- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

No. 9 SOUTHERN CAL (2-0) at BOSTON COLLEGE (1-1), 8 P.M. ESPN

Line: Southern Cal by 17

Series Record: Southern Cal leads 4-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Coming off an emotional victory at Stanford, USC is hoping to stay unbeaten on the year and remain in the running for the national playoff. Boston College lost its Atlantic Coast Conference opener to Pittsburgh, and a victory over the Trojans would be a season-defining win for Steve Addazio in his second year with the Eagles.

KEY MATCHUP

Southern Cal defensive line, including Bednarik Award semifinalist Leonard Williams, against the BC run. A year after Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams ran for 2,177 yards for Boston College, the Eagles are hoping to again ride their running game. Whether Myles Willis or Tyler Rouse gets the bulk of the carries, quarterback Tyler Murphy has been BC’s leading rusher, with 210 yards and two touchdowns in two games. But when BC struggled to establish the running game in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh, the offense sputtered.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Southern Cal: WR Nelson Agholor is coming off a career-best outing with nine receptions, for 91 yards. RB Javorius Allen has two consecutive 100-yard games, and is the No. 2 rusher in the Pac-12. Last week he surpassed 1000 yards in his career.

Boston College: Murphy is 27-of-52 passing for 307 yards and he also averages 7.2 yards per carry rushing. But he missed on several throws against Pittsburgh, and those mistakes could be even more damaging against the Trojans.

FACTS & FIGURES

The first meeting between the teams was in 1988, USC’s only other trip to Boston, and its first-ever appearance on ESPN. They have met three times in the past six years, including USC’s 24-13 victory in the 2009 Emerald Bowl. … USC last traveled East to play Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J. … Boston College plays four of its first five games at home, and the other was in Foxborough, Massachusetts, against UMass. … The Trojans are off next week.

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