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Syracuse Opponent Analysis: USC Trojans

Finding weaknesses wasn't so easy.

It’s no secret that USC is a National Championship favorite. It’s no secret that Matt Barkley is a front-runner in the race for the Heisman Trophy. And it’s no secret that the Trojan talent is miles ahead of the Orange at nearly every position. But this is college football and anything can happen. Syracuse could dethrone USC like it dethroned No. 1 Nebraska back in 1984. Syracuse could also get crushed by 60. We won't know until Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

USC Strengths:

Everything. The first and probably the best part of the team is its offense led by Barkley. More specifically, it’s the passing game the Orange need to watch out for. If the SU secondary takes one play off, it’ll get burned. On the opening play of USC’s season opener against Hawaii, Barkley went deep to one of his favorite targets, Marqise Lee, for a 75-yard touchdown. There are just has so many receiving options.

The USC defense is also very strong. The unit is going to put a lot of pressure on Ryan Nassib. Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder was sacked six times in the opener against USC and the team turned the ball over four times. Two of the turnovers were forced fumbles and the other two were interceptions. One mistake and the defense will capitalize.

USC Weaknesses:

If there is a weakness, it would be the running game. Running back D.J. Morgan is undergoing knee surgery and won’t be playing, but USC has other backs that can do the job. Penn State transfer Silas Redd probably has the most potential. He ran for just 56 yards in his first game as a Trojan. So while USC doesn’t have an awful backfield, it isn’t as overwhelming as other aspects of its game.


It’s going to take a perfect game for the Orange to take down USC. Let's hope that the Orange at least hang in there and put on a good show for the fans at MetLife Stadium.