This week is all about bouncing back for USC as the Pac-12 title Game is still in reach, meaning the College Football Playoff is as well. That means the Trojans have to dominate most of their Games the rest of the way and also win at Notre Dame. To regain some confidence, the Trojans are -34 point home favorites against Oregon State this Saturday (as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook).
USC has to clear its mind after falling to Washington State last Friday. In fact, the Trojans should probably forget about the first month of the season because none of the Games have been pretty, barely getting by the likes of Western Michigan, Texas and Cal. In their easiest Game of the season thus far, many are expecting a huge performance from them.
Things haven’t been pretty for Oregon State, either, as its only win came against Portland State. The Beavers have been blown out in their Four losses with all of them by at least 29 points. As of note, the same Wazzu team that just beat USC last week, only beat Oregon State 52-23. USC’s defense has been far from consistent in the early going and that could be what gets the Beavers a cover here.
Then again, who is going to trust this offense? Regular quarterback Jake LUton will likely miss another Game after getting knocked out in the Wazzu loss. Former Utah State QB Darrel Garretson took his place against Washington and didn’t do much, completing 11-of-22 passes for 74 yards. The Beavers managed 110 yards on the ground and while they only scored seven points, the rushing could be a path to success against USC. As another positive, Oregon State actually stayed closed with Washington in the first half, behind just seven points in the first two quarters.
Of course, Oregon State isn’t going to stop this offense even if Sam Darnold has already thrown eight interceptions. After struggling against Wazzu, Darnold will likely take a backseat to the running Game in this one and that’ll be all the Trojans need. Ronald Jones was playing on a bum ankle, yet still went for 128 yards last week and he should be at the total again with help from Stephen Carr. While the Trojans should move the ball just fine and likely hit at least 35 points, defense is still a major issue for this team.
USC has given up at least 24 points in every Game and while they’ve played some good offenses, WMU and Stanford are mediocre at best. If Ryan Nall can find room on the ground for the Beavers, that would at least be a starting point for them to get a touchdown or two. If that’s the case, USC backers will be hoping the Trojans drop 50 points or more.
The Beavers have failed to cover in their last five Games overall, while the Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last six. The big positive for USC is that they have covered in their last Four against a team with a losing record.
Our Pick – Oregon State/USC over 57