The USC Trojans had, by their standards, an extremely disappointing 2012 campaign, but have a chance to at least win a bowl game.
After starting the season ranked No. 1, the Trojans quickly fell off the map, suffering an early loss to Stanford before collapsing and losing four of their last five contests leading up to this matchup with Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Fortunately, the team finished 7-5 and remained bowl eligible, giving them one last chance at redemption before heading into a long offseason. Let’s take a look at some players who need to make a difference in the Dec. 31 contest.
This is Barkley’s swan song as the USC signal-caller, ending a highly publicized, up-and-down journey from top recruit to early starter to Heisman candidate to consideration for first-overall draft pick to slumps and injuries.
Now the senior has a chance to end his career on a high note, leading his squad to one final win before he enters the NFL draft—where some project he’ll still wind up a top-ten pick.
He suffered an injury late in the season and missed the finale against Notre Dame, but Barkley will be back for this game and is reportedly excited to play in a bowl for the first time in over two seasons (USC was ineligible the past two years).
All eyes will be on the young man in his last game when the Trojans travel to El Paso.
Washington is the Yellow Jackets QB and will be a serious threat for the USC defense to deal with.
He’s not a traditional signal-caller, as G-Tech prefers to run the option and rarely passes. On the season, Washington is just 72-of-128 for 1,173 yards and seven TDs with four INTs.
However, he’s run for 638 yards on 161 attempts and has scored a whopping 19 times on the ground.
It’ll be pertinent for the Trojans to lock down Washington, but they have to watch out for him pitching it or handing it off to another talented rusher on the Yellow Jackets.
Lee has easily had the best season of any Trojan, piling up huge stats and raking in awards as one of the best WRs in the nation.
He finished with 112 receptions for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also added 12 rushes for 106 yards for good measure.
This young man is extremely dangerous and is the Trojans' top weapon by far. Expect him to get a ton of looks in the Sun Bowl, as the Yellow Jackets will need to double cover him every time he’s out on the field.