College football is back and with it comes some controversy. In southern California, the USC Trojans will host the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday night in a rematch of the Las Vegas Bowl of last year in which the Trojans easily defeated the Bulldogs 45-20 as a favorite by 5 points.
The point total cashed on the UNDER as the line was 65.5 and the teams combined for 65.
In that game, Cody Kessler the Trojans quarterback had 345 yards passing with four touchdowns.
He returns to lead the Trojans under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
The Fresno State Bulldogs have had to replace Derek Carr a starter at quarterback for three years who moved on to the NFL. Brian Burrell a junior and Brandon Connette a senior transfer from Duke will share the duties early.
On Bovada and sportsbook.com, the current line has USC favored by 21.5 points. While on betonline and topbet, the point total is sitting on 58.
Interesting trends in the matchup:
- The UNDER has cashed in 12 of the past 16 games USC has played non-conference opponents.
- The Bulldogs are 13-4 against the number in their past 17 road games.
- The UNDER was 6-2 last year for Fresno State in the last 8 games after the OVER had started 4-1.
Controversy took hold at USC this week when a story broke that Josh Shaw the starting cornerback injured himself when he saved his nephew. However, it turned out that his story was a lie and he hurt his ankles doing something else.
Anthony Brown also quit the team amidst reports that he said Sarkisian was racist.
USC has changed its offense to a more up-tempo formation with Sarkisian. The key to the Trojans this season will be if their offensive line can hold up.
Fresno State will certainly miss Carr but will continue using its own up-tempo offense. Last season the Bulldogs were sixth in the nation in scoring was 43.4 points per game.
Defensively the Bulldogs were weak finishing No. 95 in yards allowed. Eight starters have returned and there should be some improvement over last season.
For USC, Shaw and Lamar Dawson a linebacker are out and Jabari Ruffin a linebacker will miss the entire season.
Dillon Root a kick returner for Fresno State is suspended.
This could be a big beat down on USC’s part over Fresno State. The Bulldogs have a big uncertainty at their quarterback position, while USC has Kessler securely entrenched as their quarterback.
Sarkisian wants to impress everyone at USC, especially the alumni and that could mean lots of scoring on the Trojans part.
A big win by USC will make the two controversial incidents of earlier this week disappear.
I like the Trojans by at least 28 if not more.