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#20 USC vs #5 Washington Preview & Prediction.


Game Info:


Date: Saturday, November 4th; 4:30 p.m. PDT;


Place: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum


TV: ABC


Radio: usctrojans.com/listen; SiriusXM channel 211


Records: USC 7-2 (5-1); UW 8-0 (5-0)

Series History; USC leads, 51-30-4

Last Meeting: UW 28, USC 14 (2019)

Line: UW (-2.5)


Hunter told me too?
'LA Memorial Coliseum' Photo Credit: Hunter Gordon Dworsky

Preview:


Can the defense that ranks 111th in total defense do anything to stop the offense that ranks 5th overall in total offense? Can Caleb Williams get some time in the pocket to find his receivers and keep up with the Washington offense? This should be a fun, high-scoring game with two of the best quarterbacks in the country facing off.


Washington still has something to prove. Coming into this game ranked 5th in the AP and CFB Dawgs rankings, if the playoffs were to start today they would be left on the outside looking in. They know that this tough slate that they are facing in the upcoming weeks of USC, Utah, and Oregon State is going to determine if they get a seat in the playoffs or not.


USC is coming off a lackluster one-point win over Cal last week where we saw their defense give up 49 points. That was Cal's second-highest-scoring performance of the year. The only team they scored more points on was North Texas. ESPN matchup predictor still gives USC a 54% chance to win. The Coliseum should be rocking and that will give any team a nice home-field advantage. Along with the fact that Lincoln Riley's teams always do well and play better when the pressure is on and in big games. I think Riley will have his guys ready for this one and I can chalk last week up to potentially looking past Cal a bit and having Washington on the brain.


Key Players - USC


QB - Caleb Williams


If Williams can get some extra protection or generate some more time with his legs by rolling out of the pocket, then I think USC's offense will do what they do and be just fine. Hopefully in a big game like this, having some strong sustained offensive drives will help keep the defense fresh and energized to lockdown the prolific Washington offense.


DE - Jamil Muhammad


USC's defense needs to have a big game this week and it's going to start in the trenches. Jamil is third in the Pac-12 with six sacks and getting pressure on Penix is going to be a key to victory. Washington has one of the best pressure-to-sack ratios in the country. Muhammad needs to not only get pressure on Penix but get home and get a sack or two.



Key players - Washington

QB - Michael Penix, Jr.

Right now, most people think the Heisman is Penix's to lose. This would be a nice resume builder if he can have another nice performance and a win over a fellow Heisman contender like he did with Bo Nix earlier in the season.


Ulofoshio leads Washington with 57 total tackles already this year. But what doesn't show in that stat is how many tackles he didn't have due to great pass coverage. Caleb Williams has been under pressure basically all season, he's used to it, and he does well with it, getting pressure on Williams seems to only make him better. Where you can really hurt him, or at least slow him down is making sure his quick options are taken away. If Washington can do that and slowly wear down Williams by making him constantly scramble around then they will win this game.



Prediction

I think Washington is really good, obviously. I also think USC's offense is incredible. It also always seems like the Pac-12 regularly cannibalizes themselves each year by their best teams always having a loss or two because of how balanced the Pac-12 is. I think we see the same here. Two very good teams going head-to-head at this point in the season, anything can happen. I think the home-field advantage gives USC enough spark to take this one 38-35, which should also spice up the Heisman race a bit.


Either way. this will be a fun game to watch!



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