The 3 Toughest Games on the USC Football 2023 Schedule

Heading into the 2023 USC football schedule, these are the three toughest games the Trojans will face next season.

USC’s 2022 football season was a dream come true for Trojans fans, despite falling one win away from the Pac-12 championship and the College Football Playoff.

Back-to-back losses late in the season held back what USC football could achieve in 2022, but really shouldn’t. The Trojans were 4-8 in 2021 and no one expected Lincoln Riley to be able to do what he did.

Except maybe Riley and his star quarterback Caleb Williams.

Williams won the Heisman and will become the first overall pick in the draft in 2024, assuming all goes to plan.

As for what the 2023 season will look like for the Trojans, we examine the three toughest games on the 2023 schedule.

3. Utah (at home, Oct. 21)

USC football fans might argue that this game should be higher on the list. They too may be right. Cam Rising dominated against USC last season and so did Utah’s defense.

The Utes also beat USC in Utah last season, so they have the Trojans’ number. However, with the game in Los Angeles, and in the middle of the season, I expect USC football to have the upper hand. Utah will be really good again, but there are tougher games on the schedule.

2. At Notre Dame (October 14)

It’s honestly very hard to choose which game is harder: Notre Dame or Utah.

Both teams are expected to be really good on defense. Marcus Freeman and Kyle Whittingham are two of the best defensive minds in college football.

The Irish also put Sam Hartman on the transfer portal, who is up there with Rising as one of the best returning quarterbacks in college football. In terms of pure quarterbacks, few are better than Hartman, who likely would have been selected in the NFL draft had he testified.

Notre Dame had solid defense and a good running game, as did Utah. He didn’t have a quarterback. Now it does and that is why Notre Dame is number 2 on the list.

1. Oregon (en route, November 11)

Oregon and USC didn’t play last season and this matchup will be a great one for college football fans in November. Both teams should be in the hunt for the Pac-12 title, as well as in the mix for the playoffs.

As long as no team has more than one loss, this game will have a lot of implications. Dan Lanning and the Ducks also fell flat on their faces at the end of last season, losing to Oregon State and Washington to lose their shot at the Pac-12 title.

It’s hard not to see the winner of this game playing for the Pac-12 title. Bo Nix and the ducks are loaded. Once again, he’s an elite QB, paired with stellar defense and a good running game.

Both teams should win double-digit games, but having to play Oregon, possibly in the midst of the elements, won’t be easy and that’s why this is the toughest game on USC’s 2023 football schedule.