The USC Trojans get to start a new College Football season on Thursday night in Hawaii. On Thursday afternoon August 29, the Trojans were a 22.5 favorite over Hawaii. Last year they were the preseason number one team and by halfway through the season, the Trojans were a shell of a team. Now the Trojans get the stage all to themselves on CBS with an 11 p.m. east coast start. When the offense would be explosive, the defense would give up 60 plus points. When the defense would come up big, the offense would be a no show. We should know early if they rectified some of their mistakes.
This season the 24th ranked Trojans should have a talented offense and a stronger line to help improve the running game. Although Silas Redd is out with a knee injury, USC needs to have a strong running game against the Rainbow Warriors.
Lane Kiffin has decided to go with a two quarterback system early in the season. Cody Kessler and Max Wittek have both earned playing time during fall camp. This situation could get dicey very quickly if both quarterbacks struggle early. Kiffin will be looking for one of the signal callers to take control of the offense. While Wittek played the final two games of 2012, his uneven play left the door open for Cody Kessler to vie for the starting job. Lane Kiffin has not yet named a starter, so it's anyone's guess come kickoff.
The must see attraction in Thursday nights game will be Marqise Lee. The Biletnikoff Award winner caught 118 passes and 14 touchdowns last season.
USC should over match Hawaii physically on Thursday. Hawaii was (3-9) last season and lost to USC 49-10 in the opening game. Although the game is at home, they’ll have to do something to slow down Marqise Lee in the passing game.
With head coach Norm Chow running the offense, starting quarterback Sean Schroeder should have a better season. If he gets off to a good start against USC, hopefully things can turn around for Hawaii.
The Verdict: There’s no way Hawaii should win this game. For Lane Kiffin, USC better not lose. The Trojans have a chip on their shoulder after last season, and they need to assert dominance early. Expect to see a lot of Marqise Lee with at least two touchdowns.