Cougars travel to City of Angels to play No.6 USC

WSU will play USC in third Fox broadcasted game of the year



WSU defenders Armani Marsh (8) and RJ Stone (10) pursue California quarterback Jack Plummer during an NCAA football match, Oct. 1.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

Elite offense versus elite defense. The battle is about to go down in the Coliseum.

USC is currently ranked No.6 in the nation, according to the AP Poll. 

WSU technically ranked 26th as they were the team with the most votes, a total of 91, not ranked in the top 25.

The Cougs will enter Los Angeles as a 4-1 team, they are coming off a strong win against California 28-9. If WSU wins against USC, it would be the first time since 2018 that the team has begun its season going 5-1.

Historically, the Cougars do not fare well against the Trojans with an all-time record of 10-62-4 and in LA they are 6-40-2. The Cougs’ most recent win against the Trojans was in 2017 when they won 30-27 in Pullman.

Part of what makes USC so great and what will make them great for years to come is their new head coach Lincoln Riley. Riley is an incredible offensive genius, still designing and calling plays for the Trojans. He has never finished with a losing record after earning the head coaching job in Oklahoma, in-fact he has never lost more than two games in a season.

WSU head coach Jake Dickert spoke on Riley and his talent as a head coach.

“I think Coach Riley obviously is the peak offensive mind, probably in the country. There’s a lot of guys out there, but he’s still calling the plays,” Dickert said. “He’s phenomenal. I think he puts his guys in unique situations and he’s so multiple. I think the way he sees it and calls it is as good as there is out there. And that’s why he has all the accolades.”

Caleb Williams the USC quarterback is a deadly threat, looking like a Heisman candidate. He has thrown for 1,402 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception with a quarterback rating of 85.8. Each of these stats ranks in the top 25 in the nation. His improvisational skills are also important to the USC offense as when he’s off-schedule and has time to scramble they seem to be even more successful.

“That’s a big word you used there: shut him down. That’s not gonna happen, we’ve got to work to control [Williams],” Dickert said. “This guy’s a weapon and he uses every weapon at his disposal, so you don’t shut down anybody that is his caliber.”

The WSU defense is up to the challenge of playing Riley and Williams however, at the end of almost every answer Dickert went into coach speech and said they are excited and are going to do their best on Saturday.

The Cougar’s defense is third in the nation with 44-tackles-for-loss. They are also tied for seventh in the country with 18 sacks.

Both Travion Brown and Nusi Malani spoke about the defense keeping to their technique. They said they need to keep to the basics and not get out of control to win this game.

The WSU roster hosts 23 different players that are from Southern California. Renard Bell said that the stadium is about five minutes away from his house.

Bell is excited to see his family – but also excited to get some In-N-Out Burger. He said has a large group of family members coming to the game.

“My mom, dad, sister, two of my uncles, my uncle’s girl, my track coach from high school and his wife, my friend Nick. But I’m trying to get a couple extra tickets just in case anybody else wants to go,” he said.

WSU will face USC at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The game will be broadcasted nationally by Fox.