End Of An Era: How Utah VS. USC Became Must-Watch College Football

Oct 18, 2023, 12:52 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Who would have ever thought Utah versus USC would become must-watch college football or that it would come to an abrupt end?

The plucky, upstart Utes who clawed their way up from the Mountain West into the Power Five ranks versus the storied blue-blood Trojans with rich history and tradition suddenly became a series football fans needed to tune into when the Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011.

Unfortunately, fans may only have one last time to enjoy this matchup for the foreseeable future this coming weekend. It’s the sad reality of conference realignment knowing good series are coming to an end.

Taking A Closer Look At Utah VS. USC

So, what has made this game so special over the years?

For starts, if you are a casual fan with no horse in the race, you’ve been treated to a lot of really good, competitive games that have had some funky, weird elements take place.

If you’re a fan of one side or the other, the games have provided reasons to never want to lose to the other side, ever.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

It might be a stretch to call this a rivalry, but there is certainly no doubt there is fire and passion and a want to win every time these two teams meet up that isn’t necessarily present in every Pac-12 matchup.

“I don’t want to call it a rivalry,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said on Monday. “It’s been a great back-and-forth series and implications typically every year- conference implications, championship implications. Of course, we played them in the championship game last year. It’s turned out to be very competitive and very intense football game.”

How The Series Has Shaken Out Since Utah Became A Conference-Mate In 2011

  • 2011 | @Coliseum| USC 23- Utah 14
  • 2012 | @RES | USC 38- Utah 28
  • 2013 | @Coliseum | USC 19- Utah 3
  • 2014 | @RES | Utah 24- USC 21
  • 2015 | @Coliseum | USC 42- Utah 24
  • 2016 | @RES | Utah 31- USC 27 
  • 2017 | @Coliseum | USC 28- Utah 27
  • 2018 | @RES | Utah 41- USC 28 
  • 2019 | @Coliseum | USC 30- Utah 23
  • 2020| @RES | USC 33- Utah 17
  • 2021 | @Coliseum | Utah 42- USC 26 
  • 2022 | @RES | Utah 43- USC 42 
  • 2022 | @Allegiant Field- Pac-12 Title | Utah 47- USC 24 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Some Interesting Trends In The Utah VS. USC Series

Utah and USC have met 13 times as conference-mates in the Pac-12 (soon to be 14) and are pretty evenly split in wins and losses. USC is ahead by one game with seven wins while Utah has six and an opportunity to end the matchup in an even split this weekend.

Typically speaking, the home team has usually won this series. USC has two wins in Salt Lake City and Utah has one win in Los Angeles. The Utes are the only team in this series with a neutral-site win in the Pac-12 Championship game last year.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Since becoming conference-mates in 2011 the Utah versus USC matchup has been won by a single score five times, and by one point twice (2017 & 2022). The matchup has been a two-score game three times, and a three-score game four times.

Utah owns the largest margin of victory in the series at 23 points in the Pac-12 Title Game last year.

With all that information available, how do you think the 2023 matchup between Utah and USC will go? Let us know in the comments.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Moves Up In AP Top 25

The Utah Utes women’s basketball team moved up in the latest AP Top 25 after handling business against Carroll College and BYU last week.

2 hours ago

Gianna Kneepkens - Utah Utes vs. Stanford - Pac-12 Title Game...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Star Gianna Kneepkens Out For Season

Utah women's basketball star Gianna Kneepkens will miss the remainder of the year with a season-ending injury.

3 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Quarterback Bryson Barnes Hits NCAA Transfer Portal

Utah Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes will be hitting the NCAA Transfer Portal for the 2024 season after taking the wheel in 2023.

5 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

Northwestern Head Coach David Braun Admires Utah Football Model

Northwestern head coach David Braun had some great things to say about Kyle Whittingham and the Utes ahead of a Las Vegas Bowl matchup.

6 hours ago

How To Watch Utah Utes Football Rice-Eccles Stadium Weber State Wildcats...

Michelle Bodkin

2024 Utah Football Transfer Portal Tracker

It's time to take tabs of who is coming and going through the Utah football program with our 2024 NCAA Transfer Portal Tracker.

7 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Receiver Devaughn Vele Declares For 2024 NFL Draft

While receiver Devaughn Vele could come back to Utah for one more year, he will instead prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft.

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

End Of An Era: How Utah VS. USC Became Must-Watch College Football