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ASU Football: AllTrojans Reporter Joins AllSunDevils to Discuss USC and the Pandemic

A look around the Pac-12 and what's going on at USC

USC, like the rest of the Pac-12, is working through the cancellation of their Fall football season with the hopes of playing later in the academic year.

2020 is an important year for the Trojan football program. The program has had consecutive lackluster seasons, going 13-12 over the past two seasons. With that record comes the hottest seat of the collegiate head coaching ranks under USC's coach, Clay Helton- where USC fans expect conference titles and consistent national championship contention.

This season will also mark the first full season under the watchful eye of the new Athletic Director, Mike Bohn. Bohn was hired in November, and after observing a few weeks of Trojan football along with hearing from the fan base, he decided to lead a major overhaul of the football coaching staff along with finding ways to support the program better. In are new Defensive Coordinator Todd Orlando, Cornerbacks coach Donte Williams (who brings with him a highly respected ability when it comes to college football recruiting), Safeties coach Craig Naivar, Defensive Line coach Vic So'oto, new Tight Ends coach John David Baker (who was promoted from an analyst position) and Special Teams Coordinator Sean Snyder. Along with the new coaches, came several added support staff positions to help USC attempt to regain its place atop the conference. With the new investment in support and people, though come high expectations for Clay Helton and his squad.

The offense looks to remain a significant strength despite the loss of offensive lineman Austin Jackson and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to the NFL. Key returners are Quarterback Kedon Slovis (the Arizona native who opened the nation's eyes with his stellar play in his first year at Troy), the running back trio of Stephen Carr, Vavae Malepeai and Markese Stepp and an excellent wide receiver group led by Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns and Drake London. The offensive line though, will have to prove their development if this squad wants to contend for the conference.

Defensively, the squad leading this new Todd Orlando-run scheme will be stars safety Talanoa Hufanga, defensive backs Olaijah Griffin and Greg Johnson, defensive end Drake Jackson and defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu. How quickly this side of the ball adapts to Orlando's new style will prove vital for USC to emerge out of the Pac-12 South and contend with Oregon.

The delayed start might be just the opportunity the USC program needed to further cement its culture shift with all the new coaching faces and help its transition into the new schemes. Clay Helton needs it to, if he wants to hold back the frustrated fan base and cool off his coaching seat.