By Matt Heinz @MattHeinz_Rant on August 17, 2014
The Trojans have stockpiled big-name recruits over the past few years and are expected to compete for the Pac-12 Championship in 2014. USC is ranked No. 15 entering the season and has a new coach in Steve Sarkisian. Here are the five must-watch games for USC this year.
Mike Leach has the cougars moving in the right direction and got his first signature win last season in the Coliseum. The Cougars displayed their best defensive effort all season against the Trojans, winning 10-7. Connor Holliday is back at quarterback to run the air-raid offense in Pullman. Josh Shaw and the USC secondary better be ready.
This game is pivotal if USC expects to dethrone ASU as Pac-12 South champs. Last season’s game in Tempe got Lane Kiffin fired after losing 62-41 to the Devils. The explosive offensive trio of QB Taylor Kelly, RB D.J. Foster and WR Jaelen Strong lead one of the best offenses in the nation for ASU.
The greatest intersectional rivalry in college football features two schools that each own seven Heisman trophies and 11 National Championships. Two of the most loyal and classiest fan bases in the nation present a rivalry built on respect. This is nothing like the Auburn-Alabama or Ohio State-Michigan rivalries. The Irish offense will be much improved in 2014 with QB Everett Golson back running Brian Kelly's offense.
USC got their biggest win of the season last year by beating Stanford at home 20-17 in a hard-fought game. Stanford returns Kevin Hogan for his third year calling the plays after being named the starter midway through 2012. Ty Montgomery is a dangerous weapon Stanford will use catching the ball, returning it and getting it on reverses.
The momentum in the battle for L.A. is starting to turn towards the Bruins as they have won the past two games. Previously, USC had won 12 out of 13. The Bruins return QB Brett Hundley and two-way star Myles Jack. Preseason polls have the Bruins ranked No. 7 in the country.
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