Check out the USC vs. California fearless prediction and game preview.
USC (4-3) vs. California (4-3) Game Preview
Date: Thursday, Oct. 29
Game Time: 10:30 pm
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
One team is 4-3 with two Pac-12 losses, and it’s deep in the hunt for the conference title, and the other is 4-3 with two Pac-12 loss and is almost out of the hunt.
Cal isn’t able to play a boring game.
Five of the last six games have been decided by a touchdown or less, and the last two games – a loss to Oregon State followed up by a win over Oregon – both in overtime.
But now things get dicey with the toughest part of the schedule kicking in with road games at USC and Washington State wrapped around Washington, and with Stanford and UCLA to finish things up.
Forget the Pac-12 title; it’s going to be a fight just to win two of these last five games to get bowl eligible.
While Cal has a ton of work to do, even with a loss to Utah, USC is right there in the fight for the South with Oregon up next and road games at Washington and UCLA to finish up the Pac-12 season. It won’t be easy, and they’ll need help, but the Trojans are peaking at just the right time.
The offense started to kick it in with Sam Darnold at quarterback, and the defense has been terrific ever since giving up the late game-losing score to the Utes, holding its own against Arizona State and Colorado before throttling Arizona.
Can the secondary hold up against Davis Webb and the Cal passing attack?
Webb kept the production going even without star WR Chad Hansen, who’s still hurting with an ankle injury, getting help against Oregon from Khalfani Muhammad and Tre Watson, who combined for over 300 rushing yards last week. They’ll have a much, much harder time against the USC defensive front, but Webb will once again be an X factor – he’ll keep on bombing.
The Trojans haven’t allowed more than 275 passing yards this year, and Cal can’t win if Webb isn’t blowing past the 300-yard mark. Meanwhile, even with a banged up JuJu Smith-Schuster, the USC passing attack shouldn’t have a problem thanks to the red hot Darnold.
One of the hottest quarterbacks in college football, Darnold followed up two big 350+ yard days with a 235-yard, five-score performance against Arizona. And now he’ll keep it going.
USC blew away the Wildcats last week in Tucson, but it’s a different team at home. The defense will be just good enough, while Darnold will be deadly against a Bear secondary that gave up six touchdown passes to Oregon’s Justin Hebert last week.
It’s sort of crazy considering who it is, but USC is quietly getting really, really good. It’ll show on Friday night – it’ll be worth staying up for.
USC vs. California Prediction
Final Score: USC 41, California 27
Line: USC -16, o/u: 75
ATS Confidence: 5: Trump in Alabama – 1: Trump in New York … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Bad Santa 2 – 1: 2016 NFL … 3