USC superior in almost every area
Who: USC (1) vs. Virginia Tech
When: Sat., 7:40 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
Williams had since re-enrolled at USC and taken some classes over the summer to meet school requirements, but an NCAA ruling Thursday denied the Trojan All-American's reinstatement request.
Although the Trojans are obviously a much more talented team with Williams on the field, they are still favorites to repeat as national champions without him. The offense will take a backseat to Carroll's defensive unit, which features DE Shaun Cody, DT Mike Patterson and WLB Matt Grootegoed, but that doesn't mean the offense won't be explosive. With coordinator Norm Chow guiding the offense and southpaw QB Matt Leinart under center, there is no question that the Trojans will continue to find ways to put points on the board.
Frank Beamer's Hokies, on the other hand, are looking to put a disappointing second half of the 2003 season and a tumultuous offseason behind them. As if things weren't bad enough after the team went 2-5 down the stretch, the arrests and subsequent suspensions of QB Marcus Vick, RB Mike Imoh and WR Branden Hill during the offseason left the school with a black eye.
The Hokies are clearly underdogs in this game, but a respectable showing would help restore some of the confidence this team clearly lacked in the second half of last season. It also would go a long way towards putting the offseason behind it.
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