USC Trojans 2012

USC 2012 Statistics

(Pac-12) The Trojans play on a grass field at the Coliseum (seats 93,607)

  • Lane Kiffin is in his 3rd year as head coach at USC.  And this is his first year with the bowl ban lifted and therefore a team that is eligible to compete in the post season. Quarterback Matt Barkley decided to stay for his senior year and his first chance to play for a national championship for USC.
  • As a reminder, USC was handed sanctions by the NCAA after a probe of the football, basketball and women’s tennis programs resulted in a finding of lack of institutional control, mostly due to the actions of Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.  The NCAA punishment included a postseason ban in football following the 2010 and 2011 seasons and a loss of 30 total football scholarships over the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.  USC also had its national championship win over Oklahoma on January 4, 2005 vacated.
  • Last year the Trojans were 10-2 with losses to Arizona State (surprising) and Stanford (lost in triple OT to the team led by the #1 overall NFL Draft pick in 2012). Despite being heavily sought after as a head coach (the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, the Tennessee Volunteers and USC all in a four year period), 9 wins is Kiffin’s best as a head coach.
  • Kiffin’s Father Monte Kiffin certainly has something to do with son Lane’s appeal. Why is Monte Kiffin such a wanted defensive mind?  Because of his role along with Tony Dungy in created the Tampa 2 defense, which is a zone coverage defense that is a hybrid of Cover 2 and Cover 3.  It has three players back in deep coverage like in the Cover 3, but only has two defensive backs there as in Cover 2 because the third player is the middle linebacker.

Quarterback Matt Barkley

  • Quarterback Matt Barkley is now a senior and follows a trend of successful USC quarterbacks that includes 1st round NFL Draft picks, Carson Palmer 2003, Matt Leinart 2006 and Mark Sanchez 2008.  And this year the offense returns 9 players to help the offense improve even more.  The offensive line loses just one player (though he happens to be a major one, Left tackle Matt Kalil) and should improve their rushing offense with the return of Curtis McNeal at running back.  McNeal had over 1000 yards rushing in his first year with playing experience.  He rushed for just 6 touchdowns, so that’s an area where he could improve.  The offensive line allowed just 8 sacks the entire season (the least allowed in the nation and the 2nd least in terms of sacks per game–Boise State played more games b/c of the post-season so it averaged out to less sacks allowed per game).
  • The top receivers return this year, including Robert Woods (1292 yards) and Marqise Lee (1143 yards) who combined for almost 25oo yards and 26 touchdowns.  They also have the #3 receiver, Tight End Randall Telfair as well as George Farmer and Xavier Grimble.  With so much talent and experience returning this year, the Trojans should be able to improve even more on their passing offense that moved up to 15th in the nation in 2011 (up from 41st in 2010).

Wide Receiver Robert Woods

  • Rushing defense did great and allowed the least amount of yards since before the sanctions were imposed.  The only problem is that the defensive line is much less experienced this year, which could negatively impact their strides they’ve made. Luckily the linebackers and defensive backs are very experienced and the team’s top 4 tacklers all return.  This should help the area that needs the most improvement, which is the passing defense (ranked 109th in the nation in yards allowed) which allowed its opponents to complete 64% of their passes!
  • USC gets to play a Stanford team without QB Andrew Luck, an Oregon team without QB Darron Thomas,  an Arizona team without QB Nick Foles, and an Arizona State team without QB Brock Osweiler.  This team certainly has the tools and schedule to go undefeated (unless Notre Dame somehow finds a quarterback of their own by November 24th).