Earlier, I posted a breakdown of the University of Southern California Trojans. Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today.
If you have been reading my series of games I want to see, you might have noticed a pattern of close games and overtime finishes from last year that make me want to this year's games. This one is no different.
Stanford took the win last year in triple overtime. In 2010, it was a two-point loss for USC. And in 2009, Stanford simply embarrassed USC.
This year, however, Stanford loses All-American and No.1 draft pick quarterback Andrew Luck.
With that kind of loss, many expect that Stanford will not be as good this year. Nevertheless, they will still be tough on the lines, and the run defense will be a strength. The pass defense will be suspect, which does them no favors in this game.
On the flip side, USC returns their projected All-American and first-round draft pick quarterback Matt Barkley. Along with Barkley are some of the fastest and talented wide receivers in the country. USC looks stronger all around this year than they have in the last three.
This game should still be competitive enough, but I think the fortunes may have reversed, and the results will be going the other way this year.
Last year's game ended oddly, and it was even closer than the 23-14 final score indicates.
On the final play of the game, Utah was going for a field goal which would have tied the game at the end of regulation. The kick was not only blocked and picked up by USC, but it was also returned for a touchdown.
Utah is much more experienced all over the field. More importantly, they survived their first year in the Pac-12. With that first year behind them, it is no longer a question of can they play with the rest of the Pac? We saw that they can.
Utah has had a pretty good record at home under head coach Kyle Wittingham. They have amassed 33 wins vs. only nine losses at home. A lot of those wins came during their time in the Mountain West. Three of the losses came just last season in conference play. Just the same, Rice-Eccles Stadium can still be a factor.
USC leads the all-time series 7-3 but that goes way back into history. In a more recent stat, the teams are said to be 1-1 since 2000. USC’s win last year is of course even more relevant.
Utah is my pick as the South division runner-up. I also give them a chance at winning the division, but it would take a win here and for just about everything to go wrong for USC. Still, I just can’t eliminate the idea in case USC does slip somewhere along the way.
As if you didn’t see this one coming. It is easily the most anticipated game for both teams. Possibly one of the most anticipated for the conference and even maybe the nation.
Both teams are expected to start the season in the top five of the rankings.
Both teams are expected to enter their match up undefeated.
Both teams are expected to win their divisions.
This game is likely a preview of the conference title game with the winner being on track for the National Championship game.
Last year's game ended with Oregon missing a field goal that would have sent them to overtime. With USC not being eligible for the conference title game, it left a lot of fans unsatisfied with a lot of what ifs.
Oregon has questions with quite a few new faces on the field at key positions. USC has questions of depth. USC will have home field advantage. Oregon won the last time they played in LA.
The teams are 1-1 over the last two years and 2-2 over four.
I don’t know what else I can say to get you excited to see this.