NCAAF Picks and Parlays: #4 USC Gets its Season Started Against Western Michigan
Western Michigan Broncos had the best season in its school history in 2016-17. They won the MAC conference along with the first 13 games of their season which earned them a spot in a group of five bowl, namely the Cotton Bowl. They scored an incredible 41.6 PPG which was fourth best in the nation.
That much success though has brought a lot of change at some important positions. Head coach P.J. Fleck was recruited by Minnesota and he took four assistants with him, including offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca.
WR Corey Davis was drafted fifth overall by the Titans and RT Taylor Morton was a second-round draft pick. QB Zach Terrell has also graduated. 80% of their receiving yards are gone with their top three receivers graduating.
The new coach is Tim Lester who comes over from Indiana and there is a connection in this game as WMU’s co-offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and USC running back coach Deland McCullough both coached there.
Both of these teams typically use a single running back, tight end and three receivers operating out of the shotgun. That should be an advantage for USC given their advantage at the skill positions and knowing how to prepare for that kind of offense.
The Broncos set up their prolific passing game with the eighth best running game in the nation and three of their five offensive linemen along with all of the running backs have returned, so they should continue to maintain their identity among all the changeover.
USC Trojans finished their season as one of the hottest in the country which saw QB Sam Darnold emerge as a legitimate threat to win the Heisman this year. They capped off their resurgent season with an epic comeback victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl, eliminated two large deficits for the52-49 victory.
Who Darnold will be throwing the ball to is one of the Trojans big questions as they enter this season with legitimate National Championship aspirations. Their top-two wideouts, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers have moved on. WR Steven Mitchell Jr. is coming back from a torn ACL and Jalen Greene is a converted quarterback tasked with the job of replacing them. The team also lost two all-Americans from the offensive line.
But the college that produced Reggie Bush should have a dominant running game with four game breakers sharing the carries. Ronald Jones and Aca’Cedric Ware will lead the way and freshman Stephen Carr has looked great as well.
CB Adoree Jackson was the best defensive back in the nation last year, but this team still has a ton of talent there along with a defense that should be one of the strengths of the time.
- Team record: 13-1 SU,9-4-1 ATS
- Team record: 10-3 SU,8-5 ATS
Current Streak: won 9 straight games.
Cash It In: USC are 28.5 point favorites and should be able to win this one handily. But a spread that huge is concerning given the offense is still a work in progress and they are taking on a team that just last season was one of the nation’s best. USC 42-24.