Fresno State Bulldogs (0-0) at Southern Cal Trojans (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday August 30, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Southern Cal Trojans -22 -- Over/Under: 55
The USC Trojans and the Fresno State Bulldogs face off on Saturday in a week one college football matchup.
The USC Trojans enter the season with a new Head Coach as Steve Sarkisian returns to where he was a National Championship contender and winner as the offensive coordinator during the Pete Carroll era. While some see the value of Sarkisian he wasn’t all that popular of a choice as Ed Orgeron turned the team around last season and wanted the job and there were other top candidates available. Cody Kessler is back at QB but it is a new offense. Nelson Agholor is a preseason All American at WR and Javorius Allen looks to be a star at running back. The O-Line returns the left side but they are still a question mark. Defensively Leonard Williams is one of he best overall players in the nation at any position and he will make the whole DL better. Hayes Pullard is a solid tackler at LB and Su’a Cravens and the rest of the secondary are very talented. Talent isn’t an issue at USC but with Sarkisian calling the plays on offense it should be interesting to see how he holds up under the microscope since he didn’t exactly build a powerhouse at Washington.
The Fresno State Bulldogs lost their final game last season to this same USC team in the Las Vegas Bowl and they will be out for revenge here. Derek Carr is gone and the new starting QB hasn’t been named but Brandon Connette appears to have the inside track as he has a ton of experience after transferring in from Duke. Josh Harper had a monster year at WR last season and he is back but recovering from injury. Fresno State is a pass first team and Marteze Waller and Josh Quezada split time a year ago but there could be others in the mix here as well. Eight starters return on defense for Fresno State led by safety Derron Smith who was all MWC last year and who is the leader in career interceptions among active FBS players with 14. Ejiro Enderine gets after the passer and into the backfield and is a play disrupter from the LB spot and Tyeler Davison is the best of the linemen. This is one of three tough games in a row for FSU as they follow it with games at Utah and at home against Nebraska.
USC is 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games, 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games, and 2-7 against the spread in their last nine non-conference games. Fresno State is 13-6 against the spread in their last 19 road games, 2-6 against the spread against the Pac-12, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five non-conference games.
I expect to see scoring as they both run no huddle offenses so my free pick is going to be on the over which just looks way too low. I also have a strong pick on who will cover the point spread and I will post that in the Premium Area as well as on the App.
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