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Predictions For USC Trojans Betting – Lane Kiffin Knows He Needs To Deliver The Goods

Posted by Blake Frazier on 6/27/2012 5:32:34 PM

Head Coach: Lane Kiffin
Offensive Coordinator: Kennedy Pola
Defensive Coordinator: Monte Kiffin
Stadium:  Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Capacity: 93,607

Offense

For legions of online sportsbook experts who study college football, the USC Trojans are going to generate some large point spreads for games this fall. Heisman Trophy contender (and preseason favorite) Matt Barkley is back at quarterback for his senior season, trying to make the same run at glory that another USC quarterback, Matt Leinart, attempted in 2005. Leinart lost that season's championship game to Vince Young and Texas, but if Barkley gets that far, he'll look upon this season (and his USC career) quite fondly in the fullness of time. Barkley's two foremost receiving targets, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, both racked up over 1,000 receiving yards last year and will be able to give the Trojans a supremely dynamic passing game.

If the Trojans' offensive line can keep the heat off Barkley and pry open just enough holes for the rushing attack to work, this team has the weapons to once again beat Oregon, a probable foe in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Head coach Lane Kiffin had struggled in his first season and a half at USC, and after a miserable one-year stint at Tennessee in 2009, a lot of pundits wondered if he was going to amount to anything as a college head coach. This season will prove much about Kiffin because it's the first season in which he's the head coach of a favored team. Barkley, under the tutelage of Kiffin – a former offensive coordinator at USC – is in position to do really well in 2012. That means a strong season can and should be expected in the City of Angels.

Grade: A-

Defense

The ranks of online betting sites are making sure that their college football analysts will pay close attention to USC's defense. USC returns seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, but those players are in the secondary and the linebacking corps. The Trojans have to find reliable run-stoppers, especially by the time they face Oregon on Nov. 3 in the Pac-12 regular season game of the year. This will be a decent defense; the front four will determine if the Trojans field an elite defense. The work of defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, the former head coach at the University of Mississippi and a former lieutenant for Lane Kiffin's predecessor at USC, Pete Carroll, will be instrumental in shaping USC's defensive front. Orgeron was never a good head coach, but he's been outstanding as a defensive line coach, and he's done his best work at USC. 

Grade: B

Special Teams

Various online sports betting experts in America will rapidly concur with the following statement: USC does not want any of its games to be decided by special teams… unless kick returns are involved (and in that case, not against Oregon).  The Trojans have not been blessed with dynamic, long-range field goal kickers – they either have strong-legged kickers who are inaccurate, or accurate kickers who can't hit kicks over 45 yards. This is a team that will have to outscore opponents to win consistently; punts and field goals are both the kinds of things the Trojans want to avoid in 2012.

Grade: C-

Prediction

This team’s odds for the Pac-12 South championship are excellent. The odds for the Pac-12 league title are good, especially since the Trojans will host rival Oregon in the regular season. If USC wins that game, it will quite likely host the Ducks again in the Pac-12 Championship Game. It is very hard, though, to beat a team twice in one year. If USC does beat Oregon on Nov. 3, the Ducks will be in a good frame of mind to win the rematch a month later. USC might finish second in the Pac-12, meaning it will need some luck elsewhere in the United States to make a BCS bowl game.

2012 Schedule

Week 1 – vs. Hawaii
Week 2 – vs. Syracuse (neutral-site game – 3:30 PM ET)
Week 3 – at Stanford
Week 4 – vs. California
Week 5 – at Utah (Thursday, 9:10 PM ET)
Week 6 – at Washington
Week 7 – vs. Colorado
Week 8 – at Arizona
Week 9 – vs. Oregon
Week 10 – vs. Arizona State
Week 11 – at UCLA
Week 12 – vs. Notre Dame

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