2019 Football Preview – Pac-12 – Trojans
Looking for 2019 USC Trojans predictions? The Trojans had an inexcusable 2018 as they finished the year with a losing record and no bowl game. The Trojans had one of the most talented rosters in all of college football, but Clay Helton was able to do the near impossible and completely botch that job up.
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2019-20 College Football Preview – USC Trojans
Head Coach: Clay Helton
2018 Record: 5-7
USC Trojans Odds to win the 2019 FBS Championship: 125/1
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Now, the Trojans still have a talented roster, but Helton is, somehow, still coaching this team and the Trojans have an absolutely brutal schedule this year. If you’re looking for some optimism, Graham Harrell has been brought in to oversee the offense and could potentially shake things up.
Another positive is that if the Trojans have another awful year, Helton will be gone and, hopefully, the Trojans will get a real coach and maybe the Trojans will be back on the right track sooner, rather than later.
2019 USC Trojans Predictions: Team Strengths
Talent: In basically every game the Trojans play this season they will be the most talented team on the field. That was basically the case last year, save for maybe the Texas game.
If these games were simulated on a computer in terms of stars and recruits the Trojans would be a ten win team.
At quarterback, the Trojans will have to decide between Jack Sears and J.T. Daniels. Last year, to me, it seemed pretty clear Sears was the better of the two, but Helton, evidently, doesn’t believe in competition and just gave the job to Daniels.
Either way, whoever gets the job, hopefully they will continue to improve and progress. And they’ll have some help out wide with Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better wide receiving corp in all of college football.
2019 USC Trojans Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Gomer Pyle: As we mentioned above, if games were played on paper and simulated on a computer, USC would be a ten win team year in and year out. Last year, they would have been a playoff contender and would have easily ran away with the Pac-12 south title.
Unfortunately, for the Trojans, talent is only part of the equation; you need to have good coaching, as well, and that’s something the Trojans don’t have.
Without Sam Darnold bailing him out, Helton’s true coaching colors were shown and that is he is in way over his head at USC. He just isn’t a big time head coach and every single big game USC has been in, USC has been embarrassed and that falls on coaching.
Let’s just have a quick rundown since Helton took over full time in 2016. What happened in his first game in Arlington against Alabama? 52-6 happened. In the Rose Bowl? Sam Darnold happened as the Trojans scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to win the game.
In 2017, USC needed two overtimes to beat a mediocre Texas team. Notre Dame curbed stomped and evaporated SC’s playoff chances in South Bend and while the Trojans showed tons of heart against Ohio State, they were just no match for the Buckeyes at the Cotton Bowl.
Last year, Texas ran them out of Austin and Notre Dame slept walked thru the game and still beat the Trojans. You can even throw in the Stanford game if you want where they scored a whopping three points.
Offensive Line: While the Trojans have tons of talent, their offensive line has been a problem for years and years now. Again, Darnold was able to mask these issues, but with a stationary quarterback like Daniels, those issues were extremely paramount.
The hope is with Harrell coming in the offense will be faster and the quarterback will get the ball out quicker and the offensive line won’t have as much pressure.
Also, with transfer Drew Richmond coming over from Tennessee the offensive line will hopefully be a bit more stable in both the passing and running game.
USC Trojans Prediction: 5-7
The first six games are extremely tough and things could get ugly in a hurry. As a fan, if someone were to come up to me and say, hey, I could give the Trojans a 3-3 start, do you want to take it? I’d jump all over that.
Fresno State isn’t exactly an automatic win. The Trojans are eleven point favorites, but, man, that looks way too wide. Fresno State is the clear pick and I gotta think everyone will jump on Fresno State.
Look, the Trojans could very well start out 1-5 or 2-4. That’s why I’d be ecstatic over a 3-3 start. Well, as a prideful fan I’d be happy, but, again, long term thinking a terrible season will get Helton out of there and maybe the Trojans will be nationally relevant, again.
My only trepidation is that the Trojans the schedule does get easier and the Trojans could potentially finish strong and save Helton’s job. It may be hard to believe, but never underestimate the incompetence of Lynn Swann and the “authority” figures at USC.
All in all, I’ll say the Trojans have a repeat of last year and finish at 5-7. I’ll say the Trojans maybe win two of their first six games. They should beat Fresno State and maybe they can steal another one.
They should beat Arizona and UCLA at home and then those last three road games are toss ups. Playing Colorado on a short week will be tough, the Trojans probably should win based off their significant talent advantage, but you never know.
The Trojans could get to six wins, that’s a possibility, but no more than that, really. There’s no real road to more wins for the Trojans without something dramatic happening like Harrell’s offense really revolutionizing the Trojans offense and Daniels or Sears play like Heisman candidates.
2019 USC Trojans Football Schedule
Date Time vs
- 8/31/19 TBD FRES
- 9/7/19 TBD STAN
- 9/14/19 TBD @BYU
- 9/20/19 TBD UTAH
- 9/28/19 TBD @WASH
- 10/12/19 TBD @ND
- 10/19/19 TBD ARIZ
- 10/25/19 TBD @COLO
- 11/2/19 TBD ORE
- 11/9/19 TBD @ASU
- 11/16/19 TBD @CAL
- 11/23/19 TBD UCLA
What do you think about our 2019 USC Trojans predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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