USC opponent preview: Utah Utes

Coach: Kyle Whittingham

2010: 10-3 (7-1 in the Mountain West Conference)

Returning starters: Seven (offense), five (defense)

Beginning its first season in the newly formed Pac-12, Utah looks to continue its recent run of success after going 33-3 over the last three seasons, including a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama in 2009. Perhaps most importantly, though, the Utes return their highly regarded junior quarterback Jordan Wynn, who threw for 17 touchdowns in 2010 despite missing the team’s first three games.

The biggest question mark surrounding the Utes this season will be how well they adapt to their new offense, as they move from the spread to the west coast offense following the arrival of celebrated offensive coordinator Norm Chow. And potentially even more pressing: How will they fare against Pac-12 defenses?

Defensively at least, the Utes seem to be set. The unit gave up just 20.3 points per game last season, good for 24th nationally, and returns six starters, highlighted by linebacker Chaz Walker, who led the team with 133 tackles.