The USC Trojans had a very good 10-4 season last year, which saw Lane Kiffin start the year, while Ed Orgeron finished after Kiffin was fired. The pressure is on Steve Sarkisian right from the start as he was not really a popular choice to replace interim coach Ed Orgeron, especially since he landed the best recruiting class in the Pac-12 this year. Prediction & schedule below.
Steve Sarkisian will be employing a no-huddle attack this year, which may take a while for traditional USC fans to get used to. Cody Kessler is back at QB, after throwing for 2968 yards with 20 TDs and 7 INTs last year. With more experience he should have a better year this year. Marquise Lee is gone, but leading WR Nelson Agholor is back, along with Victor Blackwell and Darrius Rogers, who were both have the talent to make a huge impact. Tre Madden and Javorius are both back to lead a running game that just may be a top 10 unit this year. The pair combined for 1488 yards and 17 TDs last year. The Trojans, though, must get better results from an offensive line that struggled last year and brings back just 2 starters this year. The defense for the Trojans, rates as possibly the best in the Pac-12. 7 starters return to a group that allowed just 21.2 ppg last year and they will be better this year. Leonard Williams is back to Anchor a DL that is ranked 6th in the nation by Phil Steele. Williams has 74 tackles, including 13.5 for loss last year. The LB corps is also a top 5 unit, and is led by JR Travai, who has a solid 9 TFL last year. The secondary is also loaded, with Josh Shaw and SU’A Cravens, who both had 4 INTs last year.
Not only is the starting lineup strong for the Trojans, but they have also added depth as well. Still NCAA Sanctions have them only being able to field a 75 man roster this year and that may catchup to them possibly later in the year, especially if they get hit will some key injuries. Overall this is a very talented team, with an offense that will put up 30+ ppg and a defense that is clearly rated as one of the best in the nation. Steve Sarkisian is looking for a national title right away, but it won’t happen this year. Oregon, UCLA and even Stanford are better than them, but this is still a dangerous team and on any given Saturday anything can happen. I see 9-3 at best and a 2nd place finish in the Pac-12 South. KEY TREND: 12-0 ATS as road dogs off a SU & ATS loss.
2014 USC Trojans Football Schedule
Sat, Aug 30th, 2014 Fresno State
Sat, Sep 6th, 2014 at Stanford
Sat, Sep 13th, 2014 at Boston College
Sat, Sep 27th, 2014 Oregon State
Sat, Oct 4th, 2014 Arizona State
Sat, Oct 11th, 2014 at Arizona
Sat, Oct 18th, 2014 Colorado
Sat, Oct 25th, 2014 at Utah
Sat, Nov 1st, 2014 at Washington State
Thu, Nov 13th, 2014 California
Sat, Nov 22nd, 2014 at UCLA
Sat, Nov 29th, 2014 Notre Dame
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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