Virginia Cavaliers (1-0,1-0 ATS) vs.USC Trojans(1-0,0-1 ATS), Los Angeles MemorialColiseum(Natural Grass) Los Angeles, CA— Week 2,Saturday, 10:30PMEastern
By Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Cavs +19/University of Southern California -19
Line Movement: Early money has been place on the home teamas this lined opened at USC -17.
The ACC and Pac-10will collidefor the Trojans’ home opener against undefeated Virginiaat a sold-out LA Coliseum on Saturday night.The USC Trojansentered week No. 1 as the 14th ranked team in the nation by the associated press, but after seeing the defense give up ginormous chucks of yards, there will be a lot of skeptics on just how good this team is going to be. The Trojans will be able to score points on just about any team’s defense. But,USC has no depth and the defense is very green.
Hawaii gained 588 yards Thursday night, including 459 passing against a USC secondary that couldn’t cover or tackle anybody. Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson decided to take over. Barkley completed 18 of 23 passes for 257 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Johnson. Hawaii played much of the second half with theirsecond- and third-team quarterbacks, gained more yards against the Trojans than any team since Oregon gained 613 at Eugene last October.
TheMike London era started with an easy victory to kick-off the Cavaliers’ 2010-11 season. They defeated the Richmond Spiders, 34-13 as 7-pointchalk.Keith Payne ran for 114 yardswithfour touchdowns. Virginia ended a four-year losing streak in season openers on Saturday night in a game theyreallywanted to win for their new skipper. The victory allowed Virginia to accomplish one of its first goals for the season, winning its opener for the first time in five years. It came against London’s former team, werehe went 24-5 in 2008 and 2009 combined. Regarded as one of the best up-and-coming head coaches, hewill havehis team playing hard all season.
Virginia wasranked 118th out of 120 in total offense last season. TheCavs want to run the ball and be more balanced on offense than last season. Al Groh was a pass-happy coach but things will be different under London.With Keith Payne and Perry Jones in your back-field,they have a nice one-two punch. The passing game is a work in progress and their offensive line is a major concern. The defense has more talent than last year,especially on the defensive line.Cam Johnsonis very fast and will bring heat off the edge.
USC features a pro style offense led by quarterback Matt Barkley. Talent is everyone on offense including a massive offensive line. No big injuries occurred against the Warriors last Thursday. That’s key because this team has very little depth of quality.USC will have two extra days to prepare for this game.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread: USC Trojans-19. Virginia had last week’s game at home vs. Richmond marked on their calender all Summer long and played like it. They must nowtravel across country toface a team, who got ripped in the local media for how bad their pass defense played at Hawaii. Lane Kiffen had some “nice” words for his defense and I think they will respond tonight with a much better effort at home. Lay the wood with USC!
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