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Washington vs. USC

Betting Line: USC -10 o/u 61


Some thought Jake Locker should head to the NFL. He would've contended with Sam Bradford to be the #1 overall pick. Locker decided it was best to stay a Washington Husky for one more year. Lucky for the Huskies! Despite a slow 1-2 start, Washington still has a chance to make their season a good one. It could all begin with defeating USC, a team they beat in 2009. The Trojans are undefeated, but playing only for pride as they are banned from postseason play this year. Will new HC Lane Kiffin avenge last year's loss, or will the Huskies strike twice? This game will take place at The Coliseum and the Trojans are a heavy 10 point favorite.

In recent history the Washington Huskies have been a poor wager on the road with a 2-9 ATS record. They are just 1-7 in their last 8 games against USC, with the only win coming last year. The Huskies are 8-17 in their last 25 games ATS. The Trojans were a lousy 2-4 ATS as home favorites in 2009.

The Pacific 10 is one of the most competitive conferences in the FBS this year. Every single conference game will be important for members of the PAC-10. However, they may be a little less important to USC. We must consider the fact that they are playing for pride, and every other team is playing for a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Trojans have less incentive to wins games because their fate is already decided. This doesn't mean they won't win games. They're an incredibly talented team, but their fate was decided for them long ago.

That being said, the offense is powered by QB Matt Barklay. The Trojans have an excellent tradition of great QBs, and Barklay is no different. The sophomore already has a full year of experience under his belt. So far in 2010 he has passed for 941 yards and 12 TDs. He tossed 2 INTs in each of his past 2 games, but other than that he has been rock solid. In the season opener at Hawaii he threw 5 TD passes! Senior WR Ronald Johnson has been his best target. So far, he has 249 yards and 5 TDs on 20 catches. This offense can also run the ball. Senior Allan Bradford had 131 yards and 1 TD in a win over Minnesota two weeks ago. Keeping points off the board won't be an easy task for Washington. 

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Senior QB Jake Locker is the key to the Washington offense. He is one of the most highly praised QBs in the FBS and a certain top 5 pick in the NFL Draft. The 6-3 Ferndale, WA native reached 6,000 career passing yards and 42 career TD passes in his last game. Although he was shaken up by Nebraska's incredible defense last week, he was near flawless against Syracuse two weeks ago. He passed for 4 TDs and 289 yards against the Orange. Expect him to keep up the good work. Junior WR Jermaine Kearse has been playing very well with Locker. Kearse has caught 16 passes for 338 yards and 5 TDs. Young RBs Chris Polk and Jesse Callier haven't done their best work yet. If they can find new life in this game it would do wonders for the Huskies chances.

USC's defense has sacked opposing QBs 12 times in 2010. They aren't getting many INTs. Overall, the defense has been hot and cold. They look really good at times, and just mediocre at other times. Washington's defense has been abysmal. They allowed a whopping 534 total yards against Nebraska, and gave up 408 to a leaderless BYU team.

It's tough to go against  USC team looking to atone for last years loss. But with lackluster performances against Virginia and Hawaii, we're not so sure we can trust the Trojans in this spot. The Huskies and Locker are going to be looking to get back on track after the embarrassment at home to Nebraska. The best approach for Washington here is one that shortens the game. It worked last year. If they are successful, we give them a shot to cover this number, but more importantly, it keeps the game under the total. The total here is as high as 61. The last 4 times these two played the total points scored was under 61, including last years 16-13 Washington win. We'll call for one more under. Washington/USC Under 61


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