No. 13 BYU visits USC aiming for continued success vs. Pac-12

No. 13 BYU can secure consecutive double-digit-win seasons and complete a regular-season sweep of Pac-12 Conference competition on Saturday when it visits Southern California in Los Angeles.Since dropping consecutive decisions midway through the season, the Cougars (9-2) have rolled off four straight wins. Another on Saturday would give them 10-plus for a second straight year, a feat not achieved at BYU since the program reached the 10-win milestone four consecutive times from 2006-09.”I know that everyone wants to talk about possibilities and future opponents,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said in his Monday press conference. “We are just focused on this game and this opportunity.”USC (4-6) is BYU’s fifth Pac-12 opponent in 2021. The Cougars opened the campaign with a 24-16 defeat of Arizona, knocked off rival Utah and Arizona State in the following two weeks, then outlasted Washington State on Oct. 23.None of the four scored more than 19 points on a BYU defense holding opponents to an average of 23.6 points per game. In their current winning streak, the Cougars have held three of their last four opponents to fewer than 20 points, including their most recent outing.BYU pitched a second-half shutdown in last week’s 34-17 win at Georgia Southern — a program that, earlier this month, announced the hire of Clay Helton to fill its head-coaching vacancy for the 2022 season.Helton was fired at USC in September following a blowout loss to Stanford. His tenure included a Rose Bowl win to cap the 2016 season and a conference championship in 2017, but also featured several disappointments, including the program’s first losing record since 2000 in 2018.Under Helton’s interim replacement, Donte Williams, USC is in danger of finishing below .500 again. The Trojans need to win their final two regular-season games to earn bowl eligibility and avoid a losing campaign.USC dropped its last two, including a 62-33 rout last week against rival UCLA. The Trojans surrendered four rushing touchdowns for a second consecutive game, and allowed a combined 542 rushing yards in losses to the Bruins and Arizona State.

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