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Week 1 College Football Predictions: USC vs. Rice

All Trojans on FanNation logo All Trojans on FanNation 9/3/2022 Wyatt Allsup

The USC Trojans take on the Rice Owls at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 3.

The Trojans kick off the Lincoln Riley era at USC on September 3, against Rice at the LA Coliseum.

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The Owls, like the Trojans, went 4-8 last season; however, their competition in Conference USA is inarguably weak, and Rice struggled in non-conference games, including a 58-point loss to Texas.

USC should be able to easily handle the Owls at home, and it will likely not be much of a game. For the Trojans, Week 1 will be more about establishing a rhythm in a new offense and determining who the key pieces are on both sides of the ball.

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Rice’s strengths are in the passing game, which will likely be led by redshirt junior quarterback Wiley Green. Green has thrown for 1,849 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 career games at Rice.

Sam Crawford, a receiver transfer from Tulsa, has hauled in 114 balls for 1,623 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons. He will join several other veteran Owls, including Cedrick Patterson, who scored six times through the air last season.

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For USC, all eyes will be on sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams, who is expected to be a Heisman candidate this year. Other Trojans to watch include new weapons, Jordan Addison [WR] and Mario Williams [WR].

Something to keep an eye on will be which receivers and running backs get the most snaps during week one. USC has tremendous depth at their skill positions, and Riley has expressed that he intends to spread the ball around. 

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The Trojans’ first game should be a confidence booster for a team that failed to reach expectations last season. Expect Riley’s tenure at USC to begin with a packed Coliseum against the Rice Owls.  

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