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USC Preview

August 24, 2003|GARY KLEIN

Saturday, at Auburn, 3 p.m., Channel 2: National championship hopes for both teams could be determined in heat and humidity at Jordan-Hare Stadium. USC is traveling to the state of Alabama for the first time since 1978, year of its last national championship.

Sept. 6, Brigham Young, 5 p.m., Channel 7: Do you suppose Trojan offensive coordinator Norm Chow wants to trounce his longtime former employer after being passed over as head coach when LaVell Edwards retired?

Sept. 13, Hawaii, 1 p.m., Fox Sports Net: Hawaii comes to the mainland with a talented quarterback in Timmy Chang. But the Trojan defensive line, regarded as perhaps the best in the nation, should drive him coconuts.

Sept. 27, at California, TBA: Golden Bear quarterback Kyle Boller is gone to the NFL. Probably gone as well are the Golden Bears' chances of upsetting the Trojans in the Pacific 10 Conference opener in Strawberry Canyon.

Oct. 4, at Arizona State, TBA: Andrew Walter, who passed for 3,877 yards and 28 touchdowns last season, expects the Sun Devils to challenge for the conference championship. USC hasn't lost at Tempe since 1997.

Oct. 11, Stanford, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Net: The Cardinal won two games last year in Buddy Teevens' first year as coach and was routed by USC, 49-17. Stanford's two-game winning streak at the Coliseum is in serious jeopardy.

Oct. 18, at Notre Dame, 11:30 a.m., Channel 4: The Fighting Irish were embarrassed in front of the nation last season when they helped Carson Palmer win the Heisman Trophy. Tyrone Willingham and his players won't be so accommodating in South Bend.

Oct. 25, at Washington, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7: The Huskies changed coaches -- Keith Gilbertson replaced Rick Neuheisel -- but they still have quarterback Cody Pickett and receiver Reggie Williams. Last year, Pickett passed 61 times against the Trojans.

Nov. 1, Washington State, 4 p.m., Channel 7: The Trojans are still kicking themselves for losing in overtime at Pullman last year. Mike Price is no longer coach of the Cougars. More important, quarterback Jason Gesser is gone as well.

Nov. 15, at Arizona, TBA: USC missed the Wildcats in 2002, and might not see Coach John Mackovic if his players stage a mutiny again. Arizona remains the only Pac-10 school that has not played in the Rose Bowl game.

Nov. 22, UCLA, TBA: The Trojans are riding a four-game winning streak against their cross-town rivals after crushing the Bruins last season at the Rose Bowl, 52-21. USC has outscored UCLA under Pete Carroll, 79-21.

Dec. 6, Oregon State, 1:30 p.m., Channel 7: Mike Riley replaced Dennis Erickson as coach in Corvallis. The conference title and Rose Bowl berth might be on the line in a game rescheduled for made-for-TV Championship Saturday.

All game times Pacific; all times tentative


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