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NCAA Team Preview: USC Trojans

The folks around the USC Trojans football program would love to see this team get back to the powerhouse program of old. This season, the Trojans will be on their way back, but have several gates in their way, including their city rival UCLA being the top dog in the Pac-12. The team has been in flux for several seasons, this year appears to have a solid roster full of guys ready to compete. Can the Trojans get back to the glory days? While they may be a season or two away, the folks in Los Angeles will like what they see from the Trojans in 2014.

A season ago, USC finished the season 10-4. The Trojans lost their second game of the season in surprising fashion to Washington State. Following that, USC won two straight and then lost on the road at Arizona State. A win between that, followed up by a loss to Notre Dame. The Trojans won five straight before falling at home to UCLA to finish the regular season. In the Las Vegas Bowl, the Trojans smashed Fresno State. The 2013 team featured Cody Kessler behind center and a really solid defense, which allowed teams to score just 21.2 points per game. The Trojans were average offensively both running the football and through the air.

In 2014 Steve Sarkisian will take over and have plenty of optimism. USC returns 14 starters from the 10 win team of a season ago. Cody Kessler has had a good summer, and Nelson Aholor looks like an All American candidate at wide receiver.  The offense will score more this season, under Sarkisian, look for up-tempo. fun to watch style. Randal Telfer has all the tools, and will be the tight end that Kessler will go to, not just in the end zone, but all over the field. The defense that was stellar a season ago returns 8 guys as well.

The defense will come up feature a new defensive coordinator, and they expect to run a 3-4 as opposed to last years 5-2. All American Leonard Williams returns to the defensive line and Antwan Woods fits in at the nose tackle positions. Guys like Delvon Simmons and Claude Pelon will be huge keys for the Trojans as well.

USC starts with a tough game against a Fresno State team that could surprise some folks. The Trojans will need to come prepared for the opener, especially with a tough trip to Stanford looming after. USC stays on the road in the next game and plays at Boston College. Following that, the Trojans will play two home games within conference game; first with Oregon State and then host Arizona State. A trip to Arizona will follow for the Trojans, backed up by a home game on October 18th with Colorado. The Trojans will then travel for two straight road games; at Utah and Washington. USC then sees their final three games; home, away, home. The Trojans battle California, UCLA and then Notre Dame to finish the season.

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