Predicting The Final Score For Stanford Vs USC

USC Trojans 2014 Futures Betting Odds Guide

With 14 returning starters from 2013, the NCAA sanctions over and a new head coach in Steve Sarkisian leaves me feeling bullish on the 2014 USC Trojans who are a long shot to win the 2014 college football championship at +2800.

“We’re going to go fast, and that is something that will be very different than had ever been seen at the Coliseum,” HC Steve Sarkisian explained. “The schemes are going to look similar, but we are going to go fast.”

“I don’t feel any pressure at all. I love my job,” Sarkisian said. “I focus on the task at hand. The moment you start worrying about the what-ifs, you’re going to miss what’s right in front of you.”

Sarkisian steps into a less than ideal situation at Southern Cal, the NCAA Sanctions may be over over but they leave staggering depth issues. After a 3-2 start last year that lead to Lane Kiffin’s firing in a parking lot.

On a positive note, the Trojans then finished the season 7-2 under interim coaches Ed Orgeron and Clay Helton. Now, Sarkisian is out to prove he was the right hire, and his first team has the weapons on both sides of the ball to contend for the Pac-12 South right away. Road games at Stanford and UCLA loom large.

NCAA Football 2014 Futures Odds For The USC Trojans

  • Week 1 Odds: Fresno State vs USC -22
  • To Win The 2014/2015 College Football Championship: +2800
  • To Win the PAC 12: +450
  • Regular Season Wins: Over/Under 8.5.

How Will The USC Offense Perform in 2014?

Sarkisian loves playing an up-tempo, no-huddle offense similar to how PAC-12 rivals Oregon Ducks play. Redshirt junior USC quarterback Cody Kessler will be handed the rains of the Trojan offense and will be required to be a dual threat with his arm and legs.

But with a career rushing total of -124 rushing yards and one touchdown does he have the wheels to be the dual threat?

"Well, I wouldn’t say wheels," Kessler said at Wednesday’s Pac-12 Media Days.


He recorded 2623 passing yards, 16 TDs and six interception in 2013, but his 345 yards and four TD passes in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State gave fans a preview of this QB’s talent.

"That might be a compliment," continued Kessler, "But we all do stuff outside of the field like play basketball and stuff. My teammates know I’ve got a little athleticism. Hopefully I’ll get to show it off a little. Our pro-style offense [under Lane Kiffin] had a couple roll-outs here and there, but most everything was in the pocket. Now there’s a lot of zone read and zone pass read."

Running backs Javorius “Buck” Allen (817 yards, 14 TDs in 2013) and Tre Madden (703 yards, 3 TDs) will split time in the backfield and will help take pressure off of Kessler to give him enough time to make the right decision.

The team will miss WR Marqise Lee, but Nelson Agholor has the talent to fill his shoes.

How Will the USC Defense Perform in 2014?

Last year’s tumultuous season the constant that remained for USC was strong defensive play, particularly up front.

Steve Sarkisian remains confident in the Trojan defense.

“I love our front seven. I think our front seven is the strength of our football team. Leonard Williams, Antwaun Woods, Scott Starr, Hayes Pullard, Anthony Sarao, J.R. Tavai, Claude Pelon.”

USC will flip to a 3-4 formation under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. All-American Leonard Williams returns to lead the defensive line and that will help the unit adjust to his new scheme, but also the presence of DT Antwaun Woods could make a substantial difference.

“Scheme-wise, I’m not worried. Justin [Wilcox] is a tremendous defensive coach,” Sarkisian said. He’ll do a great job and have our guys ready to play.”

Sophomore safeties Su’a Cravens and Leon McQuay III should make the jump from potential playmakers to stars in this 2014 and a high-power offense on their side will help take the pressure off of the defense.

USC Trojans 2014 Schedule

  • Saturday, August 30 vs Fresno State 7:30 PM ET FOX
  • Saturday, September 6 @ Stanford 3:30 PM ET ABC
  • Saturday, September 13 @ Boston College 8:00 PM ET ABC ESPN
  • Saturday, September 27 vs Oregon State TBD
  • Saturday, October 4 vs Arizona State TBD
  • Saturday, October 11 @ Arizona TBD
  • Saturday, October 18 vs Colorado TBD
  • Saturday at, October 25 @ Utah TBD
  • Saturday, November 1 @ Washington St TBD
  • Thursday, November 13 vs California 9:00 PM ET ESPN
  • Saturday, November 22 @ UCLA TBD
  • Saturday, November 29 vs Notre Dame TBD

USC Final Analysis

Steve Sarkisian is excited about the talen he is inheriting in his first year as the head coach of USC. The Trojans won’t compete against Oregon or UCLA this year, but with a few lucky bounces this team will surprise.

2014 USC Trojans Projected Starters On Offense



Agholor, Nelson JR



Rogers, Darreus SO



Wheeler, Chad RS SO



Walker, Aundrey SR



Tuerk, Max JR



Rodgers, Khaliel RS FR



Banner, Zach RS SO



Telfer, Randall RS SR



Kessler, Cody RS JR



Vainuku, Soma RS JR



Allen, Javorius (Buck) RS JR


2014 USC Trojans Projected Starters On Defense
OLB 40 Ruffin, Jabari RS SO
LDE 97 Simmons, Delvon RS JR
DT 94 Williams, Leonard JR
NT 99 Woods, Antwaun RS JR
RDE 58 Tavai, J.R. SR
OLB 40 Ruffin, Jabari RS SO
MLB 10 Pullard, Hayes RS SR
WLB 56 Sarao, Anthony RS JR
RCB 6 Shaw, Josh RS SR
SS 21 Cravens, Su’a SO
FS 22 McQuay III, Leon SO
LCB 23 Seymour, Kevon JR