Utah (4-1, 1-1) at Southern California (5-1, 3-1)
When: Saturday, October 14th 2017
Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: Southern Cal -13/53.5
The Utah Utes and Southern California Trojans are two of five teams in the Pac-12 South that have just one loss, so one of these teams will be in good shape by pulling out a win on Saturday night at the L.A. Coliseum. The Utes suffered their first loss of the season last week to Stanford and dropped out of the Top 25, while, while the Trojans bounced back from their only defeat two weeks ago against No. 8 Washington State by defeating lowly Oregon State on Saturday. Quarterback Troy Williams led Utah to nine wins last season, including a 31-27 victory against visiting USC, but he lost the starting job this season to sophomore Tyler Huntley. Williams could be back under center as Huntley hasn’t played since suffering a shoulder injury against Arizona on September 22nd. Williams was back in the starting lineup last weekend against Stanford, but was intercepted twice late in the game to spoil the comeback, and coach Kyle Whittingham wasn’t ready to commit to a starter against the Trojans earlier this week. USC has also been fighting through injuries, particularly at wide receiver and the offensive line, but key players are beginning to filter back into the lineup. USC’s offense is still all about quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II. Darnold, who made his first career start against the Utes last season, has not had the Heisman-type season many experts predicted, but is still been solid. The Trojans have won seven in a row at home against the Utes since its last loss in 1916.
Utah’s strength is in it’s defense, ranked 21st in the nation in total yards (313.2) and 20th against the run (108.0) led by linebacker Sunia Tauteoli, who recorded 11 tackles (3.5 for loss) in last week’s loss to Stanford. Stanford running back Bryce Love rushed for 152 yards against Utah last week, averaging 7.6 yards a carry, but even those were seasons lows. Special teams is also a strong part of the Utes game as they lead the nation with 16 field goals and an average of 44.75 net punting yards. Utah will be home to Arizona State next week.
Leading receiver Deontay Burnett practiced lightly on Tuesday after leaving the game Saturday with a toe injury, the second time this season he has been slowed by injury, and hopes to play on Saturday. Second-leading receiver Stephen Mitchell Jr. returned last week after missing two games with a groin injury, but Jalen Greene has remained sidelined the past two games with a concussion, another reason USC burned the redshirt year of freshmen wide receiver Randal Grimes against Oregon State. Darnold has already matched his nine interception total of last year and his completion percentage is down from 67.2% to 64.8%. The Trojans will have their annual battle with Notre Dame next week in South Bend.
The Trojans may have only one loss, but they’re not playing as dominant as they could be. Darnold hasn’t been spectacular, but that can be attributed to the injury-plagued receiving corps. Utah plays well enough defense to keep them in this game. I’ll take the points in this one.
Pick: Utah +13
- Utes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Utes are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Utes are 4-0-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Utes are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
- Utes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- Utes are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Utes are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
- Trojans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Trojans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Trojans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Trojans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in October.
- Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Under is 4-0 in Utes last 4 games on grass.
- Under is 4-0 in Utes last 4 conference games.
- Under is 7-1 in Utes last 8 games overall.
- Under is 19-7-1 in Utes last 27 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 5-2 in Utes last 7 games following a straight up loss.
- Under is 5-2 in Utes last 7 road games.
- Over is 7-3 in Utes last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 23-10-1 in Utes last 34 games in October.
- Under is 4-0 in Trojans last 4 games overall.
- Under is 6-0 in Trojans last 6 games in October.
- Under is 6-1 in Trojans last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Under is 4-1 in Trojans last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Under is 10-3 in Trojans last 13 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 6-2 in Trojans last 8 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 9-3 in Trojans last 12 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 11-4 in Trojans last 15 games on grass.
- Over is 18-7-2 in Trojans last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 5-2 in Trojans last 7 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 7-3 in Trojans last 10 home games.
- Under is 34-15-2 in Trojans last 51 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 34-16-1 in Trojans last 51 conference games.
- Home team is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.