By: Elliott Duncan
The University of Southern California took the field Saturday night as 40-point favorites over the University of Hawaii, and although they weren’t able to cover the spread, they looked as if they could’ve put up another 40 points at the drop of a hat. The Matt Barkley-led Trojans were nearly flawless. Entering the season as a Heisman Trophy finalist, Barkley led the 49-10 massacre, throwing for over 350 yards and 4 TDs. Not too shabby for a tune up game.
If we’re looking at home openers as any indication of how the season is going to progress, the Syracuse Orange will have a long road ahead of them. Trailing by several touchdowns going into the second half, Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib set several different records and took his team the distance with Northwestern, only to lose in the final minute. Had this game gone the other way, Syracuse might have had enough momentum to actually perform adequately against USC. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and now the Syracuse Orange must face a top-three team coming off of a warmup game. It doesn’t bode too well for the future ACC team.
SU turned the ball over three times in their matchup against Northwestern, and those kinds of mistakes will quickly end any chance of an upset against USC. Should Southern Cal capitalize on SU’s miscues, the game could be decided within the first few quarters. Boasting two of the top receivers in the country, USC has the firepower to move the ball at will through the air, and will only stop when the opposition has no chance of making a comeback.
USC will open this game as, yet again, the major favorites, and it will be very difficult for Syracuse to cover the spread, let alone pull off one of the biggest upsets in their program’s history. Watch out if USC gets going on the offensive side of the ball early, because this game might be over quicker than anyone could predict.