If there’s one thing that USC football fans know all about, it’s the phenomenon of ‘the trap game’.
Trips to Oregon State have been historic trap games for the Trojans, with losses in 1967, 2006 and 2008 all getting the infamous label that led to losses.
The most recent game in 2008 is perhaps the most iconic in recent lore, as No. 1 USC traveled to Corvallis a week and a half dismantling No. 5 Ohio State, and a week before having to play a ranked and potent Oregon Ducks team.
The result? One of the biggest upsets of the BCS era and one that eventually cost the Trojans a shot at Pete Carroll’s third national championship.
Could the Trojans be in store for another trap game this fall? The guys over at The Big Lead think so.
They’ve identified Week 3 as a potential surprise slip up spot for USC.
"USC at Boston College [Sept. 13] Quick. Name Steve Sarkisian’s biggest road win at Washington… (crickets). The Trojans don’t have a lot of depth. Their schedule asks them to grind for 60 minutes on the road against a rough Stanford. Then, the very next week, fly all the way to the Northeast to play in Boston. BC are improving and got back to bowl play last year. Steve Addazio will have this game circled."
Troy beat BC 35-7 last year at the Coliseum, but the biggest key to BC being a trap game for the Trojans might be the fact that it comes on the heels of playing Stanford.
College football columnist Bruce Feldman has kept tabs what he calls the ‘Body Blow’ theory, and how it relates to Stanford’s opponents the week after a tilt with the Cardinal.
Last season, Stanford’s opponents were just 4-6 in games the next week. But more importantly, of the six teams that lost, they combined to give up an average of 113 more rushing yards the week after they played Stanford, than their season average.
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers
- Talanoa Hufanga is officially and rightly an All-American for USC football
It’s quite a remarkable trend, and is all the evidence you need to prove that Stanford’s physicality takes a toll on teams.
Luckily for USC, they have gotten favorable matchups to avoid the ‘Body Blow’ theory of late, facing both Colorado and Cal twice in the last four years post-Stanford. The Trojans have won those games by a combined score of 164-69.
But this year may be different, considering that Boston College was 20th in the nation in rushing a year ago, and neither Cal nor Colorado had the ability to test USC’s rush defense.
Alas, the Eagles did lose Heisman Trophy finalist running back Andre Williams, who ran for an FBS-best 2,177 yards in 2013. They’ll replace him with sophomore Myles Willis, who averaged 5.77 yards per carry in his first season at Chestnut Hill.
What say you? Is Boston College a trap game? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts below in our comments.
Is Boston College a trap game?