Norm Chow’s tenure with the Hawaii Warriors begins tomorrow at the Coliseum, along with the a campaign of extremely high expectations for USC. Can the Trojans live up to the Week 1 hype of being ranked No. 1? Here’s how we see it all going down:
Trenise Ferreira: USC 62, Hawaii 21
USC is going to treat their season opener against Hawai’i much like they did in the 2003 version of this competition. The Trojans will come out on fire, determined to show everyone that they are the team to beat this year. It might take a few plays to get the ball rolling, but once they do, there will be no stopping it. Barkley is going to utilize all of his weapons, creating a multi-faceted attack that will really challenge the Rainbow Warrior Defense. Sure, USC’s defense may or may not be as ready as the offense is, but they have enough returners and veterans to quickly move Hawai’i's offense off the field, and put the Trojan one back on it.
Michael Castillo: USC 38, Hawaii 10
In two Week 1′s under Lane Kiffin, the Trojans struggled. Year three brings plenty more talent to the field for the Trojans, plus pressure that goes with being the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Does it mean that USC can get over the Week 1 jitters they’ve had the last couple of seasons? Probably not entirely. The 40-point spread for the Trojans is really lenient, even with the talent SC brings back and Hawaii loses. Look for Troy have stretches of brilliance and frustration on Saturday, but in the end, it won’t be close.
Charles Gilmore: USC by 28 to 35
Of course I am picking USC to win but I believe that the 40 point spread may be a little too much. The spread might be more accurate somewhere between 28 and 35. Norm Chow will certainly have the Warriors prepared on offense to compete earlier. He is great a game planning and has the advantage of facing the Trojans as the offensive coordinator of the Utah Utes last year. The Trojans will become too much for them real early in the game with Barkley and the boys lighting up the score board on offense. There are some distinct disadvantages that Hawaii will have that will prevent them from presenting a challenge to the Trojans. First, they just don’t have the level of athlete that the Trojans have. This is also the Warriors first year under Chow. They are learning new systems on both sides of the ball. Chow will not have the players to fit his systems yet. I do not see the score getting to a 40 point difference because Kiffin will most likely pull the starters early when the game is under control. He also will most likely turn to the ground game to end the game in hurry and get to week 2 with no injuries (scholarship reduction impact here).
Alicia De Artola: USC 39, Hawaii 27
Most Trojan fans have got to be feeling pretty good about this game, but I think it will be closer than expected. There are always going to be a few hiccups at the start of the season and it will be no different for USC. The offense won’t be firing on all cylinders (yet) and the defense will likely be rusty from limited tackling in practice. Hawaii won’t ever really be in it, but they’ll put up a fight.