USC Football Week One Preview: Western Michigan

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

USC Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense

When the Trojans have the ball, all eyes will be on Heisman frontrunner QB Sam Darnold to lead the offense with his excellent vision and play-making ability. He’ll look to continue developing his chemistry with a young but talented group of receivers led by Deontay Burnett.

However, the Trojans offense is about much more than their golden boy quarterback. Ronald Jones II will feature at running back and is considered one of the best backs in the country coming into this season.

Trojan fans know about his blistering speed and great decision making in traffic, but Coach Helton has challenged Jones II to improve his receiving skills so he can be trusted on every down.

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USC goes up against a Western Michigan defense that is working in four brand new defensive linemen who will look to keep Darnold in the pocket and not allow him to extend plays. Linebacker Robert Spillane will be someone to keep an eye on, as he returns to the Broncos after leading the team with 111 tackles last season.

The Western Michigan secondary returns all of its starters, including speed demon Darius Phillips, who returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns last season. Emerging sophomore safety Justin Tranquill will provide support for the cornerbacks, hoping to keep the USC weapons at bay.

The bottom line is that USC possesses far superior athletes all over the field, so the Broncos will have to be disciplined enough to make Sam Darnold uncomfortable and force him to make mistakes.