Defense may very well define both sides when Oregon State hosts USC on Friday night.
Both teams are coming off strong defensive efforts — although with different outcomes.
The Beavers (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) fell 20-12 at home to No. 6 Stanford last weekend, but they limited the physical Cardinal offense to just 273 yards, the lowest total in Stanford's last 14 games. Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan passed for just 88 yards and no touchdowns.
The Trojans (5-3, 2-2) forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, in a 19-3 victory over Utah last Saturday. It was the second win in three games since Ed Orgeron was named interim head coach.
Southern California, which ranks 11th in the nation in overall defense, holding opponents to 318 yards, held the Utes to 201.