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USC vs. Hawaii Preview, Prediction, Pick Against the Spread

Posted by in College Football Picks on August 8th, 2010 | Comment »
Allen Bradford

Expect bruising RB Allen Bradford to stomp over Hawaii.

With the college football season getting its start on Thursday, September 2, I’m looking to see if there are any good lines to take before we kick into gear with the NFL. Some lines are already out and I’m already doing some homework on them. The primetime game on Thursday will be Pitt (+3) vs. Utah, which I like Pitt in, but it’s not a strong play due to Pitt being on the road with a QB who is making his first start. I’m expecting Pitt’s D and Dion Lewis to get the job done for the Panthers though. Afterwards, we’ll see USC (-19) @ Hawaii on ESPN.

USC TROJANS -19 @ HAWAII WARRIORS

I’m not expecting USC to be as dominating as in year’s past due to the controversy that surrounded their team this past offseason. They’re prohibited from playing in a Bowl game for the next two years and they’re no longer being led by coaching mastermind Pete Carroll. You have to wonder how that will affect the team this season. One player that won’t affect is RB Allen Bradford who said, “the only way we’re going to be able to express ourselves is to win 13 games.”

USC has a history of beating the smack out of Hawaii. The last time they played was in 2005 and USC won 63-17, following their 2003 rout over Hawaii 63-31. However, with USC’s 1-8 record ATS on the road last season and a 4-9 overall record ATS, I’m hesitant to jump on the opportunity to take USC in this game. To show you how little coaches expect from USC this season, they’re not even listed in the top 25 in the NCAA preseason poll.

USC has QB Matt Barkley returning, who had some good games and some bad games last season. In his second year, he should be a solid QB. USC lost 9 starters in the offseason, but they’ll benefit from having the top-ranked recruitment class. The loss of Joe McKnight, who was drafted by the Jets in round 4, will really affect the Trojans offensive attack, but returning senior RB Allen Bradford, a 235-pound bruiser should hand it to a weak Hawaii front 7. Bradford’s highlights are below.

Hawaii will see the return on QB Brian Moniz, who will have the benefit of having two outstanding receivers to thow to: Greg Salas (1590 yards last season) and Kealoha Pilares (690 yards last season). Despite those excellent receivers, Hawaii’s offensive line may struggle this year with 4 new starters. Hawaii’s defense will see seven returning starters including the entire secondary, but a lack of a pass rush remains a problem for the Warriors. Hawaii also struggled against the run last season, giving up 200 yards per game.

For a unit that gave up 29.5 PPG last season and a poor front seven, I don’t see how USC doesn’t light up Hawaii in this one. Hawaii has essentially no running game and will have to constantly rely on the pass. With a talent like Greg Salas though, Hawaii’s quick pass offense may keep the Trojans at bay. But if USC’s secondary can step up in this one, this game will get one-sided in a hurry.

Expect Allan Bradford to have a brilliant performance while QB Matt Barkley shows the confidence of a second-year QB.

Prediction: USC 35 – Hawaii 17

Pick Against the Spread: No Action, Too Close To Call

Notes: I don’t like high spreads on the first game on the road where USC went 1-8 ATS in their last 9 coupled with the controversy surrounding USC’s program and a coaching change. With a poor front 7, I can’t help but think that Allen Bradford will run all over Hawaii. However, I don’t think USC will score enough in this one to cover in comfortable fashion.

Who do you think will cover USC (-19) @ Hawaii?

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Allan Bradford Highlights:

Greg Salas Highlights:

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