No. 6 USC has some big goals headed into its season opener against San José State

San José State at No. 6 Southern California, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

Line: USC by 30 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: USC leads 5-0.


With Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams returning, anything short of a Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff will be considered a failure for the Trojans. The Spartans are looking to reach a bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1986-87.


Spartans QB Chevan Cordeiro vs. Trojans LB Mason Cobb. USC used the transfer portal often during the offseason in hopes of overhauling a defense that allowed 29.2 points per game. Cobb, who earned second-team All-Big 12 honors at Oklahoma State last season, was one of the marquee additions. Cordeiro led the Mountain West with 3,251 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes last season, and he is also an elusive runner.


San José State: RB Kairee Robinson. The fifth-year tailback ran for 752 yards and 10 touchdowns last season to pace the Spartans in both categories. Robinson had two 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 148 yards on 24 carries in the regular-season finale against Hawaii.

USC: WR Dorian Singer. Looking to give Williams a proven option in the receiving corps, the Trojans added Singer after a breakout second season at Arizona. Singer had 66 receptions for 1,105 yards and six touchdowns, three of which came against USC.


USC has won 15 straight season openers at home. ... Williams is the third Heisman winner coached by Lincoln Riley and the first to return for another season after winning the award. ... San José State has three road wins against a ranked opponent in its history, the most recent being a 30-22 victory over No. 10 Baylor in 1980. ... Spartans sixth-year S Chase Williams played four seasons at USC before transferring to San José State prior to last season, where he had 40 tackles and two interceptions. ... The Spartans led the Mountain West with 39 sacks last season. However, they lost their top four pass rushers. ... USC and San José State were two of the four best teams in the FBS when it came to protecting the ball last season.


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