Trojans vs Wildcats NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping
The USC Trojans seemingly lost their BCS title hopes when they lost to Stanford in their third matchup of the season, but in college football, it’s better to lose early than to lose late, and they’re making a push for national attention in the second half of the year.
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No. 9 USC Trojans (6-1) vs Arizona Wildcats (4-3)
Saturday October 27, 2012
Arizona Stadium, TUSCAN, AZ
3:30 PM ET
Moneyline: USC -250, Arizona +210 from JustBet.cx
Spread: USC -6.5
Arizona has disappointed after their 3-0 start, but a strong showing last week against the Washington Huskies puts them back on the better side of .500.
The USC Trojans are coming off a dominant performance against Colorado where they routed the Buffaloes 50-6. Quarterback Matt Barkley had a record-setting night with his 19-of-20 completions, 298 yards and six touchdowns.
The senior is now the all-time leading passing scorer in USC history, but he’s not looking to get complacent with Arizona ahead.
The Trojans are a good defensive team, having allowed just 16.7 points per game this season (18th in the country), so it’s a bizarre phenomenon how horrible they are at defending the pass.
The team ranks just 11th in the Pac-12 in pass defense, and going up against an Arizona offense that is fifth in the nation in passing yards could spell trouble if they don’t duplicate their triumph from week eight.
On the defensive side, linebacker Dion Bailey needs to keep his success coming. He has four interceptions on the year and averages more than six tackles per contest.
He and defensive end Morgan Breslin will be looking to swallow up the Arizona backfield on Saturday. Offensively, it comes down to Barkley and running back Silas Redd. If Barkley is rolling, his receivers will follow suit.
However, if Redd can carry the load, it will take the pressure off of Barkley to make plays happen late if need be.
As bad as USC has been defending the pass—and Arizona should, and will, look to take advantage—the Wildcats are going to need a balanced attack this weekend. Running back Ka’Deem Carey is having a great season, but he is often overlooked by those infatuated with the Wildcats’ passing game.
Carey has 11 touchdowns on the year, so establishing the run early will make it easier to attack the Trojans’ secondary late.
Arizona posted 533 total yards against the Washington Huskies last week, and similar production is going to be necessary against a USC team that averages 34.9 points per game.
USC ran a no-huddle offense against Colorado last week, but while it may have caught the Buffaloes off guard, Arizona’s pace is already fast and ready to run. Home-field advantage is going to be huge in this contest, and getting the crowd into it early could help frazzle the Trojans.
When it’s all said and done, this may be one of the more exciting games of the weekend.
Both teams can score, and both teams have the potential to remain balanced in their offensive attack.
The difference will be in the two defenses on the field, and when that’s the case, USC has the advantage over Arizona.
- Over is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 games on grass.
- Over is 7-1 in Wildcats last 8 games in October.
- Over is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 home games.
- Over is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 games overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
O/U Pick: Over 65.5
Score Prediction: USC 38 – Arizona 30