With USC seeking its fourth consecutive win, the Trojans must stay focused and build on their performance against Oregon State.
Cal has only managed to win one game on the season, a 37-30 victory over Portland State.
The Trojans are heavily favored on paper, but as USC has seen in the past, that isn’t where games are won.
Here are their keys to victory:
1. Contain the “Bear Raid” offense
Cal freshman quarterback is averaging nearly 318 passing yards per game. It’s a pass heavy offense, with the Bears averaging only 113.9 yards per game on the ground.
Goff is completing 60% percent of his passes, but has 14 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
The Trojans will be without Morgan Breslin, and Leonard Williams may also miss the game.
Devon Kennard played one of his best games on the season against the Beavers and a similar effort is paramount if the Trojans hope to keep the Bears in check.
2. Ground and pound
With Tre Madden still recovering from his hamstring injury, Javorius Allen and Silas Redd formed a two-headed monster for the Trojans out of the backfield.
Redd finished the game with the most carries, 20, and yards, 140, but it was Allen who stole the show. Allen had three touchdowns to go along with 133 yards.
The rushing attack helped the Trojans keep control of the game and loosen up the Beaver secondary.
USC should be able to take advantage of a Cal defense that allows an average of 188.9 rushing yards per game.
3. Win the turnover battle
Cal has a -14 turnover margin and USC has won the turnover battle in each of their last two games.
After a rough two-game stretch against the Arizona schools, the Trojan defense has found its footing and made opponents’ lives difficult.
USC has picked off six passes in its last two games and Goff has thrown at least one interception in seven of the Bears’ nine games.
With Su’a Cravens expected to return to the lineup, the Trojans may be primed for another multi-interception game.