This season the USC Trojans will have some interesting games on the schedule, both in conference and out. Every USC fan is looking forward to certain games on the schedule and rightfully so. Allow for me to highlight some key games for the Trojans this season.
September 9 vs Stanford
Another early Pac-12 heavyweight bout with Stanford. Typically these games tend to be close, however the last three meetings have seen Stanford defeat USC by more than 10 points. You may remember last year being the last game Max Browne started at quarterback before head coach Clay Helton made the switch to Sam Darnold. This is a game the Trojans want to win badly, especially dropping 3 straight to the Cardinal. This will be an early test for USC, but this can also be an early trap game. The last thing they want to do is get caught looking ahead to Texas against this Stanford team.
September 16 vs Texas
A game many USC fans had been waiting for since the 2006 National Championship Game. 11 years have passed since that faithful night. The two programs have gone through some changes since then and now they’ll finally meet again at the L.A. Coliseum. Texas comes in with a new head coach in Tom Herman, who had done a pretty good job at Houston, and a pretty talented roster. Herman has been known to get some marquee wins out of conference; this is an early opportunity for Texas to make a statement in this game. Not only will this game be tricky due to the talent of Texas, but USC will be coming off a game with Stanford the week before. It’ll be interesting how the body blow effect plays a part in this one. A win for USC here will give them a key win that could put them in a position for the College Football Playoffs if they get that far.
September 29 @ Washington State
This year USC will face the state schools in Oregon State and Washington State. On paper USC should win this game, but unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, this isn’t the usual Cougars team that other Pac-10-12 teams would beat up on. Under Mike Leach they’ve really been playing some good football. Last season they went 8-5 overall with a 7-2 record in conference play and finished 2nd in the North. They return quarterback Luke Falk and get a Friday night home game with the Trojans. It will be a short week for USC as they’ll be coming off a road game against Cal and with no bye weeks it will be a test. Clancy Pendergast will need to get the USC defense going in order for USC to win this game because Washington State loves to fling the ball around. This is a game USC cannot afford to lose.
November 11 @ Colorado
This could be one of those games that dictates the fate of the Pac-12 South. Last season USC handed Colorado their only loss in the Pac-12, however due to the Trojans 1-3 start, Colorado still managed to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game where the Trojans continued their hot streak on the way to a Rose Bowl berth. Again this is a game USC should win on paper, but Colorado is no slouch. Again this could be a trap game with UCLA on the horizon the next week. A USC win could set up a huge meeting against UCLA or even decide the Pac-12 south if things go to plan.
November 18 vs UCLA
The meetings between USC and UCLA have been pretty interesting the last few years. USC has taken the last two games, which included a 36-14 thrashing last season. You can expect that UCLA will be a different team than last year and will come highly motivated to knock off the Trojans in the Coliseum. USC could be looking to clinch a Pac-12 title game berth or maybe a New Years Six bowl appearance with this game depending on how the season goes. This will also be a meeting between two possible 1st round picks in the 2018 NFL draft in Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. Many NFL fans and executives will have their eyes on this game as well.