USC kicks off the Steve Sarkisian era on Saturday against a familiar foe in Fresno State, which is coming off back-to-back Mountain West Conference championships. The 15th-ranked Trojans, who were picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South Division in the preseason media poll, concluded last season by crushing the Bulldogs 45-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl. They'll look for another dominant performance under Sarkisian, who takes over after five years as the head coach at Washington. Fresno State's high-powered offense averaged 43.4 points last season, but quarterback Derek Carr and receivers Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse all have departed to the NFL. The Bulldogs will be hard-pressed to keep pace with the talented Trojans, who return eight starters on offense - including receiver Nelson Agholor, who caught 56 passes last season and led the Pac-12 with a 19.1 punt return average. USC is just as loaded on defense, but a lack of depth is a concern on both sides of the ball. TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: USC -22.ABOUT FRESNO STATE (2013: 11-2): Third-year coach Tim DeRuyter is choosing between junior Brian Burrell and Duke transfer Brandon Connette to replace Carr, and it's likely both will see playing time against the Trojans. The Bulldogs will continue to utilize a no-huddle spread offense, with running backs Josh Quezada and Marteze Waller taking a back seat to receiver Josh Harper, who caught 13 touchdown passes a year ago. The defense has plenty of question marks, but safety Derron Smith begins the season as the nation's active leader in career interceptions with 14.ABOUT NO. 15 USC (2013: 10-4): The Trojans will be without senior cornerback Josh Shaw indefinitely after he suffered two high ankle sprains earlier this week in an incident being investigated by the school. Shaw's absence puts added pressure on a defensive line that ranks among the best in the country, led by top NFL prospect Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods. On offense, quarterback Cody Kessler looks to build on his strong finish last year and running back Javorius Allen is set for a heavy workload with backup Tre Madden listed as questionable due to a toe injury.EXTRA POINTS1. Fresno State has won nine of its last 10 season openers, while USC has captured 15 straight.2. USC is 30-1-1 against current Mountain West Conference teams, including a loss to Fresno State in the 1992 Freedom Bowl.3. Fresno State has lost 17 consecutive games against ranked opponents.PREDICTION: USC 38, Fresno State 13