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Utah State football: National media predict Saturday's USU at USC game

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 10:06 p.m. MDT

USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammate D.J. Morgan during Pac-12 football in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammate D.J. Morgan during Pac-12 football in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

The Utah State Aggies will be heading to Southern California to take on the Trojans on Saturday afternoon. USU has come very close to beating major opponents on the road the last few seasons, and several news outlets have taken notice.

NBC Sports is putting the Trojans on upset alert. They emphasized that "Keeton has already thrown 12 touchdown passes, more than three programs have accumulated this season (Texas A&M has 13, Keeton has 12 of Utah State’s 13 TD passes) and nine more than USC has thrown entering the weekend. Keeton has also more than doubled the entire passing production of the Trojans in just as many games."

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has picked Utah State to upset the Trojans by a field goal, emphasizing that as tough as USC's defense is, they "haven't yet faced dynamic Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton ... the Johnny Football of the West." He concludes that Keeton will keep the game close while the Aggie defense will create key turnovers to win the game.

Maddux Sports has USC picked to win a close contest, as the Trojans are favored by just 6.5 points. "(The Trojans) might have turned the corner with the win over BC, but we will have to see. ... Utah State keeps it close for most of the game, but USC wins a close game late."

Finally, Jon Wilner of the Mercury News has pegged USC as a 7 point favorite for Saturday's contest. He states, "They should wear down USU on the lines of scrimmage — if Lane Kiffin commits to the running game and sticks with it."

The two schools have met just four times, with USC leading the series 4-0. The last time the Aggies and Trojans played was in 1989.

Kickoff is Saturday at 1:30 MDT on ABC. This will be USU's first appearance on the network since 1978 when the team faced BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Sam McConkie is a technical and professional writing graduate from Utah State University. Email: samus_4@hotmail.com

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