The 2020 season won’t be an easy one for the USC Trojans, as difficult games dot the 12-game schedule, which was released Thursday afternoon.
The Trojans open the season on Sept. 5 in Arlington, Texas, with a neutral-site game against what will be a highly-ranked Alabama team. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since the Crimson Tide dismantled the Trojans 52-6 to kick off the 2016 season.
In Week 2, USC kicks off its home schedule by hosting New Mexico. This will be the Trojans first-ever meeting with the Lobos. In conference play, USC hosts Arizona State, Cal, Colorado and Washington, and also gets Notre Dame in the Coliseum as the season finale.
There are five conference road games for the Trojans this year, as USC will travel to Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Utah. The trips to Autzen and Rice-Eccles stadiums give USC two daunting road challenges this season.
As has been the case for several recent seasons, an early trip to Stanford kicks off USC’s Pac-12 schedule. The Trojans visit the Farm on Sept. 19.
The Trojans go the entire season without back-to-back home or road games and have one Friday night game–the trip to face Utah, which now looms as an even bigger hurdle for the Trojans to win the Pac-12 South.
USC alternates conference games against Arizona State, at Utah (Friday night), home against Cal and then on the road against Arizona, before their bye week. USC then takes on Colorado in the Coliseum on Halloween, before traveling to Oregon, hosting Washington and visiting the Rose Bowl against UCLA. The season caps off with a home game against Notre Dame.
USC returns starting quarterback Kedon Slovis who set national, conference and school records as a true freshman. He loses senior wide receiver Michael Pittman, but will be aided by terrific skill-position talent, including wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown, Drake London and potentially Tyler Vaughns, who has yet to announce if he will make himself available for the NFL Draft. At running back, all four tailbacks who saw significant time last season–Stephen Carr, Vavae Malepeai, Markese Stepp and Kenan Christon–are scheduled to return. The Trojans will need to find a few answers along the offensive line, as right tackle Drew Richmond and left tackle Austin Jackson are off to the NFL.
Defensively, the Trojans lose defensive end Christian Rector and linebacker John Houston Jr., but every other prominent contributor is scheduled to return to what will be a defense helmed by a new defensive coordinator in 2020.
2020 USC full schedule
Sept. 5 – vs. Alabama (@ Arlington, Tex.)
Sept. 12 – New Mexico
Sept. 19 – at Stanford
Sept. 26 – Arizona State
Oct. 2 (Fri.) – at Utah
Oct. 10 – California
Oct. 17 – at Arizona
Oct. 24 – BYE
Oct. 31 – Colorado
Nov. 7 – at Oregon
Nov. 14 – Washington
Nov. 21 – at UCLA
Nov. 28 – Notre Dame
Alabama — season-opener for the Crimson Tide. Hosts Georgia State the following week
New Mexico — plays at Mississippi Stat the previous week
Stanford — plays at Arizona the previous week
Arizona State — hosts BYU the previous week
Utah — travels to Wyoming and Cal the previous two weeks
California — hosts Washington State previous week
Arizona — hosts Colorado on Friday night the previous week
Colorado — hosts UCLA and Arizona the previous two weeks
Oregon — travels to Arizona the previous week
Washington — hosts Stanford the previous week
UCLA — hosts Washington State the previous week
Notre Dame — hosts Louisville the previous week