Friday Night Football Fever - Pac-12 Clash Might Feature Upset

Washington State

Doug Upstone

Thursday, September 28, 2017 8:46 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017 8:46 PM GMT

Friday night college football occasionally has contests that are something more than crazed football bettors feeding addiction. This will definitely be the case for Pac-12 beauty on ESPN.

USC and Washington State are both 4-0 and ranked, with the Trojans in the 5th slot in the polls and the Cougars 16th. Martin Stadium in Pullman might sell out every other year when the Apple Cup war is played, otherwise, not very often. However, this game was sold out last week and the joint will be jumpin'!

The college football odds have Southern Cal as 3.5-point favorite with a total of 63.5. Here is a peak at what both teams need to do.

 

USC Wins and Cover By....

In looking the full scale picture, the Trojans had weaknesses coming into the season. The wide receivers had to be determined, the offensive line reconstructed and secondary rebuilt. Sometimes at places like USC, that can happen quickly and on occasion it takes more time. The latter has been true and thankfully Sam Darnold has been the quarterback. The Men of Troy still have significant size edge which should make the running game go and as long as Darnold does not too greedy with passes, the passing game will be fine unless there are turnovers. As we saw in second half at Cal, USC unleashed its stable of pass rushers. That could be large conundrum for Washington State since they have already given up 17 sacks. Lastly, the Cougs have not faced anyone of USC's caliber.

 

Washington State Covers and Possibly Pulls Upset By....

If the Cougars O-Line can give QB Luke Falk time to throw, he has the weapons to carve up Trojans secondary like having a complete set of Chicago Cutlery. Falk has a complete grasp of coach Mike Leach's offense and can at any time check to running play based on what he sees in the box or a possible overload blitz, which USC likes to run. The Washington State defense is not domineering, however, has more talent than most presume. The linebackers will have to help in the run game and the secondary has playmakers, which matters because Darnold has averaged four to five passes a game this season that could be picked off. Maintaining poise and executing gives Wazzo a shot for upset.

 

Outcome and What To Look For

For college football picks, USC has the more talented team, but Washington State grew up last year and played in big games and learned from that experience. I cannot overlook the Cougars are 9-3 ATS as home underdogs of late or the fact the Trojans are 3-9 ATS away from home. Plus, I have a deeper system on them and without boring you with the details, the Men of Troy have failed to cover in this situation nine straight times! The Cougs cover and might engineer upset.

Free Football Pick: Washington State +3.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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