All is not well in Trojan land as USC has dropped to 4-3 after blowing an early 14 point lead vs. Utah last week. SC hosts Arizona State today in the NCAAF week 9 Pac 12 free pick and can surprisingly keep their season alive starting with a win today. The Sun Devils have dropped 4 of their last 5 in Herm Edwards’ inaugural season at the helm. Both coaches are on the hot seat in this contest, which one pulls out the stops to calm the fan base for at least another week?
Does ASU Have the Playmakers To Pull Off the Upset?
Arizona State comes into the NCAAF week 9 Pac 12 free pick as +3 point underdogs and it might not be a bad bet to take the points today. Yes, ASU has dropped 4 of 5 but they are still an incredibly talented team. QB Manny Wilkins is a 3-year starter who has 11 TD to just 2 INT on the season. 6’4″ WR N’Keal Harry is an NFL prospect that is due for a breakout game after failing to break the century mark in receiving over the last 6 games. RB Eno Benjamin had a 30 carry – 312 yard game three weeks ago vs. Oregon State and should get some numbers vs. a USC defense that gave up 200 on the ground to Utah last week.
The Sun Devils offense will get theirs today but it’s up to the ASU defense to truly decide the contest. That could be a tough call for a defense that has given up 24+ points in 4 of their last 5. The Sun Devils will be up against redshirt freshman Jack Sears however as both J.T. Daniels and Matt Fink were injured last week for USC. ASU is 3rd in the Big 12 in sacks and is 10th in the entire country in tackles for loss. Will that pressure, combined with ASU’s unique 3-3-5 defensive set, be too much for the inexperienced QB?
USC Turns To Home Cooking To Get Their Season Back on Track?
The Trojans are a disappointing (in their eyes) 4-3 in 2018 but they are 3-0 at home and have won 19 straight contests at the Coliseum. It should be noted that USC is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 at home however. The Trojans need to rely on that home crowd (who may have a Dodgers hangover) in the NCAAF week 9 Pac 12 free pick as their offense and coaching staff is in disarray. SC turns to Jack Sears, whose next college football pass will be his first. That’s a downfall as is the fact that the USC ground game is non-existent as they’ve rushed for a combined 124 yards the past 2 weeks. Look for the ASU defense to feast on the Trojans offense which makes today’s “under” 51.5 look like a solid play.
For as many questions as the USC offense might have, their defense has to be looking into the mirror after giving up 541 yards to Utah last week. Yes, that game was a tough go in Utah but SC would be wise to return to the game plan that held Arizona State to 29 for 88 yards rushing last year and 278 in the air in a 48-17 Trojans win. USC gives up 27.4 ppg this year however (72nd in the country) and will be at a huge disadvantage today due to their own offense.
NCAAF Week 9 Pac 12 Free Pick Betting
Southern California has been great at home winning their last 19 at home but they are really up against it today. Not that Arizona State has been overly impressive in their own rights, but they at least have stability at QB and a coach that is looking for his signature win with the program. The Trojans sideline is in chaos and that could lead to them “trying too hard” this afternoon. The points look solid in what could be a nice upset for the Sun Devils.
Pac 12 Free Pick – Arizona State +3