The USC Trojans will play their final regular-season game outside of the Los Angeles metropolitan region in this contest. The four games in November are all played in the Los Angeles metro area, with three taking place at the Los Angeles Coliseum and one against UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
If the Trojans win this game, their schedule will be more favorable and they won’t have as many flights the following month. Players can rehabilitate. A drive for the Pac-12 championship may benefit from the increased contributions of backups and players further down the depth chart. However, the Trojans must defeat Arizona first and watch out for their performance in Tucson.
The well-being of its linebackers is USC’s main worry going into this game. According to head coach Lincoln Riley, the choice to play Eric Gentry, the team’s top linebacker through the first half of the season, will be made during the game. Gentry’s speed, long strides that allow him to cover a lot of ground, and rangy arms let him to deflect passes, make tackles, and be an active, disrupting presence.
For the Trojans, who are coming off a game on October 15 in which they conceded 43 points and more than 400 passing yards to Utah, not having him on the field would be a big loss. Although it was undoubtedly fantastic in a victory over Oregon State on September 24, USC’s defense doesn’t typically need to be great to win games. However, it can’t get destroyed as it did against Utah two weeks ago.
Arizona’s defense has holes in it. The Wildcats can’t be happy with their defensive situation going into this game against USC and Caleb Williams. In three of their last four contests, they have given up 49 points. That essentially demonstrates the group’s weakness all by itself.
However, in its most recent game against the Washington Huskies, Arizona scored 39 points. If the Trojans play another poor defensive game, Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura, who is very good, is probably capable of destroying this USC defense. Arizona does have enough offensive tools, especially receiver Jacob Cowing, to make the USC defense’s life a living nightmare. In Tucson, the Wildcats have a real chance to pull off the unexpected.
Here are the college football odds between USC and Arizona, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: USC-Arizona Odds
Trojans at USC: -15.5 (-110)
+15.5 for Arizona Wildcats (-110)
Over: 76.5 (-115) (-115)
Under: 76.5 (-105)
Why USC Could Cover the Spread
The weak Arizona defense can be destroyed by the Trojans. Given that USC has been routinely scoring over 40 points this season and that Arizona has a history of allowing close to 50 points in Pac-12 games this season (three Wildcat opponents have scored 49 points against the Wildcats in the last month), it is entirely conceivable that USC could reach the 50-point mark in this game.
Furthermore, the Trojans may enter this game with the goal of scoring 56 points because they are aware their defense is not in top physical condition due to the injuries to fellow linebacker Shane Lee and Eric Gentry. Arizona would need to score 41 points to cover if they manage to score 56 points. That is a difficult task for any offense.
Why Arizona Could Cover the Spread
Due to their injuries, USC is now open to a determined, well-planned attack. Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch has had two weeks to watch USC film and identify the areas of vulnerability in a USC defense that struggled to stop Utah’s passing attack. Arizona can definitely outscore USC by 40 points and maintain a close game for the entire 60 minutes.
Final USC-Arizona Prediction & Pick
The game will be won by USC’s offense, but USC’s defense will keep Arizona in it and push the score significantly higher. Arizona will score close to 40 points, compared to USC’s 49.
USC-final Arizona’s Pick & Prediction: Arizona +15, over 76.5