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USC vs. Ohio State Betting Preview, Pick Against the Spread

Posted by in College Football Picks on September 7th, 2009 | Comment »


Date: Saturday, September 12, 8:00 p.m. EST (ESPN)

It’s week 2 in college football and there’s already a blockbuster matchup between USC and Ohio State.  Ohio State is at home, but the Trojans are 7-point favorites in this one.

All eyes are focused on top recruit QB Terrell Pryor, who is entering his sophomore year hyped to be the “next Pat White.”  USC has lost a lot of talent  on defense this year (Ray Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, Fili Moala, Cary Harris, Kevin Ellison and Kaluka Maiava).  However, USC still has the best safety in college football, Taylor Mays, who has the job of containing Terrell Pryor.

Ohio State barely escaped with a win against Navy at home, winning by a mere 4 points (31-27).  Pryor had an solid game passing.  Pryor threw for 174 yards,completing 67% of his passes, with 1 passing TD, 1 INT.  Pyor also  gained 30 yards and 1 TD on the ground on 6 rushing attempts.  Navy was able to rack up 342 yards that game though, 156 of them coming on ground.  If you like OSU in this one, you have to be concerned about Ohio St.’s defense against a tough USC running game.

USC, on the other hand, dismantled San Jose State (56-3) with 620 yards of offense and only giving up 121 yards and just 9 rushing yards.

Remember this name: Joe McKnight.  #4 for USC had 145 yards and 2 TDs on just 10 carries in the game.  He’ll be giving Ohio State a lot of problems.  Ohio St. has a very weak front 7 and they haven’t shown that they can stop the run.  Not only do the Trojans have McKnight, but they have 3 other RBs who could be starters on any top 25 team (Stefon Johnson, C.J. Gable, and Marc Tyler).

I’m taking USC in this to cover the 7 points.  Look for USC to dominate Ohio St. by running the football.  They have a great opportunity to exploit that matchup.  USC’s entire offensive line is returning from last year and they have 4 incredible RBs.  All USC has to do is contain Terrell Pryor.  USC historically dominates Ohio St.  USC won last year by the score of 35-3 and it was Joe McKnight who tore Ohio St. up for 105 yards on 12 carries (8.8 YPC). Despite the loss of 2 WRs and Beanie Wells, Ohio State still has enough offensive weapons to be concerned about.  You also have to wonder how USC’s new QB, Matt Barkley, will react to the hostile OSU crowd.

This is going to be a very interesting game.  I’m counting on the USC running game to come through for me in this game.  I like USC to cover the spread, but OSU will make it closer than last year’s 35-3 disaster.

Free Pick: USC -7 over Ohio State (Confidence: 3/5)

Prediction: USC 38 – Ohio St. 24

Joe McKnight Highlights:

Ohio State 2009 Reloaded:

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