USC vs. Texas - 9/16/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Texas Longhorns (1-1) at USC Trojans (2-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)
The Line: USC Trojans -14 -- Over/Under: 67 See the Latest Odds
TV: FOX; Fox Sports Go
The Texas Longhorns will travel to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to take on the 4th ranked USC Trojans this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Texas Longhorns improved to 1-1 on the season after defeating San Jose State Spartans, 56-0, this past Saturday. Texas dominated on both sides of the football throughout the entire game and had no trouble cruising to victory after taking a 21-0 halftime lead. The Longhorns outgained the Spartans by a 623-171 margin and won the turnover battle by a 2-0 margin. Leading the way for Texas was RB Chris Warren III who had 2 TD and 166 rushing yards on 16 carries. On the season, the Longhorns are averaging 48.5 ppg on 548.0 total yards per game (296 passing yds/g; 252 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Texas is led by RB Chris Warren III who had 2 TD’s on the season and is averaging 98.0 yds/g on 11.0 att/g. Freshman QB Sam Ehlinger played well in his first career start (55.6 comp %, 220 yards, TD) as he replaced starter Shane Buechele (65.4 comp %, 2 TD, INT, 375 yards) who was out due to a bruised throwing shoulder. Buechele is going to give it a go at practice this week, but is still questionable for Saturday’s game. Texas has a stable of talented WR's in Collin Johnson (4.5 rec/g, 87.5 yds/g, TD), Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (5.0 rec/g, 58.0 yds/g), and Armanti Foreman (5.0 rec/g, 54.0 yds/g, 2 TD). Defensively, Texas is holding their opponents to an average of 25.5 ppg on 326.5 total yards per game (174 passing yds/g; 152.5 rushing yds/g). The Longhorns have forced 3 turnovers so far in the season and have a turnover margin of +1.
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The 4th ranked USC Trojans improved to 2-0 on the season after defeating the Stanford Cardinals, 42-24, this past Saturday. USC dominated on the offensive end in the victory and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 35-17 lead with 9:42 left to play in the 4th quarter. Leading the way for the Trojans was Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Sam Darnold who completed 21 of 26 passes for 316 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INT. On the season, USC is averaging 45.5 ppg on 572 total yards per game (302.5 passing yds/g; 269.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, the Trojans are led by QB Sam Darnold who has completed 74.6% of his passes on the season for 4 TD and 4 INT while averaging 302.5 passing yds/g. Darnold’s main targets on the receiving end have been Deontay Burnett (8 rec/g, 131.5 yds/g, 2 TD) and Steven Mitchell Jr. (4 rec/g, 66.5 yds/g, 2 TD). The RB duo of Ronald Jones II (20.5 att/g, 137.5 yds/g, 5 TD) and Stephen Carr (9.0 att/g, 137.5 yds/g, 2 TD) lead the Trojans backfield. Defensively, USC is holding their opponents to an average of 27.5 ppg on 349.5 total yards per game (133 passing yds/g; 216.5 rushing yds/g). The Trojans have forced 1 turnover on the season and have a turnover margin of –3.
The Longhorns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Pac-12 opponents however, are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Trojans are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Texas had a nice bounce back victory after their embarrassing opening season loss at home against Maryland, however, it’s important not to read too much into a victory over the Spartans who are projected to finished last in the Mountain West this season and will have trouble all season keeping opponents under 45-50 points. USC and Sam Darnold also struggled in their season opener, but looked like a national title contender against Stanford as their offense looked almost unbeatable. Texas is heading in the right direction under Tom Herman, however, this is a defense that was scorched for 51 points at home against Maryland and as I think USC will have no trouble putting up similar offense numbers as they did against Stanford, I think USC wins this one by 3 TD’s and covers.