USC appears to be back in full effect and they look to compete with the Sun Devils once again for the Pac-12 South title. They return 14 starters from a team that wen 9-4 last year. Cody Kessler will be back at quarterback, after leading an offense that average just under 36 points per game last season. He will be fortunate to have one of the top offensive lines in the country, and support by a wide array of receivers to be at his beck and call. Look for the Trojans to score and early and score often. They are already being looked to as having one of the more explosive offenses in the country, and should go head to head with Oregon for top honors in the Pac-12 in that respect. Last season saw Kessler complete 69.7 percent of his passes, going for 39 touchdowns, while only throwing five interceptions. JuJu Smith will be a frequent target at the receiver position, coming off a season where he earned Freshman All-American hnoors. Steven Michell will also be back, as will Adoree Jackson. Jackson was also a Freshman All-American last year and will be ready to have a break out year in this his sophomore year. At the funning back position, the Trojans did lose Javorious Allen and his 1,489 yards, but they will have Justin Davis and Tre Madden to pick up the slack. The offensive line is deep and it is strong. Center Max Uterk heads it up, and will be complemented by sophomores Viane Talamaivao at guard and Toa Lobendahn at tackle. Damein Mama at guard and Zach Banner at tack will round out the offensive line.
The defense might be the one area that will suffer a letdown this season, having lost the best end in the nation, and also their captain. Leaonard Williams and Hayes Pullard will be hard to replace, but there is a lot of talent on the Trojans, so if they can pull it all together they should succeed. Senior Antwaun Woods will be back at nose tackle. Look for Delvon Simmons, Claude Pelon and Scott Felix to round it all out and be an imposing threat, although nothing spectacular. If they can just hold teams off down the stretch season (one their weaknesses last year) then they will more than earn their keep. Look for the Trojan to beat out Arizona State for the Pac 12-South title, and finish just outside the top 5 nationally.
With an optimistic mindset, Head Coach Steve Sarkisian believes that his Trojan team can get the notoriety of USC teams in the past and can once again dominate the Pac 12 and be competitive on a national stage. USC will have multiple opportunities to prove how good of a team they really are against quality opponents such as: Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, and Utah. The Trojans could be a team to watch out for as they look to be the top dog in the Pac 12.
Courtesy of the University of Southern California Trojans