The Trojans have surprised no one with their hot start so far with wins over Ohio State in the Stern Bowl and Miami (OH). The switch from the triple option offense to a pass heavy spread attack this offseason has paid off and afforded quarterback Thrasher Banes the opportunity to prove he is a true dual threat with his arm and legs. While he has improved his passing numbers greatly from a season ago, (140 yards per game to 374) he is continuing to turn the ball over at an alarming rate with three interceptions and a fumble to date. Wide receiver Kace Blazer is the other key to this offense’s success as he is leading the team in receptions and yards (top five in league in yards). So far, USC has been able to translate this into wins, but is only averaging 28 points per game. The strongest asset to USC is their hefty defense which is allowing only 21 points per game (historically, teams that allow around 20 points per game go deep in playoffs). The anchor to this team is safety Arian Adams, who has already got 19 tackles this season, and earned an interception too. The defense has to continue to perform at this level until the offense really finds their hot streak.
The Tigers returned to championship contending form last week as they stomped Alabama 44-27 after an opening week loss to then number one ranked, and defending national champions Miami 36-40. The storyline of this team remains with the Youngblood twins. Quarterback Gage Youngblood has opened his senior campaign with a bit of inconsistency as he threw three interceptions in week two after a strong 229 yard, two touchdown, zero interception performance in week one. Running back Colt Youngblood has picked up the slack by running 6.1 yards per rush (252 yards on 41 carries), and has shown he can be the guy to lead LSU to the promise land as long as they keep things balanced. Speaking of balanced, the LSU defense is spreading the love among their star players as they have four players with at least 15 tackles, and defensive tackle Dillon LeBlanc is right there with 11 (five sacks). LeBlanc will need to continue his disruption in the back field for the Tigers to stop the Trojans aerial attack.
Houston Freeman: USC 31, LSU 35
Leej17: USC 28, LSU 34
David Ware: USC 42, LSU 45