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Will USC win the Pac-12 in Lincoln Riley’s first season?

During Lincoln Riley’s tenure at Oklahomahis team annually features elite attack which is often paired with mediocre defence.

Since then, he’s moved to USC and Pac-12, which could be the ideal environment for his style.

Joel Klatt and Colin Cowherd discuss their hopes for the Trojans Riley in his first season as head coach.

“I’m excited for USC. I think they have a great team. I think at some point in their first season they will be in the top 10,” said Klatt. “I don’t think they will finish there, but at some point in the season, I think they will be in the top 10.”

Joel Klatt predicts Lincoln Riley, USC will be in the Top 10

Joel Klatt predicts Lincoln Riley, USC will be in the Top 10

Joel Klatt stopped by The Herd to tell Colin Cowherd what his hopes were for Lincoln Riley and the USC Trojans.

USC do have some tests they will face this season, especially in the latter half of their schedule with Utah, UCLA and Notre Dame.

“I don’t think they have the ability to beat Notre Dame right now,” Cowherd said. “And I think UCLA is much better than people think. They are a potentially nine or 10-win team. I think they [USC] going to go 9-3 this season.

“I think Utah beat them, UCLA beat them, Notre Dame kind of pushed them, even at the Coliseum.”

Klatt added: “Notre Dame is too tough on the line of scrimmage right now.”

USC’s violation figures were explosive, however.

Caleb Williams, who transferred from Oklahoma, completed 64.5% of his passes for 1,912 yards and 21 touchdowns versus four interceptions in his first season. The dual-threat quarterback also rushed 70 times for 442 yards (5.6 average) and six goals. Williams did all of this in about seven and a half games, having replaced Spencer Rattler while leading a historic comeback against Texas at the Red River Showdown.

The Trojans have added plenty of transfers either side of the ball, including Biletnikoff winners Jordan Addison of Pittsburgh and Mario Williams of Oklahoma. Addison, who was transferred last week, caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2021. Williams caught 35 balls for 380 yards (10.9) and four touchdowns. He wasn’t targeted much in his first season, but expectations surrounding the former four-star prospect were high at USC.

“One thing about Lincoln Riley, no matter how defensively he plays, he’s going to find a way to be successful,” Klatt said. “He’s been doing it for a number of years. He did it on very poor defense in Oklahoma, and it’s not as deep or as good a conference as the Big 12 Conference over the last four, five, or six years. .”

Both Klatt and Cowherd believe, despite the problems that may arise defensively, Riley’s increased attack will be enough for USC to compete for the Pac-12 title.


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Will USC win the Pac-12 in Lincoln Riley’s first season?

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