The USC Trojans were one of college football’s biggest disappointments in 2012. They finished 7-6 in Lane Kiffin‘s third season — a year in which they were favorites to win the national title. Matt Barkley underperformed late and finished the season with an injury while sophomore Max Wittek filled in. They will look to be much better in 2013.
On the other side of the field, we have the pretty poor Hawaii Warriors. Last season was a nightmare for head coach Norm Chow as he ran out a pretty pathetic product game after game. Following a 10-win season in 2011, the Warriors were returning just nine starters for 2012 and it showed. They were poor on both sides of he ball and had a hard time putting the ball in the endzone.
USC was pretty average on offense last season, averaging 32.1 points and 432.9 yards per contest. While those might seem like great numbers, they were poor with the kind of offensive weapons they had. Wittek will likely be the starter at quarterback after the QB battle ends, and even though Silas Redd is listed as the No. 2 running back, he will likely end up as the starter. Marquise Lee was one of the best wide receivers in the nation last year and will be the best this season.
Hawaii is usually known for their potent offenses, racking up at least 400 yards per game in five of its past seven seasons. Quarterback transfer Taylor Graham will get the nod as the starter and will likely lead this offense to much better numbers in 2013.
The Hawaii defense was average last season, but not too poor, while the Trojans defense was about the same. They both gave up a decent amount of yards, nearing 400, but Hawaii gave up far more points per game. USC is returning seven defensive starters while the Warriors return eight.
The Trojans have the pleasure of traveling to Hawaii for the matchup against the Warriors at 11 p.m. EST on Thursday, Aug. 29. The game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.
PREDICTION: USC 38, Hawaii 14