menu-toggle Created with Sketch.
Live

5 Storylines, Predictions For USC In Rose Bowl

Embed
<iframe src="https://campusinsiders.com/videos/xmbnAxODE6WdBK_nl7bB2XNfTUytljko/?video-embed=1" width="640" height="360" style="border:0"></iframe>

USC is set to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl, so here are some storylines and predictions for the Trojans ahead of the game. 


Well, that wasn’t too bad for his first full season as head coach. Clay Helton might have had a rocky start to the 2016 season when the Trojans went 1-3. But he quickly made the switch to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold as the starting quarterback, and USC finished 8-1 with all eight wins being consecutive to close out the season.

They were unable to break their way into the Pac-12 title game thanks to those first four games, but that performance notched the Trojans an appearance in the Rose Bowl.

USC will take on Penn State on Jan. 2 at 5 p.m. ET in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. However, there are a few storylines to keep an eye on as the game approaches.

Sam Darnold’s 2017 Heisman Run

When the reins of the offense were taken from Max Browne and handed to Darnold, we were all left wondering why he hadn’t been named the starting quarterback out of the gate. Darnold finished No. 6 in the country with 68.1 percent of his passes completed. He threw for 2,633 yards, 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. With a full offseason ahead of him, Darnold can use this Rose Bowl as the jumping off point for his run at the Heisman Trophy in 2017.

Draft Decisions

We still have not heard whether or not wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson intend to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. All signs point to both bolting for the pros, but Smith-Schuster has said that he’d return to USC if Jackson decided to do the same. Right now, Jackson hinges as a late-first, early-second-round pick. Smith-Schuster, on the other hand, has gone from top-1o pick to the same range as Jackson. If they both return to school, the Trojans will be set up for a national title run. If they leave, well, USC will be well represented within the first two rounds of the draft.

USC Recruiting

It’s not a secret that making it to a bowl game helps gain points with recruits. It’s also well known that winning those bowl games is far more important. Right now, the Trojans sit at No. 19 in the 2017 recruiting class rankings with 14 total commits. They picked up 3-star athlete Terrance Lang on Thursday, but a win over Penn State would go a long way. USC is trying to get 4-star safety Bubba Bolden to re-commit after watching former Trojans commit Thomas Graham, a 4-star cornerback, commit to Pac-12 rival Oregon. If USC handles Penn State in the Rose Bowl, it could open the eyes for a few blue-chip prospects like 5-star offensive tackle Austin Jackson or 5-star wide receiver Joseph Lewis.

Stopping Saquon Barkley

In 2017, we’re all expecting Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to rush for his third straight 1,000-yard season and compete for the Heisman Trophy. There’s a reason why he was able to pick up 16 rushing touchdowns this year. USC will shape the defensive game plan to try and bottle up the Nittany Lions’ star tailback, and it will be interesting to see if the Trojans mix up the blitz packages to blow up the Penn State backfield and slow down its running game.

Tee Martin’s Eventual Departure

All of the big-time head coaching vacancies have been filled. Barring more jobs opening up, it appears Tee Martin will be back to orchestrate the offense for USC in 2017. However, with the way Darnold flourished this past season and the excellent play of tailback Ronald Jones, Martin will set himself up to be a top candidate for head coaching jobs following the 2017 season. Be on the lookout for Tennessee. If Butch Jones can’t capture an SEC East title, he may be on the way out, and that would open the door for Martin to return to his alma mater.

MORE: Penn State vs. USC Prediction, Rose Bowl Preview

Related Posts

Featured

  • Video
  • March 29, 2017
  • Campus Insiders

Final Four New Blood: Longest Droughts Still Intact

There is new blood in the Final Four with Gonzaga and South Carolina making their first appearances, and Oregon its first since 1939. Now that the Zags and Gamecocks are off the schneid, Campus Insiders lists the schools that have had the most chances but have still fallen short of their Final Four goal.

Live Events

All times are Eastern Time Zone.

Live Schedule

All times are Eastern Time Zone.
Clear Filters
Thursday, March 30, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
10:00 pm Volleyball (M) TheW.TV
Friday, March 31, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
6:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
7:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
8:30 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
Saturday, April 1, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
12:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Baseball Patriot League Network
1:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
1:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
2:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Mountain West Network
2:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
2:30 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Baseball Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
3:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
4:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
4:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
6:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
7:00 pm Water Polo (W) Patriot League Network
9:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
Sunday, April 2, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
9:00 am Water Polo (W) Patriot League Network
11:00 am Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Baseball Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
2:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network
2:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
3:00 pm Water Polo (W) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Baseball Patriot League Network
4:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
4:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
Monday, April 3, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
5:00 pm Softball TheW.TV
7:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Mountain West Network
7:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
5:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
7:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
9:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
3:00 pm Softball Patriot League Network
3:30 pm Softball Patriot League Network
4:30 pm Softball Patriot League Network
4:30 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
5:30 pm Softball Patriot League Network
6:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
6:00 pm Softball Mountain West Network

Popular Posts