In the first non-Thanksgiving Thursday game for USC football, the Trojans gear up to face the Arizona Wildcats. Will USC get off to a big start in the wake of Lane Kiffin’s firing? Or will Arizona prove that the Trojans’ problems went farther than just the head coach?
Here’s what the Reign Of Troy staff has to say.
Michael Castillo | Arizona 20 – USC 16
While I think it’s very likely that the Trojans will play with more passion and fire than we’ve seen in a while, it cannot be overstated how important the losses of Marqise Lee and Morgan Breslin will be, as they’re doubtful to play tonight. With Breslin, Ruffin is a manageable understudy, but there just isn’t a reasonable replacement for Lee, when you factor in that USC will have to rely on Darreus Rogers, De’Von Flournoy and Victor Blackwell to compliment Nelson Agholor. I think USC does a decent job in stopping the run and given Arizona fits with their rushing attack, but the lack of a the big play ability of Lee will cost the Trojans just slightly.
Josh Webb | Arizona 24 – USC 31
Trojans use the firing of Lane Kiffin and the momentum of practice this week to win by a score at home.
Matthew Moreno | Arizona 13 – USC 27
I anticipate USC coming out of the gates early with plenty of energy — particularly from the defense, who I think will be set on bouncing back from their poor performance against ASU. Arizona enters the game with a better record, but the level of competition they’ve faced can be questioned. Their lone legitimate challenge, Washington, handily defeated the Wildcats in a rainy game up in the Pacific Northwest.
If USC’s offense can put together a relatively balanced attack, then the Trojans should be able to control the game. Washington racked up 244 rushing yards on the Wildcats and I have a feeling USC will attempt to inflict similar damage on the ground. The rushing attack should be a point of emphasis with Silas Redd returning and the Trojans running low on healthy bodies at the receiver position. The first ever Thursday night game at the Coliseum brings some good fortune for USC and they walk away with a 27-13 victory.
Alicia de Artola | Arizona 17 – USC 30
This is a tough one to call. USC has both positive and negative momentum working in their favor. The question that needs to be answered is which side wins out. No question the USC defense had a rough outing against Arizona State, but I suspect that was more an issue of circumstance than being exposed. With extra time to prepare for Arizona, a one dimensional offense whose strength in the running game will compete directly with USC’s strength in run defense, I believe Pendergast will have his defense right this time. USC shut down the nations leading rusher in BC’s Andre Williams, so while Ka’Deem Carey presents a challenge, the Trojans should win the match up.
Offensively, Clay Helton will bring some new wrinkles into the game and USC’s talent will thrive with a more open game plan, even without Marqise Lee. Throw in the return of Silas Redd and the Trojans should have enough fire power to get the win.
Let you voice be heard. Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comment section.
Who do you think will win?
- USC (65%, 85 Votes)
- Arizona (35%, 46 Votes)
Total Voters: 131