With three games left in the season the Trojans are about to face their toughest stretch of contests thus far. Games against Washington, Oregon, and surprise PAC-12 South Division leader UCLA should give Matt Barkley and company difficulty. USC has not beaten Washington or Oregon in their past two meetings, but with an offense that is firing on all cylinders and a defense that has been playing well lately, the chance of breaking both losing streaks seems possible. Here is a quick overview of the next three games:
As I just mentioned Washington has had USC’s number recently. Before Steve Sarkisian took over the University of Washington football program, the Huskies had fallen to the Trojans for seven consecutive seasons. Sarkisian’s team is now looking to prolong a winning streak of their own against USC, but another victory seems unlikely. The Trojans no longer need to worry about Jake Locker, who accounted for nearly 80 percent of his team’s offense in last years game and was one of the main reasons the Huskies were able to pull out a narrow win at the Coliseum. Locker’s heir, Keith Price, is not nearly as dynamic a playmaker as his predecessor and should not be as much of a game changer. He has also been struggling lately, throwing six interceptions in his last three games. Matt Barkley on the other hand has been on fire and that shouldn’t change against the 113th ranked pass defense in the nation. If Barkley threw for six touchdowns against a Colorado pass defense that is ranked higher than Washington’s, then he should be even better Saturday.
Prediction: USC 42 Washington 24
Here’s a terrifying fact for USC fans, no opponent has beaten the Ducks at home since 2008 and the Trojans have not won in the state of Oregon since 2005. Not to mention that stud running back LaMichael James appears to be back to full health after a 153 yard performance against Washington. He also ran for 239 yards against the Trojans last year. If that’s not enough to swallow, the Ducks managed to put up 27 points on LSU, the most they have allowed all season. To sum up all of that information, a victory against Oregon is not going to be easy. USC will have to play a virtual mistake free game to win and that seem highly unlikely. The Trojans will be able to hang with the Ducks for the entirety of the game, but in the end Oregon’s explosive offense will be too much.
Prediction: Oregon 45 USC 35
This game could have huge implications, not just because it’s a rivalry game, but because in all likelihood UCLA will be playing for a spot in the PAC-12 championship game. That’s right, the same Bruins team that looked like a train wreck two weeks ago now controls its own destiny and the Trojans will probably have a chance to ruin their championship bid. It’s no secret that USC has dominated their cross-town rivals for over a decade and all signs point to another Trojans victory. UCLA has had difficulty containing some of the PAC-12’s best quarterbacks this season. Andrew Luck and Nick Foles each threw three touchdown passes against the Bruins and led their respective teams to over 40 points of offense. Barkley should have a similar performance in what could be his last game as a Trojan. It would also be safe to expect the USC defense to put in a solid performance, especially since they always seem to turn up the heat against UCLA. The defensive unit has not given up more than 14 points to the Bruins in their last five meetings.
Prediction: USC 38 UCLA 14Back to the USC Trojans Newsfeed