No, we're not yet into fall practice, but here's a preview of a game that won't be played for another eleven weeks. These are my two favorite teams and being a fan of both schools, this isn't easy to do but let's take a look at what we know and go from there.
The University of Southern California Trojans will be entertaining the University of Hawaii Warriors on September 1 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. And note: Hawaii has never beat USC.
Chow back to L.A.
For the Warriors, it's not only a new season but they start with a new coach, long-time assistant great Norm Chow (won a couple national championships with USC) who has his first head coaching job in the state where he was born and raised. Chow is building a program so don't expect a lot at this juncture (see related articles).
But with that said, Hawaii may be one of the hardest teams to figure because they are changing systems after having used the run-and-shoot on offense for well over a decade. Chow is known for his offensive mind and being able to make quarterbacks excel. The Warriors left spring without a bona-fide starting quarterback, although it looks like junior David Graves has the job right now (see related articles). There's talent on this team with exceptional depth at wide receiver like Billy Ray Stutzmann, who was their best offensive player a year ago.
But Hawaii's defense is the key to their season. And to be more exact, their inexperienced front line - watch for Haku Correa and Paipai Falemalu. The Warriors potentially have a lock-down secondary that could evolve into one of the better defensive backfields in the country (see related articles). And expect linebacker Art Laurel to be the teams most valuable player.
Barkley & Co.
USC will be attacking this quality unit with their own best unit on the team, the receiving corps. Quarterback Matt Barkley is the Heisman Trophy front runner (see related articles) and he has arguably the best tandem of wideouts in the nation with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. If Hawaii is to have any chance, this is where they have to slow the Trojans down.
USC defense was suspect in the past but looks improved. Like the Warriors, their defensive line is the big question mark. The talent is there and if the Trojans can stop Hawaii's run game and keep them one-dimensional, USC shouldn't have a problem winning this game.
Norm Chow has been on the other side of the field between these two teams but this time he will be a decided underdog. Expect the usual sloppy play in a first game and depending on turnovers, the contest should be in hand for the Trojans by the time they start the fourth quarter.
Sources - USC, University of Hawaii
Related articles:How Will New College Football Playoff Work? It's Called the Big Four 2012 Hawaii Warriors Quarterback Battle
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On! Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!