When Alabama and USC met last year to open the 2016 season, the Crimson Tide handed the Trojans a 52-6 blowout loss, their worst in Southern Cal history. While USC didn’t necessarily look a New Year’s Six team that night, the Trojans finished the season with a nine-game winning streak capped off by a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. At the NFL Scouting Combine, former Trojans players were asked what would have happened if Alabama and Southern Cal had met in January instead of September.

“Oh yeah, it would have been a totally different story because our team — we always knew we were going to be great at the end,” former USC running back Justin Davis said, per AL.com’s Michael Casagrande. “But it was a matter of when we bought into the system or whatever. We thought we were ready for the first game but we obviously weren’t.”

Former Southern Cal WR Darreus Rogers believes that the Trojans would have had a better chance with Sam Darnold at quarterback. Max Browne was USC’s signal-caller on Sept. 3.

“With Sam Darnold, man, with him at quarterback, anything can happen,” Rogers said. “The kid is special. I feel like it would be a better game, closer game and I feel like we probably could have made the upset but who knows? You never know what could happen but it probably would have been a different story.”

Rogers also had high praise for the Crimson Tide, calling Nick Saban’s squad “best team I’ve ever faced.”

“Disciplined. Physical. Fast,” he said. “It has it all.”

Casagrande also talked to former USC OL Zach Banner, who had no interest in addressing a rematch that never took place.

“It didn’t happen,” he said. “So let’s not talk about it.”