Can Trojans win the Pac-12 South? – Press Enterprise

With a week to go until the season opener, USC football finds itself in an odd situation. The Trojans are ranked 21st in the AP Top-25, despite most of the rest of the country having already played actual games.

How long can the Trojans hold onto that spot? Can they climb higher? It will all depend on how the actual games play out, starting next weekend.

Here’s a look at USC’s six-game schedule, and some predictions on how the year will play out (assuming, of course, that all of these games are played and none are canceled due to coronavirus testing):

Week 1: vs. Arizona State.

USC starts off the season with one of its more challenging matchups. The Sun Devils have new coordinators on both offense and defense, so it’s difficult to know exactly what the Trojans are walking into. The Trojans barely escaped Tempe with a win last season against ASU’s backup quarterback, so expect a tightly contested game.

Prediction: USC loss (0-1)

Week 2: at Arizona.

The first road test for USC, and the Trojans could get caught looking ahead at the next week’s opponent. But Arizona was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South for a reason.

Prediction: USC win (1-1)

Week 3: at Utah.

This could be the game that determines the winner of the Pac-12 South. The road team has lost in this matchup seven consecutive times, so the Trojans find themselves at a disadvantage. But given Utah’s inexperienced defensive secondary, this could be a game where Kedon Slovis and the Trojan receivers make a statement.

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Prediction: USC win (2-1).

Week 4: vs. Colorado.

USC won’t have to travel further than Pasadena for the second half of its season. The Trojans and Buffaloes played each other closely last season, but Colorado lost key talent at the skill positions while the USC defense is expected to make strides under its new coordinator and assistants.

Prediction: USC win (3-1).

Week 5: vs. Washington State.