Arizona State vs. USC fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 27
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Arizona State (3-4) vs. USC (4-3) Game Preview
One Reason Why Arizona State Will Win
JT Daniels wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but this year is about getting his feet wet as he grows into the starting job. He’s had his moments, but he struggled against Colorado, and then was lousy against Utah before getting knocked out of the game with a concussion.
And now, the passing game appears to be in the hands of Sears, who got in plenty of work this offseason before Daniels was able to join the team, but he’s coming in cold against an ASU team with one of the Pac-12’s most fearsome pass rushes.
As is, USC is having a hard time moving the chains, doesn’t have a steady enough running game to take the pressure off of Sears, and it isn’t wining the turnover margin.
The Trojans were a +1 in takeaways in the opener against UNLV, and hasn’t been on the right side of the turnover margin since. It needs a few breaks to jumpstart the team after last week’s issues against the Utes.
One Reason Why USC Will Win
For whatever reason, USC is 3-0 at home, and after the Utah loss, 1-3 on the road. It’s not like the home field advantage in the Coliseum is that daunting, and yeah, it has something to do with playing Stanford, Texas, and Utah on the road.
But this is at home, and it plays well there.
Losers of four the last five games – and with the lone win coming against lowly Oregon State – ASU hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t been able to figure out how to pull off a good win since the brilliant performance against Michigan State.
The lack of a running game has something to do with it.
It wasn’t able to run the ball against the Spartans, but when ASU rumbled at will against UTSA and Oregon State, there wasn’t a problem controlling the game and putting up points.
The ground game is mediocre? The offense gets destroyed in the time of possession battle and the passing game hasn’t been able to pull off wins.
USC got lit up by the UNLV running game in the opener, but since then, it’s 3-0 when holding ground games to under 150 yards – allowing fewer than 100 in all three of those games – and 0-3 when giving up more.
ASU has been held to under 150 rushing yards four times so far.
What’s Going To Happen
Sears will be fine.
He’s not going to go off and be Carson Palmer all of a sudden, but he’ll be effective enough to overcome yet another mediocre day from the offensive line and the running game.
This one will be on the D. It’s not going to do anything fancy, but it’ll come up with just enough stops in the backfield to stuff ASU’s sputtering ground attack and keep Manny Wilkins from bombing away.
This won’t be a thing of beauty, but for now, the Trojans will take it.
Fearless Prediction & Line
USC 26, Arizona State 21
Line: USC -4, o/u: 54.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 3
5: Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror
1: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown