USC Trojans (8-6) at Alabama Crimson Tide (14-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 3, 2016, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -10.5 -- Over/Under: 54
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the USC Trojans face off on Saturday in Arlington Texas as they kick off their 2016 college football seasons.
The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide once again have a team that is loaded with talent but once again they have a lot of starters to replace with many members of last year’s team leaving for the NFL. Cooper Bateman appears to be the next QB fro Alabama but if for some reason he stumbles David Cornwell is a capable and highly regarded QB as well. Running back Bo Scarbrough is regarded as the next great one for the Crimson Tide after losing both of their top ground gainers from last season. Alabama’s receivers are some of the best in the nation with Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart. Jonathan Allen is back for Alabama on the defensive line as is ball hawking safety Eddie Jackson. Rueben Foster is the lone Crimson Tide returning starter at linebacker but they have a ton of talent here as well. Alabama has holes to fill but they should be tough customers once again this season.
The USC Trojans are once again loaded with talent and are looking to have a resurgent season. Moving in at QB for Southern Cal is Max Browne who was a former high school National Player of the Year who has been waiting his turn that has finally come. Justin Davis is back at running back for the Trojans where he averaged 5.3 yards per carry as is Ronald Jones who averaged 6.5 yards per carry. USC returns it’s entire starting offensive line and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers who are both play makers. The Trojans are thin on the defensive line but they are hoping Noah Jefferson can step up as Raheem Green. USC linebacker Cameron Smith was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and the entire secondary returns and Adoree’ Jackson should be a leader at cornerback. While USC has been out of the conversation as far as contenders go, they definitely have enough talent to surprise some teams.
Alabama is 3-11-1 against the spread in their last 15 non-conference games, 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games, and 3-9 against the spread in September. USC is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games, 1-5 against the spread in their last six neutral site games, and 4-1 against the spread in September.
Alabama lost a ton of last season’s team and I expect them to start slow and this game is going to be a lot closer than most people think.