USC has had some head-scratching results recently, as they were blown out by Notre Dame, lost to Utah as a touchdown favorite, then nearly lost to Cal, who was just 3-4 at the time. Their defense has been primarily the issue, as the Trojans rank just 111th in yards per play allowed this season. USC’s offense still leads the country in points per game this season.
Based on the matchup, it’s extremely likely that both teams are going to be able to score in this game. USC has an outstanding offense and poor defense, and Washington is of similar makeup. Washington’s defense is not quite as bad as USC’s, but they do rank 63rd in EPA (expected points added) per play on defense this season. The Huskies are also dealing with a number of injuries on defense, particularly in the secondary.
The over/under for the game opened at 69.5 and has risen to 76.5, so clearly this game is expected to be high-scoring. This means that the game could come down to whoever has the last possession. We’ll take our chances with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and will take the field goal with the home team.
- Money line: Washington Huskies (-160) vs. USC Trojans (+130)
- Point spread: Washington Huskies -3 (-105) vs. USC Trojans +3 (-115)
- Game total (Over/Under): Over 76.5 (-110) vs. Under 76.5 (-110)
Michael Penix Jr. bounced back from his first multi-interception game in Week 9 by throwing for 369 yards and four scores against the Sun Devils last week.
Washington’s 25 passing touchdowns are the third most in the country, a number that’s only going to grow facing a USC defense that’s allowed the third most passing touchdowns.
One potential bugaboo for the Washington offense is the recent poor play on the interior offensive line. Not only is it impacting how quickly Penix has to throw the ball, but the Huskies’ signal-caller has taken some big hits recently, and those are starting to add up.
USC ranks 11th in Havoc and 23rd in sacks, so it will be on the Huskies to keep Penix upright, especially with no support in the ground game.
The Huskies are no stranger to shootouts, as its defense has allowed over 30 points in three of its six conference games. Washington struggles most against the run, ranking 125th in Rush Success Rate allowed.
Despite the high scores, Washington ranks top-50 nationally in Pass Success Rate allowed, primarily because of a strong secondary that’s fifth in passes defended (49) and 19th in PFF’s Coverage grades.