USC-Cal Free Saturday Play

On October 31, 2015, in Free Picks, NCAAF, by Stephen

California plus 6 hosting USC

The college football season is about peaks and valleys – and knowing when to get on and off them. This especially holds true in the Pac-12 where there is plenty of parity this year.

All this brings us to USC at California.

USC is off a huge 42-24 home win against Utah. Cal has dropped two in a row falling to two very good teams – Utah and UCLA both on the road. Before those losses, Cal was was 5-0 and ranked as high as No. 22 in the Top 25 Coaches Poll.

I say it’s time for Cal to get hot again and for USC to revert back to its losing form. It’s been a strange season for the Trojans with interim coach Clay Helton replacing Steve Sarkisian on Oct. 12. Sarkisian’s bizarre behavior has made for a bizarre season in Troy.

The Trojans can’t be trusted, especially on the road where they have failed to cover 15 of the last 21 times. Just two weeks ago the Trojans gave up 476 yards to Notre Dame on the road in a 41-31 loss. The week before that game the Trojans were stunned, 17-12, by Washington.

USC only outgained Utah by 27 yards. The Trojans took advantage of three interceptions in that game. The Trojans also took advantage of three fumble recoveries to beat Arizona State. Yes, turnovers are part of football. Cal, though, is among the leaders in turnover differential. Point being that I don’t see USC as some super power that can beat a good team such as Cal on the road without benefit of multiple turnovers.

The Golden Bears are 3-0 at home. They also have had a few extra days to prepare after having played last Thursday. Cal is averaging 47.3 points at home. USC has a good quarterback in Cody Kessler. Cal has a very good quarterback in Jared Goff. He holds 26 schools records, which is saying a lot given Cal’s history of outstanding quarterbacks through the years.

This is a monster revenge spot, too, for the Golden Bears. They have lost 11 consecutive times to USC.


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