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