College Football Betting – USC at (11) UCLA for Pac-12 South Lead
John BensonNo comments
In what is largely considered a rebuilding year for USC (7-3, 6-2 Pac-12), the Trojans are proving to be a tough out. Their solid season continued last weekend with an 11th consecutive victory over the California Golden Bears (38-30).
As many teams have done this season, the Trojans posted massive offensive numbers against Cal. Quarterback Cody Kessler passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns, with the bulk of the yardage coming from passes to Nelson Agholor, who caught 16 balls for 216 yards.
Kessler said, “We got out early and got a comfortable lead, but they’re a real good team. They fought back. Our guys really fought through it and kept working hard.”
Kessler was perhaps overly generous in his assessment of Cal. The game likely would have been a blowout if not for USC penalties, which erased three Trojan scores as well as a fumble recovery.
When asked about the penalties, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said, “I’m going to refrain from getting a fine.”
This weekend, the Trojans will need to be more disciplined, as they face the team just below them in the Pac-12 South, UCLA (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12), at the Rose Bowl. With a win, the Trojans would finish the year with a 7-2 conference record. (Their last regular season game is against independent Notre Dame.) If UCLA can pull of a victory, they would move to 6-2 and take over top spot in the uber-tight South. Couple that with a win over Stanford next week, and the Bruins would take the South crown.
It feels right that a Bruins/Trojans clash should be for top spot. As coach Sarkisian said, “I’ve been part of this game so many times. I love this rivalry. I think it’s a uniquely special one. It divides households. I’ve got two older sisters who graduated from UCLA, so I’ve got to keep an eye on them all week.”
UCLA head coach Jim Mora is hoping his quarterback Brett Hundley continues his strong season. UCLA’s last game came two weeks ago against Washington. Hundley, the school’s career leader in passing touchdowns, was dynamic in the 44-30 win, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns, while adding two more majors on the ground.
Mora said, “He played with great certainty. He looked extremely poised in the pocket. I thought he stepped up and threw the ball well, with accuracy. He practiced that way all week.”
Even though Kessler has played well all season – especially of late – look for UCLA’s junior signal caller Hundley to dominate this game. Take the Bruins and lay the points (-3).