A showdown of two of the top teams in the Pac-12 conference is in store Saturday when the #6 USC Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) host the Washington State Cougars (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in SoCal. The Cougars will try and avenge a 45-14 beating at home to the Trojans early in the year last season.
The kickoff of the pivotal conference clash is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC is a 13-point betting favorite, and the over/under total is 66.0 points.
What to Know – Washington State Cougars
Washington State began the season 3-0 before dropping its conference opener at home against Oregon, 44-41. The Cougars bounced back last week with a 28-9 triumph over the Cal Golden Bears.
Starting quarterback Cameron Ward is one of the top passers in the country, throwing for 1,445 yards through the first five games of the season. The sophomore signal-caller is completing 68.6% of his passes with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions thrown.
Junior running back Nakia Watson handles the bulk of the carries for the Cougars out of the backfield. The former Wisconsin Badger has racked up 312 yards on 62 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Six separate receivers have caught double-digit passes over five games as Ward spreads the ball around through the air. Wide out Donovan Ollie leads the bunch with 27 receptions for 298 yards and two touchdowns, and De’Zhaun Stribling leads Washington State with four receiving touchdowns.
What to Know – #6 USC Trojans
New head coach Lincoln Riley has the Trojans humming along and looking like the team to beat in the Pac-12. The Trojans are spotless to begin the season, with three conference victories already under their belt.
Caleb Williams followed Riley from Oklahoma to USC and immediately took over the starting role at quarterback. Williams has excelled under center in L.A., throwing 12 touchdowns and only one interception.
Oregon transfer Travis Dye leads a talented USC backfield. The speedster has carried the ball 62 times this season, rushing for 422 yards and five touchdowns. Backup rusher Austin Jones adds 213 yards and three scores, averaging 6.9 yards per touch.
A pair of transfers headline the receiving core for USC, lead by former Pitt wideout Jordan Addison. Addison is Williams’ favorite target, hauling in 29 receptions for 442 yards and six touchdowns. Former Oklahoma teammate Mario Williams is next on the list, catching 18 passes for 266 yards and a pair of scores.
The Pick is In
Both teams are off to solid starts to begin the 2022 campaign and have already captured some important victories this season. USC hasn’t faced a ranked team yet, but the offense has been difficult to stop for all but Oregon State.
The Cougars will keep this one close in the first half, but the speed on the offensive side of the ball for USC will be too much for WSU to keep up with.
Saturday’s contest won’t be as big a blowout as last year’s matchup, but the Trojans will win by two touchdowns or more.
The Pick: #6 USC Trojans -13