NCAA Football Betting - USC vs. Syracuse

First ranked USC (2) will face unranked Syracuse this Saturday with Syracuse hosting the game. Last week USC pummeled Hawaii and Syracuse lost a nail-biter to Northwestern by a single point. Both offenses had big days as USC posted 49 points to Hawaii’s 10 points, meanwhile Syracuse put up 41 points but their defense let Northwestern score 42 points. Both QBs threw for four TDs, Matt Barkley of USC passed for 357 yards and Ryan Nassib accumulated 470 passing yards. USC rushed for 81 yards while Syracuse had 126 yards on the ground. These are seemingly similar stats on the offensive side.

These numbers are fairly similar, but it’s unlikely that this week’s game will be close. The difference is that USC’s offense is much more explosive. For example, on the first play from scrimmage USC connected a 9-yard pass that was turned into a 75- yard TD. What should be even scarier is that the USC offense came out after the game criticizing themselves for being unproductive. Barkley said he felt 100 points were achievable in the first half alone. While that is probably a gross overstatement it should tell you where USC is heading. USC’s defense stifled Hawaii and claimed four takeaways and five sacks. With senior defensive end Wes Horton out right now, there had been some questions about how convincing the USC defensive line would be. USC responded with constant rotation and it seemed to work. They will need to improve before taking on stronger opponents later in the season but Syracuse should not be a huge test, especially since Syracuse has shown their strength to be the passing game. It would not be a surprise for USC to score more points this game than week one.

Syracuse should probably score more points than Hawaii, but not many more. After all, Syracuse did come back from a 35-13 deficit against Northwestern, which shows they have fight in them. The Syracuse defense can produce sacks and tackles for loss but are clearly inconsistent at this point in the season. Syracuse has never beat USC so Syracuse will have their work cut out for them if they are to even challenge the Trojans. Passing will be critical, Ryan Nassib must have a big day even if it is a smaller day than his league leading performance in week one.

In the USC-Syracuse game last year the Tojans prevailed 38-17. The over/under for this week is 59 points while the point spread is 27 points. The over/under could be low here, assuming Syracuse is can put up 20 points the Trojans will likely put up something around 40 points. The Trojans are better than last year, they have high expectations and they lost their number one ranking to Alabama this week so they have something to prove.

Last year Matt Barkley went 26 for 39, 324 yards, 5 TDS and no interceptions in USC’s defeat of Syracuse. Barkley turns 22 on Saturday and is focused. On the other hand Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone has said he wishes Barkley had moved on to the NFL rather than returning to USC for his final year. It could be a very hard day for Syracuse come Saturday at the New York at Giants’ stadium.

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