NCAAF Free Pick: Texas Stays Inside Spread at Southern California

Texas Longhorns

Willie Bee

Thursday, September 14, 2017 2:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017 2:35 PM GMT

Nearly a dozen years after their epic 2006 Rose Bowl, the Texas Longhorns and USC collide once again with the Trojans favored by more than two TDs on the NCAA football odds.

Texas Longhorns vs USC Trojans

A lot of undies belonging to Texas Longhorns have become wadded this week after the USC Trojans released their game notes without any mention of the 2006 Rose Bowl matchup. Southern Cal was forced to vacate all records of their 2005 season by the NCAA, including that exciting contest that Texas won for the BCS Championship.

Some 11 years and nine-plus months after that battle, the ‘Horns and Trojans are finally getting together again when they collide at the LA Coliseum this Saturday, FOX televising the 8:30 PM (ET) kickoff. If Texas is going to take it again, it’ll be an even bigger upset than the 2006 title tilt as USC is giving up 16½ at Bookmaker where the total is 67.

 

Freshman Might Have To Handle QB Chores For Longhorns

After being upset at home by Maryland in their season opener, the Longhorns rebounded with a 56-0 shellacking of San Jose State. Texas dominated the Spartans in every phase, turning a 21-0 lead at intermission into a rout behind a rushing attack that accounted for more than 400 yards and six scores. True freshman Sam Ehlinger was pressed into action for injured QB Shane Buechele and directed five scoring drives. Buechele remains questionable this week with his sore right shoulder, and tight end Garrette Gray is expected to miss the game with a knee injury.

Southern Cal put away a stubborn Western Michigan team late in its opener, and the Trojans were in another tight game early this past week against Stanford. Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold then took control to help USC ease to a 42-24 conference decision that was more than enough to cover a 3½ point spread on the NCAA football odds. Darnold passed for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns, but also had two picks for the second straight game and the USC defense was once again porous against the run. Among the injury concerns for the Trojans this week are defensive end starting Porter Gustin (shoulder) who is questionable.

 

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

The 2006 Rose Bowl was an instant classic, Vince Young leading the Longhorns to the 41-38 win and BCS title with a performance that still amazes. Southern Cal was the two-time defending national champ and featured Heisman winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. Texas was a touchdown underdog, and thanks to the two teams combining for 32 points in the final quarter, it got ‘over’ the 70 point total. The previous four meetings between the schools came in the 1950s and 1960s, USC winning each time.

The weatherman is calling for near-perfect conditions with plenty of sun, temps in the mid-70s for the 5:30 PM local time boot and just a hint of a breeze. As bad as Texas looked in its opener, and as much as I believe USC wins this one, the spread seems a little too high for me. Give me the Longhorns and the points for my free college football pick.

Free MLB Pick: Texas +16½ (-105)Best Line Offerd: at Heritage

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