USC Trojans: What Troy Can Expect The Next Two Weeks?
Coming off a 41-28 loss to the Utah Utes, the USC Trojans are 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the PAC 12, tied for first with the Utes in the South division. What will it take for USC to make a run at a possible Rose Bowl appearance in Pasadena, California?
Looking ahead, the Trojans will face Arizona State at home this weekend, followed by a road contest against Oregon State. The favorable schedule continues at UCLA and California. The roadblock is likely against number #3 Notre Dame to close the season.
Quarterback JT Daniels must rebound from his woeful 86 yard passing output against the Utes. He must improve upon his 57 percent completion rate and 8-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio.
The ground game can take some heat off Daniels, with the three-headed monster of Aca'Cedric Ware, Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai, who have combined for 881 yards, 11 touchdowns and 5.1 per carry. Malepeai in particular has a nose for the endzone, scoring 7 times on only 41 attempts.
So what will it take for the Trojans the next couple weeks to put them in position for a late season push? Looking at Arizona State, they come in last in the division but have some offensive weapons the Trojans must counter. Quarterback Manny Wilkins has thrown for 11 touchdowns and nearly 1800 yards, while Eno Bejnamin has gashed defenses for 753 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. Expect a high scoring affair in this one, certainly an entertaining one for the fans.
The following week the Trojans should have a relative easy time against Oregon State, who at 1-6, is giving up an average of 47 points per game. The Trojans main concern in this one will be containing Jermar Jefferson, who has rushed for 12 touchdowns and 899 yards on 6.8 per attempt.
Should USC take care of business and get to 5-2 in the conference, that remaining schedule continues to be meaningful. The stumbling block could be the loss to Utah, who now holds the tie breaker.
One game at at time, as the cliche goes, but this is clearly the case here. Any loss between now and the Notre Dame contest all but eliminates hope for a potential appearance in Pasadena.