This century, Syracuse hasn't exactly been a football factory. But they've produced some really good players like linebacker Keith Bulluck, defensive end Dwight Freeney and most recently end Chandler Jones.
Conversely, Southern California has been a football powerhouse. Since 2003, at least three Trojans have been taken in the NFL Draft each year. Their alums are a who's who of the NFL's most notable players.
Both teams will hold the same function this season. USC is loaded with talent, and have possibly the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft with Matt Barkley. Syracuse has one very good player in offensive tackle Justin Pugh. He missed the season opener and won't play today.
USC Trojans 2013 NFL Draft prospects:
Offense: No. 2 - Robert Woods, WR - 6'1, 190 pounds (Junior), No. 7 - Matt Barkley, QB - 6'2, 230 pounds (Senior), No. 78 - Khaled Holmes, C - 6'4, 305 pounds (Senior), No. 22 Curtis McNeal, RB - 5'7, 190 pounds (Senior), No. 25 - Silas Redd, RB - 5'10, 200 pounds
Defense: No. 7 - T.J. McDonald, S - 6'3, 205 pounds (Senior), No. 96 - Wes Horton, DE - 6'5, 255 pounds (Senior), No. 21 - Nickell Robey, CB - 5'8, 165 pounds (Junior), No. 29 - Jawanza Starling, S - 6'1, 200 pounds
Syracuse Orange 2013 NFL Draft prospects
Offense: No. 12 - Ryan Nassib, QB - 6'3, 228 pounds (Senior), No. 5 - Marcus Sales, WR - 6'0, 195 pounds (Senior), No. 15 - Alec Lemon, WR - 6'2, 205 pounds (Senior)
Defense: No. 11 - Marquis Spruill, OLB - 6'0, 230 pounds (Junior), No. 21 - Shamarko Thomas, SS - 5'10, 210 pounds (Senior), No. 10 - Markus Pierce-Brewster - 6'3, 257 pounds (Junior)
Matchup of the day:
Syracuse OLB Marquis Spruill (No. 11) vs. USC RB Silas Redd (No. 25)
Redd only had nine carries in USC's easy win over Hawaii last week. He should carry the ball more against Syracuse if the Trojans don't want to get int a shootout. Redd runs with a lot of power, which will test Spruill's tackling. He bulked up in the offseason and is arguably Syracuse's best player on defense.
Question of the day:
Will Syracuse be able to match points with Southern Cal?
If Syracuse has any hope of winning on Saturday, it will have to score big. That may be difficult against a talented USC defense, but the Orange did put up 41 in a loss to Northwestern last week. Syracuse's offense has two good receivers and a veteran quarterback.