College Football Picks: Boston College Eagles at USC Trojans
Boston College Eagles at Southern California Trojans
Los Angeles Coliseum – Los Angeles, California
Saturday, September 14, 2013, 3;00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: USC -17 1/2
Current Line: USC -14
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: USC -550 / BC +425
Current Money Line: USC -500 / BC +400
After a humiliating 10-7 defeat to Washington State at home to open Pac 12 play, USC head coach Lane Kiffin is on the hot seat. His Trojan players held a players only meeting that Kiffin only found out about when the media asked him about it. The 1-1 Trojans try to rebound as the 2-0 Boston College Eagles come to town. This is the fourth ever meeting between the schools and USC has won all three previous meetings. USC beat BC 24-13 in the 2009 Emerald Bowl in the last meeting. The Trojans will travel to Chestnut Hill next season.
Boston College is coached by Steve Addazio. The Eagles have home wins over Villanova 24-14 and Wake Forest 24-10 last Friday. BC is 1-1 ATS and both games have gone under the total. The Eagles were 3 point favorites against Wake Forest and the total was 47. Boston College took an early 7-0 lead on a 26 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chase Rettig to receiver Alex Amidon. The Demon Deacons would tie it up near the end of the first. BC added a field goal before the end of the first to take a 10-7 lead. Rettig threw another touchdown pass at the beginning of the second quarter to Spiffy Evans to make it 17-7, and that would be the halftime score. BC added another touchdown late in the third on a 2 yard run from running back Andre Williams. Wake pulled to within 24-10 on a field goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Neither team would score again. Boston College had 191 rushing yards including 204 from Williams. Wake Forest had three turnovers and Boston College only had one.
Boston College is outscoring teams 24-12 this season. The Eagles are averaging 363.5 total yards per game including 159.5 rushing yards. BC is allowing 310.5 yards per game. The Eagles are +8 in turnovers with 10 takeaways. Boston College is 12/30 on third and fourth down conversions. The Eagles have forced six sacks in 2 games. BC is 4/4 scoring in the red zone with 2 touchdowns.
Rettig has completed 68.2% of his passes for 408 yards with 4 touchdowns and an interception. Williams has 58 carries, 318 yards and 2 touchdowns. Amidon has 18 catches, 239 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bobby Wolford has 6 catches, 84 yards, and a touchdown. Four defensive players are listed as questionable Saturday for BC.
USC is 1-1 this season but the offense has been anemic to say the least. The Trojans won at Hawaii 30-13 and were upset by Washington St 10-7 last week. Neither team scored in the first quarter. The Trojans struck first in the second quarter on a 4 yard touchdown run from quarterback Cody Kessler. Just before halftime, Kessler threw an interception that Washington returned 70 yards for a touchdown. Washington St kicked a field goal with 3 minutes to go in the fourth quarter to go up by 3 points. USC’s last drive ended with an interception from quarterback Max Wittek with 2:18 to go. Washington State ran out the clock for their first win against USC in the last 8 games against the Trojans. USC had only 193 total yards and 14 first downs. Washington St wasn’t much better with 222 total yards including just 7 rushing yards. Each team had 3 turnovers.
The Trojans are outscoring teams 18.5-11.5 this season. USC is averaging 278.5 total yards per game, including just 113 passing yards. The Trojans are allowing 226.5 total yards per game including just 15 rushing yards per game. USC is +3 in turnovers with 7 takeaways. The Trojans have forced 11 sacks. USC is 8/31 on third and fourth down conversions. The Trojans are +3 in turnovers, including 7 giveaways. USC is 5/6 scoring in the red zone with 3 touchdowns.
Kessler and Wittek are splitting the snaps but both have been dreadful so far. Kessler has thrown for 136 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown. Wittek has thrown for 90 yards with a pick. Running back Tre Madden has 50 carries for 260 yards and 3 catches for 22 yards. Running backs D.J. Morgan and Silas Redd are both listed as doubtful Saturday, so Madden will continue to get the carries. Receiver Marqise Lee has 15 catches for 131 yards.
Boston College is 4-1 ATS after allowing 275 total yards or less, 7-3 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, 3-9 in September, 0-6 in road games, and 0-4 on grass.
USC is 10-4 ATS after gaining 275 total yards or less, 13-6 after passing for 170 yards or less, 7-21 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 1-4 after failing to cover, 1-5 in September and on grass, 1-6 against teams with winning records, and after allowing 20 points or less, 0-5 in non-conference games, and overall, and 0-4 after allowing 275 total yards or less.
With all of the talent USC has, there is absolutely no excuse for the offense to be so awful. Lee is arguably the best receiver in college football, and yes Redd is injured at running back but Madden was a 5 star recruit coming out of high school. Wittek and Kessler simply must play better at quarterback or the offense will continue to struggle. Boston College isn’t much better on offense, so I expect this to be a very low scoring game. However, the Trojans are a mess right now, and are on the verge of quitting on Kiffin. I give Boston College a good chance of pulling off the upset on the road.