Washington Huskies (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. No. 17 USC Trojans (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: October 8, 2015 9:00 PM EST
by WILSON, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UW +17/USC -17
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Washington Huskies will board their Alaska Airlines specially painted Jet this week and fly down to Southern California for a Pac 12 showdown. Well, this game use to be a showdown back in the day when the Huskies were a consistent powerhouse but lately theyve been anything but consistent. However, this all may change as Huskys Head Coach Chris Petersen is determined to return UW back to its days of glory and runs for National Championships. USC is looking strong with their only loss so far this season to the Stanford Cardinal 41-31. This contest will be a determining factor for both teams as they fight for that magic number of bowl eligible wins and for USC, a chance to still sneak into a significant bowl game New Years Day or beyond.
This contest has a lopsided matchup in particular with the QBs. USCs Senior QB Cody Kessler is one of the best in the country and he has already thrown for nearly 1300 yards in the first four games. Kessler also has 15 touchdown passes to go along with a 73 percent passing efficiency. Meanwhile, the Huskies line up Freshman QB Jake Browning behind center who has thrown for just under a 1000 yards and 5 TDs and 4 INTS. It is simply a freshman competing against a senior in a D1 NCAA football game which usually favors the upper classman. Browning is talented but he will be overmatched in this contest. Advantage USC.
USC leads UW in every category except points allowed per game, 17.5 to UWs 15.8, yards allowed, 410 to UWs 321, and pass yards allowed, 246 to UWs 216. All that considered, USC will still have the advantage in this game. The Trojans have more seasoned players and the QB matchup is the key to this game. Kessler will be at home where he plays best and coupled with a solid balanced attack between the run and the passthe Trojans will be tough to stop in the Coliseum.
Both UWs losses were to top 25 teams in then No.23 Boise State Broncos 16-13 and No. 24 California Bears 30-24. The Huskies two wins are over Sacramento State 49-0 and Utah State 31-17. A win this weekend would boost Washingtons confidence and program but it would be an unlikely outcome. USC really hasnt played anybody good outside of Stanford who beat them by 10 (although Ariz. St. looked good beating a banged up UCLA on Saturday). The Trojans hammered Arizona State 42-14, Idaho 59-9, and Arkansas State 55-6 with the lone loss being to Stanford. It wont be a blowout from then get go this weekend in LA, but it should go the Trojans way most of the game.
USC is 2-1 at home this season and Washington is 1-0 on the road. This will be a tough game for UW to win. They have a great coaching staff and some truly talented athletes but USC is stronger, faster, and just a better football team right now. Maybe in a year, the Huskies will be closer to where they want to be but this year they are learning. USC will teach the Huskies a thing or two on Thursday night in front of a National audience. Sure, Chris Petersen will have a solid game plan with a few tricks but it wont be enough to rip a hole in the Trojans (no pun intended).
USC leads the series versus Washington 51-28-4. This will be the Huskies first time facing their old head coach Steve Sarkisian since his abrupt departure for USC in 2013. Although I like Coach Petersens style and his ability to motivate players and prepare game plans, I do not see the Huskies stealing a win on the road at USC. The Trojans, led by fifth-year senior QB Cody Kessler, will be too much to handle for a still maturing Husky squad. I like the Trojans in this game 45-20. Luck to ya.
WILSONs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: USC minus the 17 points.
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