What to look out for as the Cougars welcome No. 5 USC to Martin Stadium on Friday in a nationally televised clash of top-25 unbeatens.
No. 16 WSU Cougars (4-0) vs. No. 5 USC (4-0)
When/Where: Friday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. at Martin Stadium
Latest line: USC is a 4-point favorite
Last Week: The Trojans are coming off a 30-20 win over Cal. USC won on the strength of a strong second half after going into the locker room with the score tied 13-13 at half time.
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Coach: Clay Helton, now in his second season as USC’s head coach, has proved to be a steadying force after a tumultuous few years for the Trojans program. He’s 20-7 at USC, including a big Rose Bowl win over Penn State last season and a thrilling 2OT win over Texas this year.
QB Sam Darnold: Sam Darnold cemented his legend at USC with last season’s comeback win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. He replaced Sammamish native Max Browne as the Trojans’ starter early in the 2016 season, and hasn’t looked back. Darnold is a Heisman candidate, first day NFL draft prospect, and certainly the best quarterback the Cougars have faced so far this season. Darnold is averaging 306.3 passing yards per game and has thrown nine touchdown passes to seven interceptions.
RB Deontay Burnett: Burnett was the hero of the Rose Bowl after he caught the game-tying pass from Darnold, and he’s shaping up to be Darnold’s favorite target again this season. The 6-foot, 170-pound receiver leads the Trojans with five touchdown grabs and is averaging 115.5 receiving yards per game.
ILB Cameron Smith: Smith is the captain of the Trojans’ defense. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound inside linebacker is a three-year starter, and he’s tallied a team-high 35 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss through the first third of this season. He’s an…