USC Football Roundup: Tyler Vaughns among nation’s top receivers (7/2)

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

Tyler Vaughns got his due in Athlon’s ranking of wide receivers, while Reddit looked back on non-Power 5 losses. Here’s the USC football roundup for July 2.

Just when it seemed like perhaps Tyler Vaughns was being underrated this offseason, the USC football receiver popped up on Athlon Sports ranking of the Top 50 wide receivers in college football.

He’s not just on the list, but ranked rather highly at No. 16, which makes him the second best receiver in the Pac-12 behind only ASU’s N’Keal Harry.

It’s easy to see why Vaughns would turn heads over at Athlon. He’s 6-foot-2 and knows how to use that size to shield the ball from defenders. He has excellent body control and top-of-the-line hands.

More from Reign of Troy

All that he showed as he came in as a redshirt freshman and caught 57 passes for 809 yards with five touchdowns. That’s better or equal in every measure to JuJu Smith-Schuster’s freshman campaign.

And not to pile the expectations on too heavily, but Vaughns has the ability match what Smith-Schuster did in Year 2, racking up 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore.

To be fair, he’ll need a competent quarterback to throw his way and other gifted receivers like Michael Pittman to keep defenses from throwing a blanket over him. Still, the sky is the limit. All-Pac-12 honors are well within reach. When it comes to USC wide receivers under Tee Martin, never rule out an All-American season either.

It’s been a long time

On Tuesday, Redditor JesusIsADinosaur charted the last time each Power 5 team lost to a non-Power 5 program.

And wouldn’t you know, USC is one of just three programs who have avoided a non-Power 5 defeat this century, not counting Notre Dame of course.

CHECK OUT: Best season openers in USC history

The Ohio State Buckeyes hold the distinction for the longest streak without a loss, last falling to Air Force way back in 1990. Next it’s the Trojans, who have kept their non-Power 5 slate clean since losing to Fresno State in the 1992 Freedom Bowl. Finally, Texas lost a narrow game to Rice in 1994.

Considering USC’s general struggles in the 1990s and the sanctions which started up the 2010s, it’s a pretty impressive feat to maintain. Though technically USC did lose to Utah in the 2001 Vegas Bowl before the Utes were brought into the Pac-12. Even so, the Trojans remain in the Top 3 as Wisconsin’s 2003 loss to UNLV is the next best mark.

Speaking of UNLV? USC will have to hold them off this September to keep the streak alive.

Rose Bowl bound

In the estimation of College Football News, USC will be Rose Bowl bound by the end of the 2018 season.

The bowl projection doesn’t mean the Trojans are projected to win the Pac-12 though. The trip to Pasadena comes courtesy of being runner-up to playoff-bound Washington.

Sporting News All-Americans

USC doesn’t have any first team selections in Sporting News’ preseason All-America team, but the Trojans weren’t totally blanked.

TRENDING: Ranking USC’s 2018 schedule by threat level

Linebacker Cameron Smith continued to pull in preseason accolades by showing up on the second-team defense.

Today’s Trojan Trivia

USC is 53-4-2 against teams from the currently-composted Group of Five conference, namely The American, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Conference USA.