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Washington State

vs.

USC

College Football

Week 2

Prediction

9/7/13

These two teams haven't played each other the past two seasons and that's a good thing for Washington State, who has lost eight straight in this series. The Trojans come into this game as -15.5 point favorites at 5 Dimes even with a major question still looming over them at quarterback.

Against a less than average Hawaii defense, neither USC QB could get anything going. Cody Kessler started the game, but was only able to rack up 95 yards on 19 pass attempts, while throwing one touchdown and one interception. Max Wittek wasn't much better going 5-for-10 for 77 yards. The two will likely be battling for time all season long which means the Trojans will probably have to run the ball a lot. Silas Redd missed last week's game, but Tre Madden and Justin Davis both stepped up to combine for 183 yards. Marqise Lee didn't even have that great of a game last week, and he needs to do everything he can to help out the QBs.

The Cougars didn't look all that bad last week, but they still lost as they gave up 295 yards on the ground. Auburn only passed for 99 yards and didn't need more than that. If Redd returns, expect him and the other two RBs to see plenty of touches for the Trojans.

Washington State moved the ball well against Auburn, except they only scored three points in the second half, which doesn't win you games. Connor Halliday tossed for 344 yards and a touchdown, but his three interceptions cost the Cougars the game. The all-out passing attack will continue for them as that's Mike Leake's philosophy even though they gained 5.2 yards per carry against the Tigers. If WSU can take away the turnovers, this game could actually be pretty close.

USC's defense was a major letdown last season and it played pretty well against Hawaii, but then again it's Hawaii. If the Trojans can keep preying on quarterbacks (four INTs vs. Hawaii), they should be able to stay in the Top 25 this season.

The over/under on this game isn't very high, sitting around 54 points which is something to look at as both teams can move the ball on offense against weaker defenses. Although the under has hit seven straight times for the Cougars on grass, and four of their last five games on the road. To go along with that, the under is 7-1 in the Trojans last eight home games. In this meeting, the over is 10-3 in the last 13 games. Take those numbers for what they're worth.

USC hasn't been great against the spread in the past year and that continued against Hawaii in only a 17-point win. The Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall, while the Cougars are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Aside from the QB question marks for USC, these two teams are pretty much intact from a year ago. Of course, the QB situation is crucial which is the reason we'd have to back off here, but our score prediction model says if these two played at the end of last season, it would have been USC on top by a score of 42-16. Food for thought........
 

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