The USC Trojans Football program is supposed to be a powerhouse and they expect to win championships. However, lately they have been an image of mediocrity and following their recent Week 2 loss against Stanford, the Trojans announced the firing of head coach Clay Helton.
The loss put their overall record at 1-1 and their conference record at 0-1. The Trojans will have cornerback coach Donte Williams take over as interim head coach until a replacement is officially named. Can USC bounceback from this early season adversity?
Schedule is Favorable
The schedule is a favorable one moving forward. Their most difficult matchups this season will be road trips to Notre Dame, Arizona State, and Cal. They should be able to handle home matchups against teams such as BYU and Oregon State.
With that being said, it seemed likely that they would be able to defeat Stanford but ended up getting blown out in that game.
Perhaps the changing of the guard could help fire the team up as it has seemed like Helton should have been let go long before this season began. He has been consistently on the hot seat over the past couple of seasons. So will USC still be competitive this year?
Strengths and Weakness
Kedon Slovis should be in for a good season. The offensive line is supposed to be better following a rough 2020, and Slovis showed promise despite the offensive line struggles a season ago. Slovis still had 17 touchdown passes and almost eclipsed the 2,000 passing yards mark during the shortened campaign.
The running game does not look like anything special, but it could produce a few solid games during the season. However, expect the USC passing game to be the highlight of this offense.
The defense is led by a strong secondary and should be able to hold up their end of the bargain. That secondary is led by two All-Pac 12 corners in Chris Steele and Isaac Taylor-Stewart. The Trojans defense will not set the world on fire, but they should limit opponents enough to give Slovis and the offense a chance to win some ball games.
Predictions and Vegas Odds
Following the firing of Clay Helton, the Vegas odds on NCAA football show that one of two things will likely occur. The Trojans will either break down and struggle, or will find motivation from the change and turn in a winning season. Because of the favorable schedule and the solid roster, we are going to set the win total at 8.
- Win Total Odds: Over 8.5 + 100
- Win Total Odds: Under 8.5 – 125
- 2021 Pac-12 Winner Odds: USC + 275
- Heisman Winner Odds: Kedon Slovis + 7500
The future is unclear for USC Football as they are a program in the midst of transition. While they may not be champion favorites in 2021, with a new head coach and excellent recruiting they could return to their powerhouse roots in 2022.
But for now, they are still a team to watch and keep an eye on as they look to win the South Division Title.