The Washington State Cougars will likely find themselves in over their heads this weekend as they take on the No. 20 USC Trojans. Anything can happen. Upsets happen every week. But the general mindset from bettors and analysts would point toward a USC victory by double digits.
Playing just two games in 2020, the sample sizes from the Cougars are very small. They’ve averaged 33 points through two games, a win at Oregon State and a loss at home to No. 11 Oregon. The average play through two weeks has netted them a solid 6.8 yards.
USC meanwhile has a quarterback slinging the ball at an excellent pace. Kedon Slovis has thrown for 970 yards and five touchdowns en route to getting his team a 3-0 record. They’ve been racking up the rushing yards as a unit, though no one back is averaging more than 45 yards per game. The Trojans are looking to make it four wins in a row while handing the Cougars a second defeat in as many games.
The spread for Sunday night’s game has got the Trojans listed as 13.5-point favorites. The over/under is set at 56.5. Kickoff is at 7:30 P.M. Eastern.
Cougars Looking for Upset
First-year coach Nick Rolovich is hoping to rally his troops to a win against one of the best in the country this weekend. Several things will need to happen to steal a victory. The offense will need to be nearly perfect, the defense will need to limit Slovis’ big plays, and winning the turnover battle is essential.
Jayden De Laura has thrown for 548 yards and four touchdowns through the first two games. Deon McIntosh has amassed 239 yards on 34 carries, along with two touchdowns. Those numbers translate to an average of seven yards per carry.
Washington State has recorded five sacks through two games and has been able to generate a few turnovers as well. Freshman defensive back Ayden Hector has an interception and two fumble recoveries. Sophomore defensive end Ron Stone Jr. has 1.5 sacks to lead the team.
Trojans Look to Stay Perfect
Victors in each of their first three games, Clay Helton’s team is looking good. They haven’t blown out opponents, winning by an average of seven points, but at the end of the day, the standings show an undefeated team, and that’s what counts.
The team has a three-headed rushing attack, with the committee of Vavae Malepeai, Markese Stepp, and Stephen Carr putting up 387 yards and six touchdowns. They have also caught 20 passes for 81 yards, serving reliably as check-down options.
Slovis is the key to a Trojans victory. If he can continue to sling the ball while the rushing attack stays aggressive, a 4-0 record is going to be staring USC in the eye. Sophomore receiver Drake London and junior receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown have made their presence felt as downfield threats. Both could have strong showings Sunday night.
Fight On, Trojans
Washington is overmatched on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, USC has improved week after week. Take the Trojans (-13.5) to win the Sunday matinee.