Washington led by Michael Penix Jr. is fighting for a PAC 12 title and a berth in the College Football playoff, while USC is trying to save a season that started off so promising. The Trojans have lost on the road to Notre Dame and at home to Utah, and this game has Caleb Williams back-to-back Heisman trophy hopes on the line.
USC ended their two-game losing streak by defeating the California Golden Bears (3-5 overall, 10th in Pac-12) 50-49 last Saturday on the road in a nailbiter of an encounter. Austin Jones scored a seven-yard rushing TD that gave USC an edge with 3:33 left in the fourth quarter, but California responded immediately by scoring their own touchdown. Linebacker Eric Gentry made the game-winning play when he deflected a pass during California’s two-point conversion attempt with 58 seconds remaining to secure their victory over California. California led at halftime by 11 points; therefore, 21 points in the final quarter would be necessary to overcome their rival. Caleb Williams finished with 369 yards passing and four touchdowns (two air, two on the ground). Running back MarShawn Lloyd gained 115 yards on his way to scoring twice on the ground. Both teams combined for over 300 yards total offense in the first half with the USC defense allowing 597 yards but forcing four turnovers as part of its defensive strategy. The USC defense has been the Trojans downfall this season.
Washington maintained its unbeaten start by defeating Stanford (2-6 SU, 12th in Pac-12) 42-33 on the road last Saturday. Michael Penix Jr. rebounded after an inconsistent outing against Arizona State the previous week to throw for 369 yards and four touchdowns for a narrow victory. On a two-point lead in the fourth, Penix committed a costly mistake by throwing an interception in the end zone, allowing Stanford to make up ground. Still, Washington defended against their comeback bid and maintained their victory. Ja’Lynn Polk led all receivers with 148 yards and two touchdowns while Dillon Johnson ran for 84 yards and scored for Washington on the ground – both teams combined sacked their opponent QB five times throughout this battle! The Huskies have not played well since a critical win over the Oregon Ducks, and they cannot afford another sub-par game in this spot.
Both teams are explosive on offense, the difference in the teams is on the defensive end of the field and the Huskies are better on defense. Look for Washington to win by a touchdown and cover this spread.
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