The kickoff time for USC vs. Utah on Oct. 24 at the Coliseum was announced Wednesday. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m. on FOX.
This time last week, the tilt between the Trojans and the Utes looked like a potential College Gameday special, with Utah joining the contenders near the top of the AP poll and USC on the rise after a bounce back slaughtering of ASU.
Now, the landscape around USC looks quite different.
The Trojans lost to Washington on Thursday despite being a 17-point favorite. It was the second time this season they dropped a game to a double-digit underdog and they were dropped out of the polls as a result.
Then on Sunday, head coach Steve Sarkisian missed practice and it was announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from the program. Athletic director Pat Haden revealed that Sarkisian was not in a state to work and was not healthy, which prompted the decision for him to seek treatment, presumably for alcohol abuse.
Now USC will move forward with offensive coordinator Clay Helton promoted to interim head coach.
Before taking on the Utes in what looks like a pivotal Pac-12 match up, the Trojans will have to shake off the drama and battle Notre Dame in South Bend this weekend.
As it stands now, USC still has a shot to compete for the Pac-12 South title and a spot in the conference title game, even if hopes of a dark horse playoff run have been dashed.
The marquee match up against Utah, though with some of the sheen off after the events of the past week, presents the first big opportunity for USC to get back on track with an upset opportunity perhaps even greater than the one Ed Orgeron pulled off with the Trojans in 2013 over Stanford.
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