USC vs. Western Michigan Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the USC vs. Western Michigan fearless prediction and game preview.
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Game Time: 5:15 pm ET
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Network: Pac-12 Network
USC (0-0) vs. Western Michigan (0-0) Game Preview
This would’ve been a fun play-in sort of a matchup for a bigger, expanded 2016 season College Football Playoff.
No one was hotter than USC over the second half of last season, and now it translated into a preseason top four ranking, hype of the hot quarterback in Sam Darnold who’s auditioning for the New York Jets, and the expectations set at a USC-level again.
Win the Pac-12, get to the College Football Playoff, or you’ve failed.
Meanwhile, Western Michigan was the real deal last season and would’ve given the Trojans a decent fight. But now, of course, it’s a different year with a vastly different Bronco team after losing head coach P.J. Fleck to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and with the pass-catch combination of Zach Terrell-to-Corey Davis also done.
Even so, there’s talent on both side of the ball for the defending MAC champs, and for a Trojan team that might just be looking ahead to Texas and Stanford, there’s a puncher’s chance that this could turn into a trap.
One Reason Why Western Michigan Will Win
There might be some key parts missing from last year’s juggernaut, but the running game will still be fantastic.
The Broncos get back a terrific offensive line with a few all-stars and a potential pro prospect in OT Chukwuma Okaroafor. The running back tandem of Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan only seem like they’ve been in the Western Michigan backfield since the playing days of John Offerdahl.
It’s not totally insane to suggest that this might be among the best running back tandems the Trojans will face all year.
Throw that in with a loaded defense full of big-time tacklers, and a dangerous return man in Darius Phillips, and USC can’t just phone this in. However …
One Reason Why USC Will Win
The Western Michigan run defense could be the Achilles’ heel.
Just okay last season, now the defense front has to go through a bit of an overhaul after struggling to generate a great pass rush and getting pounded on a bit too easily by the better running teams.
USC might have a concern with an O line that loses three fantastic all-star starters, but it’s absurdly deep at running back. The Trojan runners should come at the Broncos in waves. It might be easy to always rely on Darnold to carry the offense, this might be a warm-up moment for the front five to find its lather.
How do you get a relatively untested offensive line going? Have it line up and blast away.
What’s Going To Happen
This might not be the spectacular game USC fans are hoping for right out of the gate – but it’ll get there.
Western Michigan will be game for about a half. It’ll come up with a few nice scoring drives, and the defense will keep finding ways to get off the field. But Darnold will connect on a few big home runs, and then the running game will take over as the Trojans methodically pound their way to a good win.
Even if it is over a MAC team.
USC vs. Western Michigan Prediction
Final Score: USC 41, Western Michigan 17
Line: USC -28 o/u: 58
5: Dustin Johnson playoff drive – 1: McGregor’s boxing skills … 2.5
Must See Rating
5: Logan Lucky – 1: Mayweather-McGregor rematch … 3