USC finished the season at 7-6 and a 21-7 loss in the Hyundai Sun Bowl Game to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets . Quarterback , Matt Barkley, went from a possible number 1 in the draft and possible Heisman Trophy favorite to injured and dropping many spots in the draft.
Previously, USC was coming off of an outstanding season, but was bowl-ineligible; it’s all about timing.
Can the 2013-2014 USC Trojans be the Penn State of this season and shock the nation? Will they at least be solid for our college football picks?
Matt Barkley’s stock might have dropped, but make no mistake about it, he’s a huge loss this season.
The Trojans will most likely go with sophomore, Max Wittek. Wittek got some playing time under his belt last season and showed some flashes of ability.
People only remember “what have you done for me lately?” and Wittek is coming off a very poor performance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl Game in which he was just 14 of 37 for 107 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.
Let’s look to give Wittek a pass on the bowl game. USC was demoralized and wanted no part of playing in that game. However, if Wittek doesn’t perform well this season, look for head coach, Lane Kiffin, to pull him for Cody Kessler. The quarterback position is Wittek’s to win, but basically up for grabs.
The Trojans lose center, Khaled Holmes, due to graduation. This is another important position with a question mark. Re-positioning is in order.
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Getting Lee the Ball
When you have a wide receiver with the talent of Marqise Lee, you need to get him the ball.
Lee is phenomenal in escaping from the opposition after the catch. This is a player that had a 345 yard receiving game against Arizona and caught for 1721 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season.
Lee is USC’s biggest playmaker; Max Wittek must show poise in finding the best player on the team and one of the best players in the country in Marqise Lee.
Sayonara Penn State!
Running back, Silas Redd, saw the writing on the wall and immediately transferred from Penn State to USC. Look for this to be a big senior year for Redd, who will want to impress NFL scouts. He’s coming off of a near 1000 yard season and was consistent throughout the year. With the inexperience at quarterback, Redd could see the ball a lot more with D.J. Morgan backing him up.
Aside from the recruits, the offense seems to be fairly solid with wide receiver, Nelson Agholor (340 yards, 2 TD) and tight end Xavier Grimble (316 yards, 5 TD) returning.
The defensive line looks to be very solid with the return of Morgan Breslin (13 sacks), Leonard Williams (5.5 sacks), and Devon Kennard. Kennard is a 5th year senior that was sidelined last season with a knee injury.
Linebackers, Hayes Pullard (107 tackles), Dion Bailey, and Lamar Dawson return. This is a definite strength for USC as they get acclimated to a new defensive coordinator and the change to the 3-4 defense.
The secondary is the weakness, but USC addresses it as they land the top safety in ESPN’s top 150 recruits, Su’a Cravens. As the 12th ranked recruit in the nation, Cravens will step right into the safety position. USC is in desperate need of help.
Craven is known for his size, strength, and ability to play more than one position. There’s no doubt that he’ll be starting at safety in the upcoming season and look for him to make an immediate impact.
At 60/1, don’t look for USC to be in the elite of college football, but look for Max Wittek to step up knowing that this is his team. Expect USC to surprise some people and get into a respectable bowl game off of a possible 3 loss season.Check out our Futures for LSU!