USC is 2-0, 1-0 in the Pac-12 conference with victories over a pair of teams that won 11 games last season. First year head coach Steve Sarkisian has his players believing they can win, despite playing with significantly fewer scholarships players due to NCAA sanctions.
Quarterback Cody Kessler had a record setting performance in the opener against Fresno State, spreading the ball around by completing passes to 10 different teammates. USC jumped out to a 31-7 lead at the half and finished with backups on the field cruising to a 52-13 win.
The Trojans followed the opener up with a hard-fought road battle against Pac-12 powerhouse Stanford. Despite being down at halftime, USC came back and eventually took the lead on a 53-yard Andre Heidari field goal in the final minutes to beat No. 13 Stanford 13-10.
All-American defensive lineman Leonard Williams didn't practice leading up to the game due to an ankle injury, but he lead the Trojans with 11 tackles and a sack, earning him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.
Now the No. 9 ranked Trojans are one of the favorites to win the Pac-12 South.
Facing a powerhouse conference foe so early in the season was a big risk for the Trojans, but after securing the road victory on the Farm, USC is now getting national attention and is proving it can be a significant player in the college football landscape once again.
After that big win, SportsBettingDime.com has the Trojans at 12/1 to win the 2014-2015 College Football Championship and 5/1 to win the Pac-12 Conference.
Not bad odds for a program under NCAA sanctions with a first year head coach.