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How USC and Utah match up in another important Pac-12 South meeting

No. 13 USC (5-1, 3-1 in the Pac-12) vs. Utah (4-1, 1-1)

Saturday, 5 p.m., Coliseum. TV: ABC. Radio: 710.

Marquee matchup

Ronald Jones II vs. Utah defensive line: Jones, when healthy, is one of the nation’s best backs. He averages 6.2 yards per rush and has scored in 12 consecutive games. He has been battling thigh and ankle injuries and was limited to just 12 carries against Oregon State a week ago. Utah ranks 20th nationally in rushing defense, giving up an average of 108.8 yards per game. All four Utah defensive linemen weigh more than 300 pounds. The Utes “basically took defensive tackles and went straight across in a four-down scheme," USC coach Clay Helton said. Lowell Lotulelei has been named to the All-Pac-12 team three times.

Getting offensive

USC (467.8 ypg/ 35.5 ppg): Quarterback Sam Darnold has had a pass intercepted in every game this season and also lost a fumble against Oregon State. After that game, he suggested that USC needed to call different plays. He later apologized. The Trojans totaled 512 yards against Oregon State and scored 38 points, but coaches and players felt like they should have scored more.

Utah (430.6 ypg/32.0 ppg): Quarterback Troy Williams has had one outstanding game in his two-year Utah career. It was a season ago against USC, when he scored three touchdowns and led Utah on a late game-winning drive. He lost his starting job this season but is the likely starter in this game with Tyler Huntley in doubt with an injury. Receiver Darren Carrington II, who transferred from Oregon after an arrest for driving under the influence, has 584 yards and five touchdowns and is "maybe the best wideout we've faced," Helton said. Utah ranks 70th in rushing offense, averaging 160.8 yard per game.

Getting defensive

USC (377.0 ypg/23.2 ppg): USC’s defense has allowed just three points off turnovers all season. USC ranks ninth nationally in sacks, with 16. Cornerback Jack Jones has intercepted four passes.

Utah (314.0 ypg/18.4 ppg): Helton said Utah linebackers Sunia Tauteoli and Kavika Laufatasaga form the best duo USC has faced. Utah likes to crowd the line of scrimmage and play man-to-man or cover-3 in the secondary. The Utes give up an average of 205.2 yards passing per game (41st nationally) but have nine interceptions (sixth nationally, tied with USC.)

Something special

Utah has one of the best special teams units in the country. Matt Gay leads the nation in field goals made (16) and Ray Guy Award winner Mitch Wishnowsky leads the nation in net punting average (44.8 yards). Punt returner Boobie Hobbs is fifth in the nation in punt return yardage (189).

USC kicker Chase McGrath missed his first career field-goal attempt but has made his next eight. Trojans punt returner Ajene Harris lost a fumble last week.

Of note

USC has won seven games in a row over Utah in Los Angeles. … Utah is 14-2-1 in games televised on ABC.

Local ties

Utah has 31 Californians on its roster, including Williams (Carson), receiver Siaosi Wilson (Tustin), defensive end Kylie Fitts (San Bernardino) and nickel back Javelin Guidry (Murrieta).

Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand

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