Aug. 30: Fresno State, 4:30 p.m.
Steve Sarkisian watched from the press box last December as the Lane Kiffin-Ed Orgeron-Clay Helton era ended with a victory over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Now, Sarkisian debuts as USC’s coach against the Bulldogs.
Sept. 6: at Stanford, 12:30 p.m.
The Cardinal lost many of the experienced and talented players who anchored its dominating defense. USC is hoping for better results than 2012, when the Trojans, ranked No. 2, lost their Pac-12 opener at Palo Alto.
Sept. 13: at Boston College, 5 p.m.
The Trojans return to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for the first time since 1988. USC defeated Boston College, 35-7, at the Coliseum a year ago to improve to 4-0 against the Eagles.
Sept. 27: Oregon State, TBA.
USC has not lost to Oregon State at the Coliseum since 1960. Record-setting quarterback Sean Mannion is back but the Beavers must replace standout receiver Brandin Cooks.
Oct. 4: Arizona State, TBA.
The Sun Devils defeated the Trojans, 62-41, in Kiffin’s final game as USC coach. Taylor Kelly is often overlooked in the quarterback-rich Pac-12, but he should not be.
Oct. 11: at Arizona, TBA.
USC’s 2012 Tucson trip, a 39-36 loss after leading 28-13, marked the beginning of the end for Kiffin. Former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins enters fall camp with a chance to start for the Wildcats.
Oct. 18: Colorado, TBA.
One thing is certain: Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler will not be switching jerseys as he was instructed to do the last time the Buffaloes visited the Coliseum. Colorado Coach Mike MacIntyre appears to have his program on the upswing.
Oct. 25: at Utah, TBA.
Utah was picked by media members to finish fifth in the Pac-12 South Division. But Rice-Eccles Stadium is not an easy place to play for the Trojans or any opponent.
Nov. 1: at Washington State, TBA.
Coach Mike Leach guided the Cougars to an upset over the Trojans last season at the Coliseum. The Trojans can expect a chilly reception in Pullman in November.
Nov. 13: California, 6 p.m.
USC, and its fans, might have more problems with traffic than the Trojans will with the Golden Bears if Cal Coach Sonny Dykes has not fixed his team’s defense.
Nov. 22: at UCLA, TBA.
The Bruins and quarterback Brett Hundley have defeated the Trojans two years in a row. A showdown for the Pac-12 South Division title is a possibility.
Nov. 29: Notre Dame, TBA.
The Fighting Irish are buoyed by the return of quarterback Everett Golson, who guided them to a victory over the Trojans two years ago at the Coliseum but was suspended from the program all of last season.