The countdown to USC vs. Western Michigan starts with winning streaks, returning starters, statistical marvels and more. Here’s the game, by the numbers.
Preseason polls, prognostications, positional battles, power rankings and all those offseason lists are at an end and it’s finally game time for USC Football.
USC kicks off the 2017 college football season Saturday at the Coliseum against the Western Michigan Broncos.
The Trojan offense will look to get off to a fast start and kick off Sam Darnold’s Heisman Trophy campaign, while the USC defense looks to prove to everyone that they deserve some of the shine as well.
Let’s countdown to kickoff, and take a look at USC and their opponent WMU by the numbers:
USC has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 96 of its last 188 games. This includes a record streak of 62 consecutive games which has since been snapped.
The number of games USC has won in a row since starting the 2016 season 1-3. USC’s nine-straight wins are the second-longest active streak in College Football. The University of Oklahoma has the longest with 10.
The number of starters that Western Michigan returns on defense, including linebackers Robert Spillane, Caleb Bailey and Asantay Brown who are all seniors. In 2016, WMU’s defense held its opponents to 19.8 points per game and boasted a +22 in the turnover margin.
The number of times that USC scored at least 40 points in 2016. Those games were against Utah State (45-7), Arizona State (41-20), Arizona (48-14), Cal (45-24), Oregon (45-20), Notre Dame (45-27) and of course The Rose Bowl (52-49). The Trojans won three other games while scoring below 40.
The number of starters Western Michigan lost on offense from 2016, including quarterback Zach Terrell, who finished his career at WMU with 12,000 passing yards and 96 touchdowns. The Broncos also lost wide receiver Corey Davis who finished his career with 5,285 yards and 52 touchdowns. Davis was also the fifth overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft.
The number of touchdown passes Darnold tossed the last time he played. Darnold threw for 453 yards and five scores in USC’s memorable comeback victory against Penn State in the 2017 Rose Bowl. He opens the 2017 season as the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
The number of interceptions that WMU defensive back Darius Phillips had in 2016. Not only did he intercept four passes, he took three of those back for touchdowns. Phillips is one of the leaders on the back end of the Bronco defense.
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The number of Trojans on the AP preseason All-American team. Darnold was the only Trojan to be named to the first team. Linebacker Cameron Smith and defensive back Iman Marshall were named to the second team.
The number of Imatorbhebhes and Heltons on the sideline this Saturday. The Trojans will have two pairs of siblings on the sidelines when they take on Western Michigan. The first pair is tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe and wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe. The second will be wearing headsets with quarterback coach Tyson Helton and head coach Clay Helton on staff.
As in firsts for both teams competing Saturday. The game will mark the first time that USC has played a team from the Mid-American Conference. It will also be the first time that Western Michigan has played a Pac-12 opponent.