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Penn State vs. USC: Rose Bowl - 1/2/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USC Trojans (9-3) at Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)

College Football: Monday, January 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Rose Bowl)

The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions +7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The USC Trojans and Penn State Nittany Lions clash Monday afternoon in the college football Rose Bowl at the Rose Bowl on ESPN.

The USC Trojans look for their 10th victory of the season and their 10th bowl victory since the 2002 CFB season. The USC Trojans have 25 double-digit winning seasons. Sam Darnold is completing 68.1 percent of his passes for 2,633 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Darnold has two or more touchdown passes in eight straight games. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers have combined for 1,435 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns while Deontay Burnett has 43 receptions. The USC Trojans ground game is averaging 207.2 yards per contest, and Ronald Jones II leads the way with 1,027 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, USC is allowing 22.2 points and 359 yards per game. Cameron Smith leads the USC Trojans with 79 tackles, Porter Gustin has 5.5 sacks and Adoree' Jackson has four interceptions.

Penn State vs. USC: Rose Bowl - 1/2/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions look for their 12th victory of the season and their second bowl win under coach James Franklin. The Penn State Nittany Lions haven’t won 12 games since the 1994 CFB season. Trace McSorley is completing 57.5 percent of his passes for 3,360 yards, 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. McSorley has two or more touchdown passes in five of his last six games. Chris Godwin and Mike Gesicki have combined for 1,463 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns while DaeSean Hamilton has 34 receptions. The Penn State Nittany Lions ground game is averaging 168.8 yards per contest, and Saquon Barkley leads the way with 1,302 yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, Penn State is allowing 23.4 points and 352 yards per game. Marcus Allen leads the Penn State Nittany Lions with 101 tackles, Garrett Sickels has six sacks and Brandon Smith has two interceptions.

The Trojans are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win. The Nittany Lions are 5-0-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.

I get it, it's tough to turn down a free touchdown with Penn State considering the Nittany Lions are one of the hottest teams in the country and made a strong case to be a playoff team. However, USC is playing some great football as well and has the overall talent advantage at damn near every position in this contest. This is also pretty much a home game for the USC Trojans, and they've had a truckload of success playing in the Rose Bowl. With the way Darnold is playing quarterback and that improved USC defense, Penn State could get a dose of reality if its not careful.

This is a game USC could win by double digits.

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