San Jose State Spartans vs. USC Trojans Preview and Pick – Point Spread

San Jose State Spartans vs. No. 4 USC Trojans Saturday September 5, 2009 Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, California TV: FSN (Nationally)

By Wilson of

Point Spread: San Jose State +34.5/USC -34.5

Over/Under: N/A

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The USC Trojans are once again favored to win the Pac-10 Conference but their schedule is not a bed of roses. The Trojans open with San Jose State but after that they will be tested every week with the exception of probably the Washington State Cougars.

San Jose State was 6-6 last season but they do have 15 starters returning from last years squad. The Spartans lost their last three games of the season in 2008. Defensively, the Spartans may be in good shape as they were ranked in the top 25 for total team defense and they return 7 starters from a year ago.

Spartans QB Kyle Reed will lead the team this season.. Reed completed 64 percent of his passes last year and looks to improve on those numbers. Perhaps the most notable for the offense comes from the trenches where six of the Spartan offensive lineman have started in 10 games or more throughout their career. This might help San Joses chances as far as protecting Reed and getting some plays off the ground.

Meanwhile, Pete Carroll and his mighty Trojans will be ready as always
to show the country why they are consistently at the top of the polls. Yes,
USC is currently ranked No.4 in both the AP and the USA Today polls. Carrol
began his career at SC by beating the Spartans and he hopes to repeat that
scenario this weekend.

USC will make history in their own program this weekend by having a true freshman start at quarterback in the opening game. True freshman, Matt Barkley has a chance of a lifetime to perform for one college footballs greatest programsno pressure there. Barkley will be flagged by several talented athletes which should make his job a heck of a lot easier.

Barkley will miss out on super reciever Ronald Johnson as he is out most likely until the middle of October. Johnson suffered a broken collar bone in a mock practice game last week. No worries however because USC just happens to have a few other guys who can fill in and probably not miss a beat.

WR Damien Williams will start in Johnsons spot. Williams, an Arkansas transfer, has good speed and will have a chance to show how good he is while filling some big shoes. Also in the mix for the Trojans are outstanding running backs Stefon Johnson and Joe McKnight.

Aaron Corp, USCs other QB who lost the starting position to Barkley, looked very crisp in the mock as well which will keep QBs fighting for the No.1 spot all season. It will Barkleys job to lose but Corp could start for any other team in the nation (maybe).

Pete Carroll understands that this Saturday may be the Trojans last chance to experiment and tweak their systems as the rest of the season is jam packed with steep competition. The Trojans schedule is one of the most difficult in all of college football as they travel to Ohio State for week two. USC will play both Washington schools in weeks three and four but then they have five killer games and four of those are on the road. They begin their trek at California, at Notre Dame, home for Oregon State, at Oregon, and finally at Arizona State. The Trojans close out their season at home versus Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona. Wow! What a schedule huh? Poor little USC, shoot, this is what a schedule should look like especially for this high caliber of a team- it should make for some great football and maybe a couple of instant classics.

Wilsons Pick: Sorry San Jose State but somebody has to help USC get warmed up! The question is, will the Trojans cover the spread? Sure. USC 56, San Jose State 14. Luck to ya.