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Trojans getting ready for their 131st season. Photo courtesy of reignoftroy.com
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TROJANS FOOTBALL
First Season: 1888
All-Time Record: 834-339-54 (12th all-time)
All-Time Bowl Record: 34-18 (second most wins all-time)
Conference Championships: 39 (most in PCC/AAWU/Pac-10/Pac-12)
National Championships: 11 (tied for fourth all-time)
Players Taken In NFL Draft: 502 (most all-time)
Players Taken In First Round of NFL Draft: 80 (most all-time)
Consensus All-Americans: 80 (most all-time)
Heisman Trophy Winners: 7 (minus one: Reggie Bush surrendered his)
The one sight that everyone in the Trojan Family LOVES: The USC Band’s Drum Major stabbing the field at the Coliseum before leading the band in their pregame show. Courtesy of YouTube.
OK, as promised;
In our official preview of these Trojans on this blog, I stated that there are five teams that could beat ‘SC this season.
But before we list those teams, here are the opponents that go under the category of…
Easy Wins – Coach Clay Helton needs to clear his bench by the fourth quarter to forestall accusations of running up the score:
- Oregon State
- Arizona State
- California (USC has beaten the Golden Bears 14 straight years, and I don’t see any reason that they won’t make it 15 this year)
Wins – Not necessarily easy ones, but I expect the Trojans to win these games
- Washington State
Toss-Up Game: at Utah on October 20th. Those Utes are VERY tough at home.
Here It Is: Four Teams That COULD Beat USC in 2018:
- Notre Dame
The official team photo of the 2018 University of Southern California Trojans. Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com
And of those four teams, here are my prognostications of what will happen…
* Stanford, September 8th: LOSS
Two words: Bryce Love.
2,118 rushing yards in 2017; only Rashaad Penny of San Diego State had more.
19 rushing touchdowns.
Runner up for the Heisman Trophy, finishing second to Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
And he did all that damage on a hurt ankle; he’s healthy now.
Plus the game is in Palo Alto.
*Texas, September 15th: LOSS
To be brutally honest, the Longhorns should have beaten USC at the Coliseum last year, ‘SC squeaking by on a field goal in overtime.
This is a Texas team that’s been trending up and on the rise.
And the game is in Austin, where 100,000 members of Longhorn Nation will be hooking their horns and making things very hostile for those Trojans.
It will certainly be a SIGNIFICANT test for the young man whom Helton has officially chosen to be the starter, freshman J.T. Daniels; a test that I honestly don’t think he’ll pass, at least not as a true freshman.
* Arizona, September 29th: THIS SEASON’S TRAP GAME
This is the Trojans’ trap game of 2018 because of U of A quarterback Khalil Tate.
How can I possibly say otherwise when this local SoCal product, a junior from Gardena (CA) Serra High School, accounted for 3,002 yards in 2017, 1,591 of them on the ground as he was the Wildcats’ leading rusher from behind center.
USC has always had trouble with QBs like Tate; remember Vince Young in 2006?
And on top of everything else, not only is this battle in Tucson, everyone has circled this clash on their calendar and is more than gearing up for it.
That’s why I am going to call this game a LOSS.
* Notre Dame, November 24th: CLOSE, TOUGH, WELL-EARNED WIN
By the time the Fighting Irish arrives at the Coliseum on Thanksgiving weekend, I expect the Trojans to be connecting on all cylinders with a Pac-12 South title in their pocket.
Notre Dame is tough, talented, ranked 12th in the initial AP Poll (three spots ahead of ‘SC), and will undoubtedly give Trojans a battle.
But being that the game is at home, I’m going to give ‘SC this one as they will likely win this 90th meeting of the nation’s oldest intersectional rivalry and get back the Jeweled Shillelagh for the 38th time.
By the way, does anyone know that the Irish’s 47 wins over USC are the most of any opponent?
And that Notre Dame is the only school with a winning record against the Trojans in football?
ALL RIGHT, WHAT ABOUT THE CROSSTOWN RIVALRY CLASH vs UCLA ON NOVEMBER 17th?
I know, considering that although Chip Kelly’s hiring was one of the biggest in college football over the past year and perhaps the biggest in Westwood ever, the Bruins will be undergoing a major rebuilding process,
That everyone in cardinal and gold is expecting me to predict that the Trojans will handily beat the Bruins and keep the Victory Bell.
My big tradition on this blog is that I never, ever predict a winner of the Crosstown Rivalry Clash until two days before the kickoff.
Which means if you want to know how I see that game at the Rose Bowl unfolding and what I think the score will be, you’ll have to check out this blog on the Thursday afternoon of November 15th.
Some offensive linemen from old ‘SC working on their techniques. Photo courtesy of reignoftroy.com