USC football: 3 things that need to happen to make College Football Playoff

Evan Desai
Eric Gentry, USC Football, USC Trojans
Eric Gentry, USC Football, USC Trojans / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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USC football's offense is going to be College Football Playoff worthy in 2022. The offense isn't the problem. USC returns four starters from their offensive line last year, which was rated first in all of America by PFF. The one spot they have open was filled via the transfer portal by ACC Honorable Mention Bobby Haskins.

They have a top three quarterback in football in Caleb Williams, the best wide receiver in the nation in Jordan Addison, and an elite running back in Travis Dye. The offense is loaded in all the right places. What isn't very good on paper, is the defense.

Three things will need to happen on that side of the ball if USC wants to make the CFP. While the offense will win many shootouts if given the chance, the defense WILL need to prove they can make clutch stops during the year if they want to help drive this team to a Playoff birth.

No. 3 thing that needs to happen for USC football to make CFP: Nick Figueroa and Brandon Pili stay healthy

This USC Football Defensive Line is about to be a weakness of this team if Nick Figueroa and Brandon Pili have injury issues again this season. Figueroa had seven tackles for loss in the one season he was healthy for (2020 season that was just six games long), so his impact when healthy is very high and important.

As for Pili, he had five tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and three PD's as a DT in 10 games in 2019--the only season he stayed relatively healthy. He can be productive, clearly, as he was that year in the games he played in. His issue, as well as Figueroa's, has been durability.

Pili has missed 30 games in his five seasons at SC, and Figueroa has missed eight in three seasons with the Trojans. If these two stay durable, their impacts will most certainly be felt. If not, Tuli Tuipulotu may end up being the only proven threat on the line.