USC football matchup among prominent College GameDay location projections

Oct 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Vavae Malepeai, USC football
Oct 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Vavae Malepeai, USC football / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

All USC football fans have three games circled on our schedules for SC this year.

One of those games is of course the Notre Dame game on rivalry week, and another is of course another major rivalry game against UCLA. The last game, however, is our Week 7 matchup against Utah in Rice-Eccles Stadium. It's likely to be USC's toughest game on the schedule.

It sure seems like USC fans are not the only people itching for that game. Brad Crawford of 247Sports chose that game for his College GameDay schedule projection. He has the GameDay crew traveling to Salt Lake in Week 7, running the show before SC's huge matchup against the Utes.

The Pac-12 South will likely be decided by either USC or Utah.

I think Crawford hit the nail on the head when discussing the USC-Utah matchup, and why it's a major opportunity to highlight what is going on with the Trojans:

"Could this game determine who wins the South and eventually moves on to the Pac-12 Championship Game? It's possible. With Tavion Thomas and Cameron Rising returning, the Utes should be the preseason league favorites to repeat as champs, but the Trojans are going to be a tough out with Lincoln Riley in charge of a roster loaded with new acquisitions via the NCAA Transfer Portal. At some point, USC and Caleb Williams will be featured on ESPN and this feels like the right spot. There are several spotlight opportunities for the Pac-12 in 2022 and this is one of them."

Brad Crawford, USC Football

Utah is coming off of a Pac-12 Championship-winning season, and will be returning enough talent to succeed. Rising is an underrated quarterback, and they always seem to have a good running game. A mentally and physically tough team, I expect Utah to have a good defense yet again.

Utah went through so much last year, including tragic and untimely deaths of a couple of their players. They overachieved last year by winning the conference with all they had to deal with, and proved that they can most certainly not be counted out for this upcoming year too. They're the conference favorites, and deserve to be.

Seeing them go up against a new-look USC team that's bolstered their roster through the transfer portal (No. 2 transfer portal class in the country) and added a top five coach in the country would be must-see TV. Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams (who was the Heisman favorite at one point this past year despite not even starting until the second half of the season) will look to continue their success at SC.

Williams had 27 total touchdowns last year while averaging over nine yards per pass attempt and 5.6 yards per rush attempt. And again, this was when he wasn't even the starter until the second half. SC also added four-star transfers to the class as well, and not just a five-star in Williams.

They added one of his former top OU targets in Mario Williams, one of the best running backs in the Pac-12 in Travis Dye, impressive OU corner in Latrell McCutchin, and dynamic Colorado talent Brenden Rice (son of NFL legend Jerry). This game could be an outstanding heavyweight matchup between what looks to be sure as the two best teams in the Pac.

3 key transfer portal targets for USC in February. dark. Next

This is going to be an excellent contest either way, but having GameDay prepare us would make it even that much more exciting.