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USC Trojans 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USC Trojans 2016 Preview

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The USC Trojans finished last season with a record of 8-6, but was able to get to the PAC-12 Championship Game. USC also lost to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl by a score of 23-21.

Overview: Clay Helton and the USC Trojans have a good amount of talent, but will have to replace their star quarterback. USC had a decent season last year, but lost 3 of their last 4 games. This season, USC will be looking for a new quarterback and will need their defense to improve. On top of that, USC has a very tough schedule, which starts against Alabama to open the season.

USC Trojans 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: Tee Martin and the USC Trojans offense will look to replace quarterback Cody Kessler this season. Last year, the USC offense averaged 33.9 points per game with 168.2 rushing yards and 269.7 passing yards per game. Max Browne is expected to be the starting quarterback this year, after serving as the backup for past seasons. USC has a very talented running back due, with Ronald Jones II and Justin Davis, who combined for over 1,800 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, leads the USC receivers. USC also returns Steven Mitchell Jr., Darreus Rogers, and Adoree’ Jackson at receiver. The offensive line remains the same as last year, which will play a big part in getting the new quarterback adjusted to playing.

Defense: Clancy Pendergast and the USC defense will need to improve from last season in order to have more luck this season. The USC defense gave up 25.7 points per game with 149.3 rushing yards and 251.5 passing yards per game last season. Cameron Smith was second on the team in tackles last year with 78 and 3 interceptions, and will be returning at linebacker this year. Chris Hawkins had 70 tackles and 2 interceptions last season and will return at defensive back. Adoree’ Jackson, who was previously mentioned on the offensive side of the ball, also plays defensive back for the Trojans. The defensive line is an area of concern for USC, as they are inexperienced and young, for the most part.

Special Teams: USC will have to replace their kicker and punter this season, after losing both positions from last year. Adoree’ Jackson will return as the kick returner, after averaging 23 yards per return last season.

Outlook: USC has a talented roster, but the quarterback position remains a big question mark. It doesn’t help that their first game is against Alabama, meaning the quarterback, Max Browne, will be thrown right into the fire. USC’s success this season will rest largely on Max Browne, and how long it takes for him to feel comfortable with the offense.

Schedule:

Sep. 3 Alabama (AT&T Stadium)

Sep. 10 Utah State

Sep. 17 at Stanford

Sep. 23 at Utah

Oct. 1 Arizona State

Oct. 8 Colorado

Oct. 15 at Arizona

Oct. 27 California

Nov. 5 Oregon

Nov. 12 at Washington

Nov. 19 at Washington

Nov. 26 Notre Dame

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