College Football Predictions: USC Trojans vs Syracuse Orange
#2 Southern California Trojans vs Syracuse Orange
Saturday, September 8, 2012, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Met Life Stadium – East Rutherford, New Jersey
Opening Line: USC -27
Current Line: USC -26
Opening Total: 58
Current Total: 64 1/2
Opening Money Line: USC -3000 / Syracuse +1500
Current Money Line: USC -3000 / Syracuse +1500
The #2 ranked USC Trojans travel to New Jersey Saturday to take on the Syracuse Orange. It is the fourth ever meeting between the teams. USC leads the series 3-0 including 38-17 in Los Angeles last year. Syracuse is the the home team for this game in Met Life Stadium.
It isn’t often that a team is ranked #1, wins their game by 39 points and still drops to #2 in the polls. Yet, that is exactly what happened as USC crushed Hawaii 49-10, but then #2 Alabama destroyed then #8 Michigan 41-14. The Crimson Tide moved up to #1 in both polls, and USC fell to #2. The Trojans, coached by Lane Kiffin, were 44.5 favorites and the total was 62.
USC outscored Hawaii 35-0 in the first half, and looked well on their way to covering the massive number. The Trojans went for two on 3 straight touchdowns in the first half. In the second half, USC called off the dogs, and outscored the Warriors 14-10. Hawaii stayed within the number and the game stayed under the total.
USC scored a defensive touchdown on a 31 yard pick six and on a 100 yard kick return by Marquise Lee. The Trojans also forced 4 turnovers and held the Warriors to 264 total yards including just 56 rushing yards.
The Trojans racked up 475 total yards including 394 passing yards. Quarterback Matt Barkley was 23 for 38 passing for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns. Besides the kickoff return, Lee also had a huge game receiving with 10 catches, 197 yards, and a touchdown. Robert Woods had 6 catches for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Silas Redd had 9 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown, along with a catch for 41 yards.
Syracuse is coached by Doug Marrone. The Orange were a 2 point favorite at home against Northwestern and the total was 53.5. It turned out to be one of the most wild games of the weekend. Syracuse kicked two first quarter field goals to take a 6-0 lead, but Northwestern came back to take a 21-13 halftime lead. The Wildcats expanded their lead to 35-13 with 7 minutes to go in the third. Then the Orange scored 28 unanswered points to take a 41-35 lead with just under 3 minutes to play. Northwestern drove down the field and scored the game winning touchdown with 44 seconds left to steal the 42-41 victory.
Despite racking up 596 total yards to Northwestern’s 337, Syracuse still lost. Three Orange turnovers didn’t help, including a fumble returned 33 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Wildcats also scored on an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 44 of 65 passes for 470 yards with 4 touchdowns and an interception. He also had 12 carries for 30 yards. Prince Tyson-Gulley had 7 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown, along with 7 catches for 46 yards. Marcus Sales had 11 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Jeremiah Kobena had 4 catches, 79 yards and 2 touchdowns.
USC is 4-0 ATS in neutral site games, 5-1 after a straight up win, 4-1 after failing to cover, after accumulating less than 100 yards, after accumulating more than 280 passing yards, and overall, 6-2 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 28-13 in non-conference games, 4-9 after scoring 40 points or more, 7-16 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, and 3-7 after allowing 275 or less total yards.
Syracuse is 4-0 ATS after allowing 40 points or more, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-10 after passing for more than 280 yards, 0-5 after a straight up win, 0-4 after failing to cover, and on fieldturf, 0-6 after gaining more than 450 total yards, and overall.
Syracuse gave up a ton of points to Northwestern, despite giving up just 337 yards. It isn’t a good sign now that they are facing one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The only question for USC was on defense, and they shut down a Hawaii team known for it’s great offense. The Trojans should roll in this game.
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