USC Trojans faces archrival California Golden Bears for a showdown at Memorial StadiumSeptember 30, 2009 by Marc Jerbs

The USC Trojans hope to put out distractions of a difficult week behind them when they play on the road against California Golden Bears. The Trojans have rebounded well from a heartbreaking loss to Washington with a huge home win against Washington State.

The euphoria was cut short last Monday when RB Stafon Johnson suffered a crushed neck and larynx after a scary accident at the USC's weight room. He is now out of danger after a successful operation but is uncertain if he would be able to speak again yet he is expected to fully recover.

Losing RB Johnson is a big blow to the Trojans' offense. He was last year's leading rusher with 705 yards and 9 touchdowns. This season, he is primarily used as a short-yard running back to counter and help Trojan teammate Joe McKnight. With Johnson out indefinitely, coach Pete Carroll will be looking for QB Matt Barkley and RB Joe McKnight to step up their game this weekend. Also, they need to limit the touches and corral Cal's RB Jahvid Best.

Looking on the bright side, USC has won five straight over California, including the last two meetings in Memorial Stadium.

The California Golden Bears were humiliated by the Oregon Ducks in their last game, 42-3. The Golden Bears failed to score on each of their possession; RB Jahvid Best was held to 55 yards on 16 carries and QB Kevin Riley was ineffective going 12 of 31 on his passes for a measly 123 yards. If they play this way against the Trojans then expect the Golden Bears to get another whooping.

With an important player down due to an injury and a scheduled weekend road game against their archrival, the USC Trojans are still the hands on favorite to beat the California Golden Bears this weekend at the Memorial Stadium.