The California Golden Bears are coming off a competitive but exhausting loss to the Ohio St. Buckeyes in the Horseshoe. Zach Maynard played very well, sophomore Brendan Bigelow broke out with two touchdown runs, and the Cal defense held down Braxton Miller for good parts of the game. Unfortunately, Cal kicker Vincenzo D'Amato missed three field goals, the Bears lost a touchdown on a questionable holding penalty, and Miller took advantage of a couple of defensive mistakes, including the game-winning score.
The USC Trojans are also recovering from an even more devastating loss. Their national championship hopes were dealt a significant blow when they lost to Stanford yet again. The USC offensive line was overwhelmed by the Stanford front seven, and Matt Barkley faced constant pressure and never got comfortable. USC was without center Khaled Holmes and kicker Andre Heidari, and it showed. The Trojans passed on kicking field goals to throw on fourth downs in the red zone, and USC's replacement Cyrus Hobbi was not up to the task.
USC has dominated their matchups with Cal lately. The Trojans have beaten the Bears in every single matchup since 2003, and have won their last two games by a combined 55 points.