USC vs. Boston College: Gameday Preview, Injuries, Lineups, and Links


USC Trojans vs. Boston College Eagles


  Boston College 7, USC 35 in 2013

The USC Trojans get back to business in the out-of-conference slate with a cross-country trip to Boston College.

Steve Sarkisian and company will be looking to take a perfect 3-0 record into the first bye week of the season by dispatching Steve Addazio’s Eagles.

The Trojans are coming off a signature win versus the Stanford Cardinal. In a game defined by an unusual lack of discipline on both sides, the men of Troy prevailed 13-10 on the road in Palo Alto, successfully launching their bid for a first Pac-12 title since 2008.

With the No. 9 ranking in the country, USC has also emerged as a potential playoff contender.

On the other side of the country, Boston College seeks a signature win of their own after falling in their first ACC game of the season against Pitt. In their home opener, the Eagles were overwhelmed by the Panther rushing attack, losing 30-20.

USC has never lost to Boston College. Saturday we find out if they can make it five in a row.

Gameday Links:

USC vs. Boston College: Previewing the Eagles Offense (Reign Of Troy)

USC vs. Boston College: Previewing the Eagles Defense (Reign Of Troy)

Five Things We Learned Versus Stanford and What They Mean For Boston College (Reign Of Troy)

What to watch for: USC at Boston College (Orange County Register)

USC football team does not get marquee matchup, but still plenty to prove against Boston College (Los Angeles Daily News)

Behind Enemy Lines: Boston College Aiming For Monster Upset Over USC (Neon Tommy)

Injury Report:

  •  Kenny Bigelow (knee), Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (academics), Jabari Ruffin (knee), Jordan Austin (hip), Chris Willson (foot)
  •  Lamar Dawson (elbow), Josh Shaw (suspended), Tre Madden (toe)
  •  Khaliel Rodgers (knee), Jordan Simmons (knee), John Plattenburg (achilles)
  •  Leonard Williams (ankle)

When Boston College has the ball…

Much like the Stanford offense last weekend, Boston College is adjusting to life after losing an elite running back to the NFL.

Andre Williams tore through the ACC last year and his absence has left a vacuum of power in the offense which the Eagles have attempted to fill with a running back by committee approach.

Sophomore co-starters Tyler Rouse and Myles Willis have split the carries for the most part in two games this season, but neither can claim the lions share of the available touches. Instead, that distinction goes to transfer quarterback Tyler Murphy.

Murphy leads the Eagles in carries, yards, and rushing touchdowns in addition to his passing stats.

As a dual threat quarterback, Murphy has become the focal point of the offense.

For the Trojans, that means the key is stopping Murphy.

Through two games this season, Murphy has thrown more interceptions (3) than he had touchdowns (2) and his 35% completion rating against Pitt leaves plenty to be desired.

The Trojan pass rush will want more sacks than they have achieved this season, this game may not be the time to pad those stats. Boston College has one of the most veteran offensive lines in the country, starting five redshirt seniors, while Murphy’s running ability could also come into play.

Without the presence of Hayes Pullard until the second half, USC will rely on sophomore Michael Hutchings in his first start as a Trojan to keep Murphy honest whether he runs or passes. Anthony Sarao will be called upon to pick up the slack.

Meanwhile, the Trojan secondary should relish the opportunity to take advantage of Murphy’s interception troubles.

WR #83 Charlie CallinanLT #67 Seth BetancourtLG #76 Bobby VardaroC #59 Andy GallikRG #Aaron KramerRT #75 Ian SilbermanTE #88 Mike Glacone OR #81 Louie AddazioQB #2 Tyler MurphyRB #23 Myles Willis OR #35 Tyler RouseFB #36 Bobby WolfordWR #8 Josh BordnerWR #18 Dan Crimmins

SOLB #47 Scott FelixDE #90 Claude Pelon OR #52 Delvon SimmonsNT #99 Antwaun WoodsDE #94 Leonard WilliamsRUSH #58 J.R. TavaiMLB #19 Michael HutchingsWLB #56 Anthony SaraoCB #13 Kevon SeymourFS #27 Gerald Bowman OR #22 Leon McQuay IISS #21 Su’a CravensCB #4 Chris Hawkins

When USC has the ball…

Last week, Sarkisian turned to Javorious “Buck” Allen to carry the offense while Cody Kessler and the passing game struggled to find their feet.

Facing a Boston College team which conceded 302 yards to Pittsburgh, Allen could be in for another big outing.

The Eagle defensive front is replacing some key figures and could be exploited by a Trojan offensive line which seems settled already.

Still, Kessler put in his most efficient outing of the season last year against the Eagles. If his repeat performance against Fresno State is anything to go on, he could also put up some eye-catching numbers.

While Boston College has yet to give up more than 150 yards passing in a game this season, they also have yet to face a team committed to slinging the ball about.

This might be an opportunity for Sarkisian to continue to work his young talents into the system and get them even more battle tested for the games ahead.

WR #9 JuJu SmithWR #15 Nelson AgholorTE #82 Randall TelferRT #73 Zach BannerRG #51 Damien MamaC #75 Max TuerkLG #50 Toa LobendahnLT #72 Chad WheelerTE #86 Xavier GrimbleWR #8 George FarmerQB #6 Cody KesslerFB #31 Soma VainukuTB #37 Javorius “Buck” Allen

DE #99 Brian MihalikDT #45 Mehdi AbdesmadNT #90 Connor WujciakDE #93 Kevin KevalecSLB #25 Josh KeyesMLB #52 Steven DanielsWLB #30 Mike StrizakCB #21 Manuel AsprillaFS #27 Justin SimmonsSS #9 Dominique WilliamsCB #17 Bryce Jones


Last year’s contest was no contest at all. The 35-7 scoreline could have been even greater as the Trojans outclassed the Eagles in every way.

This team is already miles ahead of that unit, so unless the USC players leave their minds back in Los Angeles, there should be little opportunity for an upset.

While the absence of Pullard and the limited health of Williams could create some problems if Murphy rises to the occasion, the Trojans have already proven their ability to will their way to victory.

The Trojans will leave Boston with a victory, 45-24.