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USC football schedule for 2019 released with tough opening slate

The USC football schedule for 2019 will feature another tough opening slate as the Trojans fight to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season.

Clay Helton’s Trojans finished the 2018 season losing five of their last six games and the newly-announced USC football schedule in 2019 won’t make it easy for the team to break out of that slump.

The new schedule features home tilts against Fresno State, Stanford, Utah, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA with road trips to face BYU, Washington, Notre Dame, Colorado, Arizona State and Cal.

Nine of USC’s 12 opponents in 2019 are bowl eligible in 2018. Only Arizona, Colorado and UCLA missed out on the postseason this year, along with the Trojans themselves.

2019 USC Football Schedule
Aug. 31 – Fresno State
Sept. 7 – Stanford*
Sept. 14 – at BYU
Sept. 20 (Fri.) – Utah*
Sept. 28 – at Washington*
Oct. 5 – BYE DATE
Oct. 12 – at Notre Dame
Oct. 19 – Arizona*
Oct. 25 (Fri.) – at Colorado*
Nov. 2 – Oregon*
Nov. 9 – at Arizona State*
Nov. 16 – at California*
Nov. 23 – UCLA*

*Conference game

The first half of the schedule stands out as an extraordinarily tough slate, especially with the Trojans breaking in a new offense under Kliff Kingsbury.

SEE MORE: Kliff Kingsbury agrees to join USC as OC

The season opener against Fresno State on Aug. 31 is complicated by the fact that Jeff Tedford has the Bulldogs rolling. They are no cupcake having bested Boise State to win the Mountain West at 11-2 on the season.

Next up the Trojans will face off with Stanford at the Coliseum in the annual rivalry game which has a way of shaping the rest of the Pac-12 picture.

A trip to Provo, Utah to take on BYU awaits in Week 3. The Cougars finished 6-6 in 2018.

From there, it only gets harder with a murderer’s row of a three-game stretch.

BYU rival Utah will be welcomed to the Coliseum on Friday night in Week 4, with the Trojans looking for redemption after the 2018 drubbing in Salt Lake City and the Utes aiming to maintain control of the Pac-12 South.

A week later, USC will travel to face the kings in the North, the defending Pac-12 Champion Washington Huskies.

A mercifully-convenient bye week separates that key conference tilt with the annual rivalry game against Notre Dame, which will return to South Bend.

The good news for USC is getting through that six game run with a positive record should put them in prime position to return to the conference title game as the schedule eases up slightly in the second half.

TRENDING: Five best moments of USC’s 2018 season

The Trojans get Arizona at home, with Khalil Tate rumored to be seeking a transfer, then Colorado on the road on a Friday night with a new head coach at the helm.

The Oregon Ducks will present a test in Los Angeles before USC goes back out on the road for two weeks. First up, they will get Arizona State in Tempe, then Cal in Berkeley. Both games will be an opportunity to avenge 2018 losses.

Finally, the season will wrap up hosting UCLA at the Coliseum, with a week off to end November. That could be a week to prepare for the Pac-12 title game on December 6, if the record warrants it.

USC gets two bye weeks in 2019 because of the early start to the season, which is a nice change considering the Trojans bye-less season in 2017. Extra time to prep for Notre Dame and the Pac-12 title game could be invaluable.

SEE ALSO: Looking back at USC’s top 2018 freshmen

Unfortunately for fans who look forward to attending games at the newly-renovated Coliseum, there will only be six games played in front of the Peristyle this season, and one of those comes on a Friday night.

The Trojans will play two Friday night games in total: home against Utah and away against Colorado.

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