Texas vs. Southern Cal, 9-16-2017 - Pick and Prediction
Written by: Brian Spaen
Texas Longhorns (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
vs USC Trojans (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, Sep 16th, 8:30 PM ET
Line: USC -17
TV/Live Stream: FOX, FOX Sports Go
Texas and USC battle at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. It’ll be the Trojans third consecutive home game, and they’ve already taken a huge step in reaching the postseason with a dominant win over Stanford last week. The Longhorns have a ways to go before even thinking about the playoff, but they were able to rebound against San Jose State.
SJSU no match for Texas in massive blowout
The Longhorns ended a four-game losing skid dating back to last season by trucking San Jose State 56-0. They were up 21-0 at the halftime break before slapping five more touchdowns onto the well-overmatched West Coast opponent. The defense was far better, limiting the Spartans to just 2-for-12 on third down attempts, 0-for-2 on fourth down, and 171 total yards. To put things in perspective, Texas gave up 51 points to Maryland and have given up 130 points total in their four losses. Shutting a team down like they did on Saturday, regardless of the quality of opponent, is a good feeling for that side of the ball.
On the offensive end, the team continued to churn out results with 623 total yards. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger completed 15-of-27 passes for 222 yards and had a touchdown. Throwing the ball was evenly distributed with three receivers getting 47 yards or more. Armanti Foreman led the way with 51 yards on five catches and had the lone touchdown reception. The other TDs were scored on the ground. Running back Chris Warren III paved the way with 166 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns.
USC makes big statement for playoff hopes
It’s been a long time since the Trojans have taken a loss. After suffering a low-scoring loss to Stanford one year ago at this time, they rebounded with a stunning, victorious 42-24 display. The offense converted a ridiculous 10-of-12 third down opportunities and notched 623 total yards to the then 14th-ranked team in the nation. Quarterback Sam Darnold completed 21-of-26 passes for nearly half those total yards (316) and had four touchdown throws. His only blemish was suffering two picks, but he certainly made up for his errors.
Deontay Burnett led the way with 121 yards on 9 catches and 2 of those TDs. Steven Mitchell Jr. complimented that with 94 yards on 4 receptions and the other two scores. Two running backs had over the century mark on the ground. Ronald Jones II had the bulk of the work with 23 carries for 116 yards and 2 TDs himself. However, Stephen Carr had the most rushing yards (119) on 11 carries. He also added an 18-yard catch to make his stat line look even better.
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after a SU win
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games
Texas certainly has the offense to keep up with USC, but can they slow them down defensively? Until we’ve seen this new squad under Tom Herman take on more teams with a pulse, it’s hard to bet against the Trojans at home — even with a point spread this large.
Pick: USC -17
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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