USC vs. Cal 2013 Gameday Preview: Lineups and Links


Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; General view of Memorial Stadium during the NCAA football game between the California Golden Bears and the Washington State Cougars. Washington State defeated California 44-22. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans vs. California Bears

Memorial Stadium | Berkeley, California

12:00 PM Pacific | FOX

All-Time Series: 64-30-5

Last Meeting:  USC 27, Cal 9 in 2012 at the Coliseum

It’s Weekender time for the Trojans as they make the trek up north to take on the Bears of UC Berkeley. USC came away from Reser Stadium last Friday with an upset win over the Beavers, continuing the momentum that has steadily built since Ed Orgeron took over the team in late September. Looking forward, the Bears are just a hurdle to be leaped on the way to a prime time match up with Stanford next Saturday.

For the Bears, it has been a trying season. Between an unfair amount of injuries and zero conference wins, Cal needs a big moment to give them something to look forward to for next season. An upset over a bitter rival  would certainly do the trick.

Gameday Links:

When Cal has the ball…

The Bears will hope to catch the Trojan defense off guard with a passing attack that’s ranked eighth in the country. Freshman Jared Goff has racked up a ton of yards but hasn’t done enough with those yards to lead Cal to a win more than once this season. Against USC, he’ll target receivers Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs. Harper is a deep play threat, so the goal will be to hit the Trojans in the mouth early. The big question is whether Goff will have enough time to find his playmakers.

The Trojans will try to answer that question with a simple, no. Despite the certain absence of Morgan Breslin and the potential absence of Leonard Williams, Devon Kennard and the USC pass rush will make it their mission to keep the Cal offense off balance by getting into the backfield early and often. Keeping Goff uncomfortable will put Josh Shaw and the returning Su’a Cravens in prime position to pick off a pass or two.

Bear Projected Starting Offense:

X #1 Bryce TreggsH #5 Brendan BigelowLT #76 Christian OkaforLG #66 Chris BorrayoC #73 Jordan RigsbeeRT #64 Steven MooreY #11 Richard RodgersZ #4 Kenny LawlerQB #16 Jared GoffRB #34 Darren ErvinBONE #44 Lucus Gingold

Trojan Projected Starting Defense:

OLB #42 Devon KennardDE #94 Leonard WilliamsNT #99 Antwaun WoodsDE #90 George UkoOLB #58 J.R. TavaiMLB #10 Hayes PullardWLB #56 Anthony SaraoCB #6 Josh ShawFS #18 Dion BaileySS #21 Su’a CravensCB #13 Kevon Seymour

When USC has the ball…

The Trojans have one of the lowest scoring averages in the Pac-12 but they seemed to click against Oregon State. They’ll try to replicate that performance with heavy doses of Silas Redd and Buck Allen against a clearly outmatched Cal defense. Cody Kessler should be able to continue his streak of games throwing for more than 200 yards, which currently stands at five. A healthy Marqise Lee will help him in that regard, as will Nelson Agholor and a newly-returned Xavier Grimble.

The Bears are woeful on defense but they have a Butkus Award semifinalist in linebacker Khairi Fortt who could come up with a big game and even the playing field just a bit. The Trojans are vulnerable on the offensive line so a solid performance from veterans like Deandre Coleman on the defensive line will be key to keeping USC from doing too much damage.

Trojan Projected Starting Offense:

WR #15 Nelson AgholorLT #72 Chad WheelerLG #75 Max TuerkC #66 Marcus MartinRG #70 Aundrey WalkerRT #77 Kevin GrafTE #86 Xavier GrimbleWR #9 Marqise LeeQB #6 Cody KesslerFB #38 Jahleel PinnerTB # 25 Silas Redd

Bear Projected Starting Defense:

END #43 Dan CamporealeNOSE #91 Deandre ColemanTACK #55 Viliami MoalaRUSH #75 Puka LopaSAM #7 Jalen JeffersonMIKE #47 Hardy NickersonWILL #11 Khairi ForttCB #37 Cedric DozierSS #14 Cameron WalkerFS #5 Michael LoweCB #3 Kameron Jackson