We are proud to reach a milestone here in the 77s- out first ever guest posting! Please welcome Amy Lamare from Gridiron Goddess. Ms. Lamare and I met at the Nike Football Media Summit in Dallas, and what follows is entirely written by her, so if/when you notice the “us” and “we” in reference to the team- that’s why. No Illini would ever do such a thing. Enjoy:
The USC Trojans, facing another year of sanctions, thanks to their unsuccessful NCAA appeal, won’t be looking to reinvent the wheel this season. That said, expect improvement from last year’s 8-5 squad (5-4 in the Pac-10) thanks to maturation from key players Matt Barkley and Robert Woods.
Offensively, the Trojans have every reason to improve on last year’s decent effort as the players have a full year of Lane Kiffin?s system under their belts. The biggest question comes on the O-Line and true freshman Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker will likely be tapped to make a big impression early on in their college football careers.
Just an aside, you know you want to click the link to the USC Song Girl Cheerleaders swim party photos
2010 was: the defense had several painfully memorable 4th quarter collapses. Depth is going to continue to be a problem for this sanctioned team for a number of years, so how long the D remains healthy is going to go a long way towards determining what kind of defense USC puts on the field this year. During the Spring, several veteran players were still out rehabbing injuries, most notably linebackers Chris Galippo, Shane Horton and Devon Kennard. DT Christian Tupou’s knee was still bothering him and these injuries were part of the depth problem in 2010.
2011 will be fruitful if: The Trojan faithful are just not used to other teams hanging 30+ on us nor do we have any intention of getting used to it. Questions surely remain. We have no idea if the kicking game is going to be there. Surely this highly touted Heidari kid was so recruited for a reason, but we just won’t know until he gets out there and wows us. USC will play in the Pac-12 South, facing off against division opponents UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Colorado and Utah as well as annually playing Cal and Stanford (an effort to preserve the natural inter-state rivalries between the Bay Area and Los Angeles schools. Out of conference, SC faces Minnesota, Syracuse and Notre Dame.
2011 will be awful if: Last year’s dismal kicking game doesn’t improve under wunderkind Andre Heidari. Legends of his leg have infiltrated the entire Trojan network. Defensively, the Trojans enter the season with a number of serious questions to answer. Last year’s defense was amongst the worst in the school’s venerable history. Trojan Alumni and Fans want to know:
Will we be able to stop the run, any run this year?
Is there any (or enough) depth at linebacker?
Is there enough depth in the secondary?
Bottom Line: Honestly, I think this will be a 9-3 season. Optimistically, maybe even 10-2. Troy may be down, but the swagger is still there, it just needs to be reignited.
USC Rankings: #20 Athlon, #27 Lindy’s, #17 Phil Steele
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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