USC vs. Hawaii: 10 Things We Learned from the Trojans' Win
It was not pretty, but in the end the Trojans accomplished what they came to do in Hawaii, knocking off the Warriors 30-13.
While the game was not as high-scoring as anticipated, a lot can be taken from the 17-point USC victory.
A lot was learned about USC, but there are also a few questions that need to be answered as the season progresses.
The competition is only going to get stiffer for USC, but a win is a win.
Here are 10 things we learned about USC in the victory over Hawaii.
The Trojans Can Run the Football
Even without starter Silas Redd and fellow running back DJ Morgan, USC still displayed an excellent rushing attack.
Youngsters Tre Madden and Justin Davis combined for 183 yards on 32 carries. The duo poured it on particularly in the second half, wearing out the Hawaii defense.
While the passing game struggled to move the ball, the USC backfield appears to be set for the next few years with these two.
When Silas Redd comes back, look out.
Defense Might Be Its Strong Suit
While the offense struggled to move the ball, particularly early on, the defense came up big on nearly every single drive, with the exception of the final possession.
The group was able to hold the Hawaii offensive attack to 231 yards, with 60 of them coming on a last-second touchdown pass.
USC also picked off four passes and took one to the house.
The line consistently got pressure on Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham, and the secondary took advantage of that all night long.
Quarterback Is Still an Issue
One thing is certain about the USC quarterback situation: It is still completely up in the air.
Both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek played a good portion of the game. Kessler finished 10-of-19 for 95 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Max Wittek was 5-of-10 for 77 yards.
It is still too early to say who is going to ultimately win the job, but head coach Lane Kiffin might need a few more games to decide on this one.
Neither quarterback separated himself from the other.
The Defensive Line Is for Real
As mentioned earlier, the USC defensive line came to play against Hawaii. The group might be the best on the entire USC roster.
There are plenty of talented players along the line, but one player who stood out was defensive end George Uko. He was one of the main reasons why USC finished the game with eight sacks.
The junior will be a force this season along the line for USC.
Head Coach Lane Kiffin Is Still on the Hot Seat
It appears like Lane Kiffin is going to be on the hot seat all season long.
The USC head coach did not have his best showing, as USC struggled to put away Hawaii.
While Kiffin is likely to stay around for the entire season, there is going to be growing pressure with every loss.
It does not appear like it is going to be an easy year for Kiffin.
Su'a Cravens Is a Superstar in the Making
Su'a Cravens is only a true freshman, but he appears to be one of the best in the country.
Cravens looked the part in the season opener. He was one of the top recruits in the country coming into the season, and he showed exactly why in the win over Hawaii.
He had a key interception early on to set the tone. He is already starting, which says a lot. Not many true freshmen start their first game in a USC uniform.
Expect big things out of this guy in 2013 and beyond.
Andre Heidari Is Money from Deep
USC kicker Andre Heidari did not have the season he was looking for in 2012, but he appears to have found it so far in 2013.
Heidari hit all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 52-yard kick with plenty of room to spare. He also knocked in all three of his extra points.
If he can continue to develop like he has, this guy could be a weapon down the stretch for the Trojans.
Marqise Lee Is Human
There is no doubt that Marqise Lee is the most talented receiver in the country, but he proved against Hawaii that he is human.
Lee dropped a key fourth-down pass early on and also a deep pass in the fourth quarter that would have likely gone for a touchdown. While he does drop a pass here and there, this was uncharacteristic for Lee.
Somehow he still managed to finish with eight catches for 104 yards.
He is human, but he is still the best receiver in the country.
There Will Be Some Very Low-Scoring Games This Season
Judging by the 30-13 victory over Hawaii, it appears like USC is going to be playing some lower-scoring games this season than it is typically accustomed to.
The Trojans are going to have to win a different way this season.
Defense is going to be the name of the game for USC. With inconsistency at quarterback and some issues along the offensive line, this team will win lower-scoring games in 2013.
Unlike most years, USC is going to have to win with defense.
It Is Only Going to Get Harder from Here On Out
For USC, the schedule is only going to get more difficult from here on out.
Hawaii will likely be the worst team on the schedule by the end of the season. The Warriors only won three games last season.
While there are a few easy Pac-12 opponents, such as Washington State and Colorado, it is not going to get easier than Hawaii for USC.