USC goes from No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold to true freshman JT Daniels at the most important position on the field, but Clay Helton still has enough talent throughout the rest of the roster that the Trojans remain the favorite in the Pac-12 South.
Every USC football game will be broadcast nationally on one of the following channels: ABC, Fox, Fox Sports 1, any of the ESPN channels, or the Pac-12 Network (full schedule). Fortunately, even if you don’t have cable or a TV, you can watch one, some or all of these channels by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live TV streaming services:
FuboTV: Includes Fox (some games available in 4K), Fox Sports 1, Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Regional Networks
Hulu With Live TV: Includes ABC, Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News
Sling TV: Includes Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News and Pac-12 Network
All of these services allow you to watch live TV without a cable box or satellite or annual contract. All you need is an internet connection. Here’s a rundown of what they include, how to sign up, and how to watch a live stream of USC games in 2018:
Though it also has a good amount of entertainment channels, FuboTV is one of the best streaming services for watching live sports. Among many other sports channels, the main “Fubo” package comes with Fox, FS1, and the Pac-12 Network–and has all of the regional Pac-12 Networks available as an add-on. It also has a lot of nice user experience features, including an interface that lets you search by sport, included DVR, and a very handy “72-hour lookback” feature, which lets you watch games on-demand up to three days later even without recording them.
The one drawback is that the ESPN channels aren’t included, but for games on the Fox channels and the Pac-12 Network, FuboTV is a really good option–and it’s a very good value for how many channels you’re getting.
USC Football Channels Included: Fox, Fox Sports 1, Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Regional Networks
Pricing Options: The “Fubo” package, which has 85-plus channels including the ones listed above, costs $39.99 for the first month, and then $44.99 per month after that. The “Sports Plus” add-on, which has all of the Pac-12 Regional Networks, is $8.99 per month
Extras: Watch on two different devices at once; 30 hours of cloud DVR is included; also includes a “72-hour lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games and shows up to three days after they air, even if you forgot to DVR them
How to Sign Up: Head to the FuboTV website and select “Start Your Free Trial”. After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras if you want. You’ll need to enter your payment information, but if you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, just return to the FuboTV website and navigate to a channel to start watching live TV. The Chrome browser is suggested.
If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the FuboTV app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones
Hulu with Live TV offers the perfect mix of entertainment and live sports for cord-cutters. Not only does it come with an extensive Netflix-like library of on-demand TV shows (Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc.) and movies, but it also gives you almost all the channels (no Pac-12 Network is the one drawback) that will broadcast USC football games in 2018.
If you can get past the lack of Pac-12 Network, getting all of that for just $40 per month is great value.
USC Football Channels Included: ABC (live in select markets), Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News. There are a total of 50-plus channels included, as well as Hulu’s on-demand streaming library (a $7.99 or $11.99 per month value).
Pricing Options: Hulu With Live TV (with the “Limited Commercials” on-demand plan): $39.99 per month | Hulu With Live TV (with the “No Commercials” on-demand library plan): $43.99 per month
Extras: The regular Hulu With Live TV plan allows you to watch on two different devices at the same time, but you can watch on unlimited screens at the same time for $15 per month extra; 50 hours of cloud DVR is included, but you can upgrade to 200 hours of enhanced cloud DVR for $15 per month.
How to Sign Up: Go to the Hulu website and select “Sign Up Now”. After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras you want, then enter your payment information.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, simply return to the Hulu website and select “Start Watching” at the top of the page, and then “Live TV.” Scroll to whatever channel you want to start watching live TV.
If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the Hulu app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, select Smart TV’s and other devices.
Additionally, Trojan games that are on ABC or any of the ESPN channels can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Hulu credentials to do that.
The first to dive into the cable-free, live-TV streaming service, Sling TV’s biggest selling point continues to be its low price point. However, while the basic “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” is a cheap entry point, you need to get both base packages plus the “Sports Extra” add-on to get all the channels that will show USC football games, which adds up to $50 per month ($55 if you want DVR).
Still, while the value ends up being worse than the first two options, this is the best way to get every channel that will broadcast a USC game in 2018:
USC Football Channels Included: ESPN and ESPN2 are part of the “Sling Orange” bundle, Fox and FS1 are part of the “Sling Blue” bundle, and ESPNU, ESPN News and Pac-12 Network are in the “Sports Extra” add-on
Price: Sling Orange: $25 per month | Sling Blue: $25 per month | Sling Orange + Blue: $40 per month | Sports Extra add-on: $10 per month ($5 per month if you add it to just Sling Orange)
Extras: Watch on one device at once with Sling Orange or Sling Orange+Blue; Watch on three devices at once with Sling Blue; 50 hours of cloud DVR is $5 per month extra.
How to Sign Up: Go to the Sling TV website and select “Watch Now 7 Days Free.” After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras you want, then enter your payment information to sign up.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, just return to the Sling TV website and navigate to your desired channel to start watching live TV. If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the Sling TV app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Fire tablets, and Xbox One.
Additionally, USC games that are on ABC or any of the ESPN channels can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Sling TV credentials to do that.
It came down to six days before the start of the regular season, but true freshman JT Daniels ultimately beat out Matt Fink and Jack Sears for the starting quarterback job. Replacing Darnold, who led the Trojans to a pair of double-digit win seasons in his two years under center, is one of the most high-pressure jobs in the nation, but the 18-year-old is ready for the challenge.
“To be honest, it’s not any different,” he said. “I come out with the same mentality every day and that’s just trying to get better and prepare myself for the team, whether it’s first string or eighth.”
Daniels, who graduated from Mater Dei High School a year early, is just the second true freshman to start the season at QB for USC, with Matt Barkley being the other, so the pressure is obvious. But so is his talent–Daniels was the No. 2 ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2018, and he didn’t win the job by mistake.
“What we sat down and looked at at the end was how they functioned in actual live games — scrimmages, live two-minute drills where the ball had to move and wasn’t scripted — that’s where JT shined,” head coach Clay Helton said.
How Daniels adapts to the college game will obviously be a major factor in how far USC goes in 2018, but he’ll have plenty of help.
At running back, Ronald Jones is in the NFL, but former elite recruit Stephen Carr averaged 5.6 yards per carry last season. At wide receiver, Deontay Burnett and Steven Mitchell Jr. are gone, but Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman Jr. combined for 80 receptions, 1,213 yards and seven touchdowns last season. And at offensive line, all-conference performers Toa Lobendahn and Chris Brown are both back to anchor the left side.
On defense, the Trojans return just six starters from last year’s unit, but star outside linebacker Porter Gustin, who played just four games last year, will be back at some point, and the rest of the D features plenty of talented pieces.
The Trojans have to play Stanford, Texas, Arizona, Utah and UCLA all on the road, so there are plenty of potential speed bumps in their quest for a third trip to the Pac-12 Championship in four years, but if Daniels’ transition is a smooth one, there’s no reason not to consider them the favorites in the South once again.