Utah State vs. Southern Cal
The fans at Utah State can be thankful that while former head coach Gary Anderson bolted for Wisconsin, he didn’t leave the cupboard bare. Led by mobile quarterback Chuckie Keeton, the Aggies have picked up where Anderson left off – fielding a talented, competitive team at a program that once was the laughing stock of college football. New head coach Matt Wells has Utah State playing well, especially on offense where the before mentioned quarterback Keeton has the Aggies currently ranked 8th in the nation in scoring, 15th in passing and 37th in rushing.
Conversely, Southern Cal – at one point looking like a college football dynasty in the not too distant future, is struggling and trying to find an identity. USC was able to exhale a bit after they were able to comfortably beat Boston College last weekend, a week after getting smothered by Washington State. A lot of fuss has been made about the job security of head Lane Kiffin, and rightly so after the embarrassing start to the season. Kiffin had the Trojans firing on all cylinders against the Eagles as USC played an almost perfect game, passing for 264 yards, rushing for 257 and allowing just 184 total yards in the 35-7 win.
But can USC really feel better about its current state after a blowout win over a bad Boston College team that traveled out west for the first time in ages? I have a hard time believing that USC is as good as they looked against BC and while they’re probably not as bad as they looked against Washington State, the talent level has dropped considerably from the teams of the mid-2000’s.
What will happen: Utah State will give the USC defense its biggest test of the season. Hawaii, Washington State and Boston College have nowhere near the firepower Utah State possesses on the offensive side of the ball. At the same time, the USC defense will give Utah State its biggest test of the season. Make no mistake Aggie fans, you’re not going up against the Weber State defense this weekend. In the end, Utah State will catch the Trojans with one eye looking ahead to next week’s game against Arizona State and put a major scare into the men of Troy.
Key stats: Utah State is 18-2 against the spread in its last 20 games as an underdog of four or more points.
Prediction: USC 21 Utah State 20
The Play: Utah State +7
2013 ATS Record: 4-5