USC vs. San Jose State prediction, pick, spread, football game odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel

The 2023 college football season is here, though the only top-10 team in action during Week 0 is No. 6 USC. The Trojans will host San Jose State in their final season-opener as a Pac-12 program before they depart for the Big Ten next summer. More immediately, USC’s quest to become the first Pac-12 school to reach the College Football Playoff since Washington in 2016 starts now. 

USC is the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 in what may prove to be the storied conference’s final season. Along with the Trojans, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are leaving for the Big Ten in 2024; Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are departing for the Big 12 the same year. 

Lincoln Riley’s debut at USC was excellent with an 11-3 record and a Heisman Trophy winner (QB Caleb Williams). However, the Trojans had a major collapse at the end of the season with a loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game, effectively knocking USC from the playoff field, and a late blown lead in a Cotton Bowl loss to Tulane. Williams is back, though, and he will have a chance to become the second player to win the most prestigious award in college football twice. 

San Jose State finished the 2022 campaign 7-5, which included a perfect 6-0 record at home and an abysmal 1-4 record on the road. USC is 5-0 all-time against San Jose State and the last meeting in 2021 was a 30-7 win for the Trojans.

USC vs. San Jose State: Need to know

Heisman follow-up for Williams: USC has the best quarterback in college football, and that alone gives the Trojans the chance to win on any given Saturday. Williams should be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft next spring, but for now he hopes to elevate USC to new heights with a long-awaited Pac-12 title. The disappointing end of USC’s 2022 season shouldn’t overshadow Williams’ greatness: 4,537 yards passing and 42 touchdowns to only five interceptions. With a plethora of weapons this year — including receivers Dorian Singer, Brenden Rice, Mario Williams and incoming true freshman Zachariah Branch — Williams is in prime position to at least get back to New York for the Heisman ceremony in December. 

Is USC’s defense better? Defense is the chief question mark heading into the season for USC. Coordinator Alex Grinch’s unit ranked near the bottom of the Pac-12 in total defense last season and was a major reason for the team’s late collapse. The Trojans allowed 32 points in the second half against Tulane, including 16 points in the final four minutes of the game. Grinch, who Riley brought over from Oklahoma, faced major criticism for the loss. In response, the Trojans attacked the transfer portal hard, adding CB Tre’Quon Fegans (Alabama), DL Bear Alexander (Georgia), DL Anthony Lucas (Texas A&M) and LB Deuce Palmer (SMU). Former five-star Domani Jackson could emerge as a key contributor in the secondary and S Calen Bullock is a preseason All-American. USC will be able to win this game handily because of its high-powered offense, but the defense will need to improve under Grinch for the program to win more marquee games late in the season.

Chevan Cordeiro is a name to know: The San Jose State quarterback will play against his first top-10 opponent in Week 0. The sixth-year senior enjoyed his best season in 2022 with 3,250 yards passing and 23 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Cordeiro was named the preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and is one of the best Group of Five quarterbacks in the country. SJSU was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West preseason poll, but a strong showing from him on Saturday could go a long way in building confidence for the remainder of the season.

How to watch USC vs. San Jose State live

Date: Saturday, August 26 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — Los Angeles, California
TV: Pac-12 Network | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)

USC vs. San Jose State prediction, picks

This game features arguably the best offense in the Pac-12 racing against one of the top offenses in the Mountain West. For that reason alone, points are going to be scored in bunches. Add that USC’s defensive question marks, and you can see why the over is the enticing pick. USC plays a pair of games against Mountain West opponents to open up the season, and both games could be used as valuable reps for younger players. That makes the spread (USC -30.5) a bit tricky. Even if USC pulls its starters late, the over seems like the safe play. USC scored 66 points alone in its season-opener against Rice last fall, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it put up around the same this weekend. Prediction: Over 66.5

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 0? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven seasons — and find out.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top