USC Spring Football Watch List

    As the Trojans inch closer to national relevance, will they be worthy of such lofty expectations in 2015? USC is likely to begin the upcoming season,

    April 10, 2015

    As the Trojans inch closer to national relevance, will they be worthy of such lofty expectations in 2015?
    USC is likely to begin the upcoming season, Steve Sarkisian’s second one in charge, somewhere within the top 10. Senior Cody Kessler is back at quarterback, NCAA sanctions are becoming less and less of an issue and Sark continues to sign some of the truly elite players on the West Coast. A shortage of pure talent doesn’t figure to be an impediment to success and Pac-12 title contention this fall. However, Troy needs to become a more consistent fourth-quarter team after losing two games in the waning seconds in 2014. And that’ll be a product of coaching, which will be under greater scrutiny this year.

    No one is worried about … quarterback. At long last, Kessler is getting the respect and admiration that he’s worked so hard to earn. Long gone are the days when he’d begin a season looking over his shoulder at some hotshot recruit with more stars on his high school resume. Kessler threw 39 touchdown passes and five picks in 2014, and that was his first year in an entirely new system.

    Extra attention must be given to … both lines. On offense, everyone is back in the trenches, but the 2014 unit was extremely young, so marked improvement is expected this fall. The defense is moving forward without last season’s top two sackers, most notably two-time All-American Leonard Williams. There’s an opening up front for some Trojan to become the new sparkplug in the 2015 pass rush.

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