USC Trojans: CFN College Football Preview 2021

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans: CFN College Football Preview 2021

2021 Preview

USC Trojans: CFN College Football Preview 2021

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College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the USC season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
USC Trojans Schedule Analysis
– USC Trojans Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2020 Record: 5-1 overall, 5-1 in Pac-12
Head Coach: Clay Helton, 7th year, 45-23
2020 CFN Final Ranking: 24
2020 CFN Preview Ranking: 13
2019 CFN Final Ranking: 38

USC Trojans College Football Preview 2021: Offense

The offense should’ve been better. It’s hard to argue too much with an attack that rose up in the clutch time and again, and came within a game of an unbeaten Pac-12 championship season, but it struggled. It wasn’t consistent, it wasn’t explosive enough, and it put itself in a few too many holes it had to get out of.

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell knows how to get an offense rolling, but again, even with the positives, 417 yards and 33 points per game should be more. When the team tried to get physical and focus on the run, it occasionally worked, but it led the Pac-12 in passing since that’s where the high-end talent was. Get ready for more because …

Kedon Slovis should be in for a massive year. He got bounced around way too much – USC gave up 2.5 sacks per game – but he still threw for close to 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the six games.

Former Vanderbilt transfer Mo Hasan suffered a knee injury this offseason, putting the spotlight on true freshman Jaxson Dart, a young passer with tremendous upside.

Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns are gone after finishing second and third on the team in receiving yards, respectively, but this is a fantastic group helped by the transfer portal.

6-5 Drake London is a high-end pro prospect who led the team with 502 yards on 33 catches, and 6-3 Bru McCoy will move around where needed after finishing fourth on the team in catches.

KD Nixon (Colorado) and Tahj Washington (Memphis) will find roles rushed away, and John Jackson III should be more involved. 6-5, 260-pound senior TE Erik Krommenhoek is back after catching nine passes with two scores.

Pass protection was a problem and the ground game was dead last in the Pac-12 averaging under 100 yards per game, but the O line isn’t that bad. Four starters are expected back. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a tough loss at left tackle, but C Brett Nailon and OT Jalen McKenzie have all-star potation.

The running backs are there, but they have to be used more. The Trojans lost third-leading rusher Markese Stepp to Nebraska and No. 2 guy Stephen Carr to Indiana, but Vavae Malepeai returns after leading the team with 238 yards and three scores, and getting Keontay Ingram from Texas is a big help.

– What You Need To Know: Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
USC Trojans Schedule Analysis

NEXT: USC Trojans College Football Preview 2021: Defense

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