College Football News Preview 2020: USC Trojans

College Football News Preview 2020: USC Trojans

USC

College Football News Preview 2020: USC Trojans

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College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the USC Trojans season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Schedule Analysis
– USC Previews 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2019 Record: 8-5 overall, 7-2 in Pac-12
Head Coach: Clay Helton, 6th year, 40-22
2019 CFN Final Opinion Ranking: 19
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 38
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 26

No one knows what’s going to happen to the 2020 college football season. We’ll take a general look at where each team stands – doing it without spring ball to go by – while crossing our fingers that we’ll all have some well-deserved fun this fall. Hoping you and yours are safe and healthy.

5. College Football News Preview 2020: USC Trojans Offense 3 Things To Know

– The offense worked. After all the changes and adjustments to go all-in with the high-powered passing game under offensive coordinator and former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell worked.

Quarterback injuries were a problem, and the running game was a bit hit-or-miss, but the passing attack caught fire and finished as one of the nation’s most efficient. It was second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the country, and overall, the O averaged 455 yards and 32.5 points per game.

But when it didn’t rock, the team lost.

USC was 8-0 when scoring more than 27 points, and was 0-5 when it scored that many or fewer. Blame the defense, for the most part. Again, the offense worked, and it should be great again.


CFN in 60 Video: USC Trojans Preview


Kedon Slovis was one of the biggest surprises in college football, stepping in and taking over the team after JT Daniels went down early on with a torn ACL. Daniels is transferring to Georgia and Jack Sears left for Boise State, but the depth is there.

Slovis hit 72% of his passes for over 3,500 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine touchdowns, but he also took a whole slew of massive shots. That’s where Vanderbilt transfer Mo Hasan comes in – he’ll battle with veteran backup Matt Fink to work behind Slovis.

The quarterback situation is good, but the receiving corps is in even better shape. Top target Michael Pittman is now an Indianapolis Colt, but the next three top wideouts are back, starting with with future NFL starter Amon-Ra St. Brown, coming off a 77-catch, 1,042-yard, six touchdown season.

Senior Tyler Vaughns is a terrific weapon, Drake London is a 6-5 athlete who’s a matchup nightmare, and on the way is top recruit Gary Bryant to fit in somewhere.

The tight ends aren’t going to get a ton of work unless redshirt freshman Jude Wolfe turns into a star, but Erik Krommerhoek is a terrific blocker and Daniel Imatorbhebhe is back in the mix.

It’s not that the running game was bad, it’s that the passing game was just that good. The Trojans got a decent year out of the offensive line, but it occasionally had a hard time gearing it up when it came time to blast away – the ground attack failed to hit 100 yards in four of the last five games.

Part of the issue was a banged up group of backs, but four good options are back to rotate in, starting with Vavae Malepeai. He led the team with 503 yards and six scores, but suffered a knee injury. Stephen Carr has had moments over his three seasons, but he’s never been a steady workhorse.

Star offensive tackle Austin Jackson was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the first round, but the entire offensive interior returns, with former guard Alijah Vera-Tucker likely to kick outside to take over Jackson’s spot.

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: USC Trojans Defense 3 Things To Know

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