Cal vs. USC fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Game Time: 10:30 ET
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial, Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Cal (5-4) vs. USC (5-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Cal Will Win
USC just can’t do enough to help itself out.
There’s not enough of a running game, JT Daniels is still working his way through his freshman season, and the defense isn’t doing its part against the decent offenses.
The Trojans are getting hammered hard by penalties – they commit more than anyone else in the conference – and they really, really don’t take the ball away.
There hasn’t been an interception in any of the last three games, and there have been just seven takeaways on the year.
It’s not like Cal has some explosive offense that has to be stopped with takeaways. but now that the offense has settled back in with Chase Garbers at quarterback, the turnovers have stopped.
Meanwhile, the defense has cranked it up a few notches with a few terrific performances over the last few weeks, holding Oregon State, Washington and Washington State to under 20 points each.
One Reason Why USC Will Win
Yeah, that Cal offense … it’s not really working.
It gets yards and it’s able to move the ball, but it’s a slow-and-go attack that’s built to hang on to the ball for long periods of time. It’s not explosive, and it’s not great at keeping up the pace with anyone who can get up early.
The formula is to rely on the defense to keep games close, pound away a bit with the ground game, and score when the chances are there.
But there haven’t been enough easy chances.
The Bears put up 49 points on Oregon State – who doesn’t? – but they scored 17 points or fewer in four of the last five games. As soon as they have to press with the passing game, there are problems.
The Trojans have a slew of issues, but they’re able to score. At home, if they get up early, they shouldn’t have any issues holding down this punchless attack.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s been a while since JT Daniels had a decent game – he hasn’t been healthy – but he’ll manages to keep the chains moving, the running game will be decent enough, and it’ll be a serviceable game overall in desperation mode.
USC is in a weird spot. It needs a win to get bowl eligible, Clay Helton is on a hot seat, and it’s going to need some help, but … it’s still in the race for the Pac-12 South title.
It’ll get the job this week with a good day from the D.
Fearless Prediction & Line
USC 24, Cal 17
Line: USC -5, o/u: 48
ATS Confidence out of 5: 4
Must See Rating: 3
5: Watergate (on History Channel)
1: 52nd CMA Awards