USC at Utah - 9/23/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
USC Trojans (1-2) at Utah Utes (3-0)
College Football: Friday, September 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
The Line: Utah Utes -3 -- Over/Under: 46.5 See the Latest Odds
The USC Trojans and Utah Utes clash in a key Pac-12 matchup Friday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium on FS1.
The USC Trojans are in need of a big road victory after a rough 1-2 start to the season. Sam Darnold is completing 63.6 percent of his passes for 136 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Darnold replaces Max Browne and enters this game with just 22 career pass attempts. Darreus Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster have combined for 252 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Deontay Burnett has 10 receptions. The USC Trojans ground game is averaging 119.6 yards per contest, and Justin Davis leads the way with 135 yards on 37 carries. Defensively, USC is allowing 28.7 points and 374 yards per game. Cameron Smith leads the Trojans with 28 tackles, Porter Gustin has two sacks and Leon McQuay III has one interception.
USA TODAY Sports
The Utah Utes look to remain unbeaten on the season by winning their ninth home game in their last 10 tries. Troy Williams is completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 723 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Williams has four touchdown passes on 122 career pass attempts. Tim Patrick and Raelon Singleton have combined for 383 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Tyrone Smith has five receptions. The Utah Utes ground game is averaging 169.3 yards per contest, and Troy McCormick leads the way with 178 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Utah is allowing 12 points and 263.7 yards per game. Cody Barton leads the Utes with 22 tackles, Hunter Dimick has three sacks and Sunia Tauteoli has two interceptions.
The Trojans are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Utes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Utah doesn't lose many games at home and still has one of the top defenses in the country. The Utes don't give up anything easy and are second in the country with 15 sacks. Only Florida has more. I find it tough backing a freshman quarterback in Darnold who has never seen anything like what he's about to see in Utah. The Utes don't play a flashy style of football and don't have the pure atheltes that USC has, but they're better coached and play a physical style the Trojans can't match.
Utah should have little trouble grinding out another victory.