Line: USC by 21 1/2
Series Record: USC 6-0
Last Meeting: 2005, USC 62-7
What’s at Stake
With the Rose Bowl out of the picture because of NCAA sanctions, Southern California is looking to go undefeated this year. The Trojans finished 9-4 last season, the most losses since 2001, and were fifth in the Pac-10. The game marks the debut of coach and former USC assistant Lane Kiffin, who rejoined the program after a year with Tennessee and 20 games with the Oakland Raiders. Hawaii, meanwhile, is trying to get back to a bowl game after missing the postseason for the first time since 2005.
USC defensive line vs. Hawaii offensive line. The Trojans should be able to score points in bunches, so it will be a matter if the Warriors can keep up. The Warriors will be challenged up front after losing four starters. The young line will need to give QB Bryant Moniz time to throw and keep the chains moving. Despite the loss of DE Everson Griffen to the NFL, USC still has a talented, physical line led by DT Jurrell Casey and DE Armond Armstead.
Players to watch
USC QB Matt Barkley and RB Marc Tyler. Everyone wants to know how will Barkley will follow up his freshman campaign. Last year, he showed plenty of potential in throwing for 2,735 yards, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Tyler earned the starting spot after beating out the team’s top returning rusher in senior Allen Bradford.
Hawaii WR Greg Salas is the Warriors’ biggest weapon. He averaged 122.3 yards and 8.15 receptions per game last year.
Facts & Figures
USC is 29-1 against the Western Athletic Conference … This is the third time since 1999 that the schools have opened against each other … USC has outscored Hawaii 297-67 in six meetings … Hawaii has defeated its last two Pac-10 opponents at home (Washington State in 2008 and Washington in 2007) … USC has a 20-10-3 record on Thursdays … USC has four players from Hawaii, while the Warriors feature 33 players from California.