Trojans Set to Kickoff Saturday

Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Bounce Back Year

The USC Football team are looking to give their fans a show in the newly renovated L.A Memorial Coliseum. They will face off against a motivated Fresno State team that beat Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Trojans however are hoping to bounce back off of their worst season since 2000. They finished 5-7 and lost to both UCLA and Notre Dame, their biggest rivals.

Coaching Carousel

With a season as bad as last years many fans expected big changes to be made to the program. The changes occurred and were quite drastic as USC went through an overhaul of staff. Position coaches were fired and replaced along with another big coaching change that made a lot of people happy. Tee Martin, the team’s Offensive Coordinator since 2016 was let go after suspect play calling in big situations last year. Athletic Director, Lynn Swann was able to bring in a good offensive mind in Graham Harrell. Harrell was the OC at North Texas from 2016 – 2018. He’s credited with helping recruit and tutor Mason Fine who is now on the Heisman Trophy Watchlist.

New Faces

Clay Helton and the rest of his coaching staff worked hard throughout the offseason recruiting big name players to replace the graduated seniors. This year’s recruiting class may not be as highly ranked as past years, but a good amount of nationally ranked players still signed with the Trojans. The biggest freshman coming in are Bru Mcoy, Chris Steele, Drake Jackson, and Kyle Ford. Those four along with many others that signed are some of southern California’s best high school football players.

Rebuilding

The 2019 Trojan’s offense will be approximately the same as last season, but it’s the defense that has a lot to recover from. Six of USC’s best defensive players are now playing in the NFL, so a lot of young guys are expected to step up in big roles for 2019. This will be a challenge as the 2nd hardest schedule in the nation belongs to USC. Unlike playing 2 big non-conference matchups from last season they will only play 1 this year(Notre Dame). The other two games will be against BYU and the opener, Fresno State. Even though those two teams aren’t “Power 5” material, they are still usually in the mix of “Group of 5” contenders. With a lot of time to prepare from missing a bowl game last year, Saturdays game against the Bulldogs should be a polished win for USC.