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USC Trojans vs. BYU Cougars Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 9-14-2019
On Saturday afternoon, the USC Trojans and BYU Cougars will do battle in this PAC-12 Conference vs. Independents Conference matchup. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM ET.
Television-wise, the matchup will be broadcast on ABC.
Trojans Looking To Build Off of Stanford Win
The USC Trojans are ranked 24th in the college football rankings. They had an emotional win in Week 1 against Fresno State. They managed to still win the game after their quarterback J.T. Daniels went down with a season ending knee injury. Then they surprised everyone with an amazing 45-20 win against their rival Stanford and took the Cardinal ranking away. After a close first half, the Trojans shutdown the Cardinal offense and won the second half 21-0. Quarterback Kedon Slovis was near perfect, going 28 for 33, for 377 yards, and three touchdowns. Also, wide receiver Tyler Vaughns did a lot of damage with five catches, for 106 yards.
The Trojans beat the Cardinal last week because of the dynamic offense, huge stops on defense, and some big plays from special teams. The defense only allowed 98 Stanford rushing yards and this team usually knows how to rush well. They had three guys get over 80 receiving yards and that is amazing depth right there. BYU will have a tough time trying to guard all those weapons. Also, a lot of these Trojans are putting up numbers that are leading the nation right now and that consistency will probably go up. USC will need to get the rushing game going a little more, when and if the passing production goes down.
Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell had this to say about Slovis in last weeks win: “That’s what I expected him to do,” Harrell said. “I’ve told you since the beginning, he’s special, and we have a lot of confidence in him. And we put him in there. That’s what we expected him to do. He did his job and did it well.
Cougars ready for showdown with another PAC-12 Team
The BYU Cougars are have an interesting start to the season. They had kind of a blowout loss to Utah in Week 1. Then they responded with an impressive 29-26 overtime win over a good Tennessee team. It was a complete grind fest, that was full of back and forth field goals and touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Wilson went 19 for 29, for 232 yards, and one touchdown. Micah Simon led the way on offense with seven catches, for 127 yards. This type over time win will bring the Cougars a lot of confidence going into another PAC-12 matchup.
BYU will need to control the pass rush in this game. They didn’t do well with the pass rush in the first two games and they were able to still get one win. Simon put up career numbers last week and he made need to do the same this week. The Cougars haven’t looked good for a full 60 minutes, but they played well enough against Tennessee and showed that they are a team that can hang around. The offense is on and off at times, but the defense shows that they are capable to get the big stops. Also, scoring a touchdown in the first half may help as well. BYU has enjoyed some halftime deficits because of just relying on the field goals.
Cougar coach Kalani Sitake will be ready to counter the USC game plan.“I’m familiar with it because it was the offense we ran when I was at BYU. So a lot of the concepts and schemes carry over from when I played here under Norm Chow and LaVell Edwards. Looking at the concepts, you still have the same execution and all that still matters. It’s such a unique offense and there are a lot of different ways to attack it. They have a lot of ways they can counter as well, so it’s going to be a good matchup and we’re looking forward to it.”
- Trojans are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Trojans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This matchup will have two of the same offensive playing styles going at it. USC loves doing the big plays out of nowhere. They know they have talent out there and they expect to get the big gain of yardage. USC is also good at forcing turnovers.
BYU isn’t as electric as USC is with their plays. However, their defense looked strong in overtime last week and maybe that aggressiveness will carry over to this weeks game. Also, the BYU fans are pretty loud and it’s not easy to play there.
Prediction: USC Trojans -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both these teams moved the ball very well last week and the same will go down this week. Wilson will need to match Slovis from the start. If not, it will be field goals again for BYU and a two touchdown lead for USC.
BYU is kind of a mystery right now with what they have shown so far this season. One quarter they look like the game is slipping away and then they lock it down, and slowly come back. Meanwhile, USC has led or just stayed in the game and broken away. They feel like they can win each week right now and that is a tough mindset to take down. The receivers will be the difference for both teams again this week and USC wins 38-24.
Prediction: Over 55