The 2018 USC Trojans Football schedule released earlier this week shows a tough month of September for the Trojans but an actual bye week during the season and overall a little more sanity. Well, a little more sanity after the month of September. First here is the 2018 USC Trojans Football Schedule:
2018 USC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 1 – UNLV
Sept. 8 – at Stanford
Sept. 15 – at Texas
Sept. 21 (Fri.) – Washington State
Sept. 29 – at Arizona
Oct. 6 - BYE
Oct. 13 – Colorado
Oct. 20 – at Utah
Oct. 27 – Arizona State
Nov. 3 – at Oregon State
Nov. 10 – California
Nov. 17 – at UCLA
Nov. 24 – Notre Dame
September 2018 will likely be a brutal month for USC football
A few things jump out about this schedule for the Trojans but clearly the month of September looks particularly jarring. Of course we are almost a full calendar year away from September, 2018 and by that time everything could be radically different. More than likely, however, it will be a schedule that not many teams would survive with a perfect record in tact.
No time for a slow start:
Under Clay Helton though the Trojans are a team that seems to take a while to get all of the pieces working just right. With this schedule, however, USC may not have that luxury. The Trojans will get UNLV to start the season in what should be a standard tune up game for USC one which they will need to get as much as they can out of. In week two USC hits the road to take on Stanford in a game that will be hard fought and tough to win. Stanford’s physicality has been known to stay with their opponents into next week.
Consecutive road games against premier teams:
USC will have to put the Stanford game behind them quickly because the very next week they hit the road again to take on the Texas Longhorns. While UT is still struggling for bowl eligibility in 2017, if Tom Herman is worthy of the hype it is not too difficult to imagine a vastly improved Longhorns team in 2018 compared to the team that went on the road and took USC to overtime.
A Friday night game in Los Angeles:
Fortunately for USC the stretch of week two and three is the only time they will play consecutive road games in 2018. After what will likely be a draining pair of road trips the Trojans have a short week to prepare for the Washington State Cougars at home on a Friday night. While it is tough to say for sure how good the Cougars will be next season having to get ready to play a much different offense like the air raid on a short week is a big challenge. On the plus side USC is at home and Friday night games typically are not kind to the visiting team.
College football is a sport rich in tradition so the fans of course are sure to have a blast in the wonderful Pac-12 tradition of getting stuck at work instead of tailgating followed by the wonderful Los Angeles traffic on a Friday night.
Meeting Khalil Tate in the dessert:
USC will wrap up the month of September going on their third road trip in four weeks when they take on the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona has seen a resurgance this season with quarterback Khalil Tate taking over the offense. In one month the Sophomore went from the backup to entering the Heisman Trophy discussion while lighting up scoreboards and leaving people wondering why he was ever on the bench. Considering the improvement he has shown from his minimal freshman season to this season it is possible Tate may still improve significantly next season.
A return to sanity with a mercifully timed bye week:
USC as we know still has yet to have their bye week for the 2017 season as someone thought it was a good idea to make a team of college kids play 12 weeks straight. The one upside is that USC managed to make the Pac-12 Conference Championship game so they will get extra time to prepare. The 12-week slog however certainly took a toll on the roster as week after week the USC injury report was extensive. It definitely provides a different prospective to the multi million dollar emphasis on player safety when a team without a rest is down to using scout team players.
In 2018, however, the Trojans will get their bye week immediately following the brutal September slog which may be precisely the perfect time. After 3 road trips in 4 weeks, games against Texas and Stanford, a Friday night game, and trying to stop Khalil Tate the Trojans will almost certainly need a break. After the bye the Trojans have a five game stretch of games against less consistent teams and are all winnable. Finally they will wrap up with UCLA and hosting Notre Dame.
The 2018 road schedule could be disastrous for USC:
There appear to be several games that could be incredibly exciting on the 2018 schedule. Unfortunately most of them are on the road. Stanford, Texas, an Arizona team led by Khalil Tate, a likely improved Utah team that seems to always play USC very close, and of course the Crosstown Rivalry all have the potential to be great or exciting games.
All of those exciting games, however are played away from the LA Coliseum. Since Clay Helton took over in 2015 the Trojans have not lost in the Coliseum. Away from the Coliseum, however, the Trojans are 9-9 during that same time span. USC is a .500 team outside of their home and this road slate does not have many easy road wins.
Trojan fans and season ticket holders will be able to watch UNLV, Washington State, Colorado, Arizona State, California, and Notre Dame at the Coliseum.