USC will indeed have a pretty tough schedule this coming season with most of them being on the road. While all the attention has been on games such as Texas, Stanford, UCLA, Utah, and Notre Dame to name the few, there are games in between them that has the potential to be trap games for the Trojans. As USC fans know, the team is known to have those head scratching games where they struggle for a good portion of the game or end up losing a game that they shouldn’t have. Is there a team on the schedule that could catch USC by surprise? If so then who is that team and when does it come?
Look no further than September 21st when the Washington State Cougars come into the Coliseum. Last season the Cougars handed USC it’s only conference loss in Pullman on a Friday night. This season Mike Leach’s squad could be facing a down season after losing some key players from last season’s team, however this could set up to be a trap game for the Trojans for quite a few reasons.
Coming Off Back to Back Road Games: USC will be coming off two road games against tough and physical opponents in Stanford and Texas. Stanford has always been known to be a pretty physical battle while Texas showed how physical they can be in the trenches and on defense. USC’s energy level will be tested, especially against a Washington State team who will be coming off a game against Eastern Washington. Not to mention a possible emotional let down after two huge road games.
Short Week: While a short week usually isn’t much of a factor to the Trojans, This is a whole different monster. USC will have a short week of rest with the game being on a Friday night and the team just playing a huge road in Austin, Texas which could play a factor in the game. Washington State caught USC on a short week and banged up after having to pull away against Cal on the road. With the short week to prepare, this has the makings of a trap game in the Coliseum.
“Looking Ahead”: The following week, USC will be faced with another tough road game. The Trojans will face an Arizona Wildcat team which brings in a new head coach in Kevin Sumlin and explosive quarterback Kahlil Tate. How does this play into the September 21st game? It could be possible that USC could look towards a huge Pac-12 South match up early in the season, dismissing the Cougars and their match up in the Coliseum. The danger of the Trojans not taking Washington State seriously just to look towards another key game is certainly there and could make this a pretty dangerous “trap game” on Friday night. The one thing with Clay Helton, is that he doesn’t allow his teams to get caught looking ahead.