Saturday afternoon the USC Trojans held their annual spring game in The Coliseum. The Trojans are looking to bounce back after a season full of turmoil in 2013 which saw their Head Coach Lane Kiffin let go midway through the season. USC finished strong the second half of the season under interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron. The Trojans finished 10-4 with a Las Vegas Bowl victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Through all the troubles and drama in Southern California last year you would never believe that the Trojans actually won ten games in 2013. The ten win mark for most programs is a great season, but at USC that still isn’t enough to satisfy the faithful. The scholarship restrictions and lack of depth that USC has had to endure the last couple of seasons has been a problem. It will be overlooked by most, but considering those circumstances a ten win season for USC last year should be judged a success.
The Trojans opened the Steve Sarkisian era Saturday when they held their annual spring game. As with every spring game, the main objectives are to stay healthy, have fun and get the young guys some live game reps. The USC offense will go to a more up tempo style in 2014 and that will be a positive for the Trojans because of the athletes they can recruit on offense.
The Trojans in 2014 will still be dealing with that issue of scholarship reductions and a lack of depth, but the players they do have are more than capable of having a great season. The first year under Sarkisian will be a feeling out period as he introduces a more up tempo offense and they look to move away from the pro style offense Kiffin had last season.
I feel a successful season for USC in 2014 would be another ten win season. As long as these scholarship restrictions are lingering over the Trojans and they aren’t able to build depth ten win seasons should be judged a success. The Trojans in 2014 will play a tough PAC 12 schedule, but after a strong finish to the season last year the momentum should be on their side.
The second game of the season USC will travel to Stanford to face the Cardinal in an early showdown in the PAC 12. This game could go a long ways in building confidence for a Trojans’ team that will be looking for reasons to believe they can compete in 2014. This game will be one of the marquee matchups in week two of the season and will have a say in who wins the PAC 12.
The Trojans will end the season with two crucial rivalry games against UCLA and Notre Dame. USC will face UCLA in the Rose Bowl on November, 22th. This game is always heated, but now with two young head coaches on both sides the intensity may be amped up even more than before in recent years.
The Trojans then close the season against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on November, 29th in Los Angeles. These two teams have one of the richest rivalries in the sport of college football and both will be looking to get back to a championship level in 2014. The records are usually thrown out the window when these two teams play because of that history between these two programs.
USC will be looking to make a run at making the first annual College Football Playoff final four in 2014. The likelihood of them making it is slim, but after seeing what Auburn did in 2013 anything is possible. The schedule has its tough spots for USC with crucial road games, but as I said earlier a ten win season should be judged a success. It will be an interesting season in Sarkisian’s first year at USC, but one thing is for sure the fun and loose atmosphere is back in Los Angeles once again.