Execution will be key as Utes seek to end 101-year victory drought at USC

LOS ANGELES — It’s been more than a century, 101 years to be exact, since USC has lost a football game at home to Utah. The last time was a 27-12 decision at a no-longer-in-existence venue called Fiesta Park, home to a 6,000-seat grandstand, back in 1916.

Seven straight wins by the Trojans followed, including Pac-12 contests in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

“I didn’t even know that,” Utah quarterback Troy Williams said about the drought. “I don’t think anybody else (on the team) really knows that.”

History is on the backburner as the 23rd-ranked Utes (4-1, 1-1) gear up to face the 13th-ranked Trojans (5-1, 3-1) Saturday in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (6 p.m. MDT, ABC).

Williams said he and his teammates have just got to go down there and execute.

Despite the fact that it could represent a two-game swing in the Pac-12 South championship race — a head-to-head win by USC gave the Trojans a tiebreaker over the Utes when the teams shared first-place in 2015 — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn’t looking at it that way.

“You never know how it is going to unfold. I think there is so much balance in the league that who knows what kind of record you are going to need at the end to get in,” he explained. “I think it is too early to make that determination. We are just approaching it like any other week — to go and play a good football team and prepare and get ready.”

For the Utes, that means returning to the form that produced victories over North Dakota, BYU, San Jose State and Arizona to open the season. The run of success came to an end with a 23-20 loss to Stanford last Saturday.

“Now we move on,” Whittingham said. “We are still in good shape in the big …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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