The stage is Washington’s on Saturday. The Huskies have proven that they are for real, but I think there are still some doubters. If they paste USC today, they may be able to convert some people into believers. But even then, I’m sure the argument is going to be, okay, but USC were blown out of Alabama. However, the truth is, USC have been playing much better football these days. This isn’t the same team who got blown out against the Crimson Tide. If they played Alabama again today, could they get blown out again? Possibly, but the Trojans have won five straight games. Washington have yet to lose, so they find themselves on a major romp, consisting of nine straight games. The team to come closest to them? Believe it or not, Arizona brought them to overtime and nearly had them. It wasn’t to be, though, as Washington dodged a bullet and has been on a tear since then.
The Huskies return home today after two games on the road against Utah and Cal. Both efforts resulted in wins, with a beat down in California last week. Washington dismantled the Golden Bears for a 66-27 final. Marshawn Lynch couldn’t save California, who led them out onto the field, as he sped around the field on a golf cart with his mother in the passenger’s seat. He nearly took out a member of the band, but all worked out with no injuries reported. The only major injuries of the night was a bruised ego for the Golden Bears. Washington hopes to do the same to the Trojans today.
It’s a head-on collision between two teams who are playing their best football of the year. USC, however, was pushed out of the playoff talk way back. One loss to Alabama would have put them in a solid position heading into this one in Seattle, but two losses, and definitely three is too much to overcome. We see USC playing in a middle-of-the-road bowl game. Maybe the Las Vegas Bowl or Holiday Bowl? A loss today would put them at four losses, so there expectations can’t be all too high. They should be able to put up a pretty good fight in a bowl game, though. The Trojans’ losses have come against Alabama, Stanford, and Utah. Their last loss came in September, so like I said they’ve been playing much better. Let’s get down to the pick.
USC Trojans vs. Washington Huskies NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Washington -8(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
USC vs. Washington Pick:
Washington has playmakers littering their roster, on defense and offense as well. The offense is propelled by the masterfulness of Jake Browning and John Ross. Ross is the real superstar here, with Browning having an easy life at quarterback due to him. He appears to be a budding superstar. I don’t mean in college football, I mean he looks like he’s going to be a budding star in the NFL. Think DeSean Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, or Antonio Brown. Those are some lofty expectations, but he plays the part well at least. Browning is getting all of the Heisman hype, but in my opinion Ross should be getting the attention, too. No not Heisman hype, although he should be getting some recognition. He is able to do it all receiving, rushing on end-arounds, and in the return game. The Huskies are 18th in the nation, with 499 yards per game.
Defensively Washington measure up as well, as they are 18th on defense too. That is a model of consistency, and pretty well thus this team up. They are one of the more well-balanced teams in the country. For USC, the light switch went in the “on” position after Sam Darnold got a grasp of the offense. They luckily found a quarterback to run the ship. Darnold has passed for 20 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He’s been careful with the ball and picking his spots. Darnold is elusive as well, rushing for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. He isn’t a running quarterback, but if he has to get some yards with his legs he is fully capable of doing it.
USC are 31st in the country with 376 yards per game. They are also scoring 32 points per game. In their last three games, they’ve scored 46 a game. Even better has been the performance of the defense against quality offensive units. Note that they allowed 19.3 points per game in the last three games. These were against some pretty good offenses: Arizona, Cal, and Oregon. I think Washington and USC are two similar teams. They’re both balanced and can play well on offense and defense. I see Washington as a 4.5 favorite in this game, but that isn’t the number sportsbook are affording us. In other words, the play for me is on USC.
PICK: USC +8 (-110)