USC vs. Washington State - 9/21/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USC vs. Washington State - 9/21/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State Cougars (3-0) at USC Trojans (1-2)

College Football: Friday, September 21, 2018 at 10:30 pm (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)

The Line: USC Trojans -5.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Washington State Cougars will travel to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to take on the USC Trojans this Friday night in College Football action.

The Washington State Cougars improved to 3-0 (0-0 Pac-12) on the season after easily defeating the FCS Eastern Washington Eagles, 59-24, this past Saturday. Washington State led by just a 35-24 margin heading into the 4th quarter, however, was able to pull away from the Eagles after scoring 24 unanswered points to finish out the game. Washington State outgained Eastern Washington by a 565-372 margin and won the turnover battle by a 4-0 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was QB Gardner Minshew who completed 45 of 57 passes for 470 yards and 2 TD’s. Offensively, Washington State is averaging 43.7 ppg on 501.0 total yards per game (421.0 passing yds/g; 80.0 rushing yds/g). Leading the way for the Cougars offense has been QB Gardner Minshew who has completed 70.9% of his passes for 8 TD & 3 INT while averaging 401.0 passing yards/g. The main targets for Minshew and the Cougars have been Davontavean Martin (8.0 rec/g; 96.7 yds/g; 3 TD), Jamire Calvin (5.0 rec/g; 62.7 yds/g), Dezmon Patmon (4.3 rec/g; 60.0 yds/g), and Easop Winston Jr. (4.0 rec/g; 23 yds/g; 2 TD). Leading the way for the Washington State backfield has been James Williams who has 4 rushing TD’s while averaging 45.7 rushing yds/g on 10.7 att/g. Williams has also factored into the passing game as he has 2 receiving TD’s on the season while averaging 42.3 receiving yds/g on 6.0 rec/g. Defensively, Washington State is holding their opponents to an average of 14.3 ppg on 231.3 total yards per game (132.7 passing yds/g; 98.7 rushing yds/g).

The USC Trojans lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 1-2 (0-1 Pac-12) on the season after being defeated by the Texas Longhorns, 37-14, this past Saturday. USC raced out to a quick 14-3 lead, however allowed Texas to score 34-unanswered points as the Trojans struggled to put offensive after the 1st quarter. USC  was outgained by the Longhorns by a 394-317 margin and allowed Texas to convert 25 first downs in the loss. Leading the way for the Trojans was WR Amon-Ra St. Brown who had 167 receiving yards on 9 receptions. Offensively, USC is averaging 20.0 ppg on 383.3 total yards per game (274.0 passing yds/g; 109.3 rushing yds/g). On the season, the Trojans offense has been led by WR Amon-Ra St. Brown as he has a TD on the season while averaging 101.3 receiving yds/g on 6.0 rec/g. Also contributing at the receiver position has been Tyler Vaughns (4.7 rec/g; 52.3 yds/g) and Michael Pittman (2.7 rec/g; 39.0 yds/g). QB JT Daniels has completed 57.3 % of his passes for 0 TD & 1 INT while averaging 273.0 passing yds/g. Leading the way for the Trojans back field has been Aca’Cedric Ware (10.7 att/g; 55.7 yds/g; TD), Stephen Carr (8.3 att/g; 39.7 yds/g; TD), and Vavae Malepeai (4.3 att/g; 22.7 yds/g; 3 TD). Defensively, USC is allowing their opponents to average 380.3 total yards per game (171.3 passing yds/g; 209.0 rushing yds/g).

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The Cougars are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Trojans are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games following a straight up loss however, are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.

Washington State will open their Pac-12 season with a tough game on the road, however, even though its been agianst weaker competition, the Cougars passing game looks like it’s not going to miss a beat with the former East Carolina QB, Gardner Minshew at the helm of Mike Leach’s passing attack. USC has had tough back to back weeks with road games at Stanford and Texas and although it’s been a struggle for the Trojans, it’s clear that once their young offense gets on the same page, they’ll be very dangerous. USC should be able to put together a better performance at home however, this is a Washington State team that was able to upset the Trojans last year at home and as I think the passing attack will be able to put up some points on the road, I’m taking the Cougars and the points in this one.  

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Brett’s Pick Washington State Cougars +5.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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