Utah vs USC Prediction - College Football Picks 10/21/23

USC Trojans (6-1) vs Utah Utes (5-1)

Game Info: Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 8:00 pm (United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)

Betting Odds: USC Trojans -2.5 -- Over/Under: 57.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Utah Utes will travel to Los Angeles to take on the USC Trojans in Pac-12 play from the LA Coliseum on FOX. The Utah/USC matchup has become a staple in the conference over the past decade, and although the Trojans lead the head-to-head series, 13-9, the Utes have won the last three meetings.

Utah Utes Preview 

Utah improved to 5-1 after defeating California in Salt Lake City. The Utes controlled the final three quarters to down the Golden Bears, and they’ll now face their toughest test of the season. The Utah offense is scoring 21.7 ppg, while passing for 149.5 ypg, rushing for 172.7 ypg, and converting 38.0% of their third downs.

Utah Player Notes

Bryson Barnes for the start last week versus Cal, and managed the contest well by protecting the football, and totaling 178 yards, with a rushing score. The junior quarterback will have to rev things up if he wants the Utes to keep up with USC this weekend, as there’s a chance they won’t be able to control the clock here on the road. Barnes has passed for 398 yards, with a touchdown to two interceptions. 

• Sophomore back Ja’Quinden Jackson led the way with 94 yards in the win over California, and he leads the team in rushing with 333 yards.

• There’s no premier tight end for the Utes this season, and slot wideout Mikey Matthews leads the team in receptions (21) and receiving yards (202), after a solid game against the Golden Bears.

• The Utah defense is allowing 12.1 points per game.


Southern Cal Trojans Preview

USC moved to 6-1 after falling to Notre Dame in South Bend, 48-20. The Trojans were outmatched on both sides of the ball by the Irish, and they’ll look to bounce back here in a second straight high profile matchup. The USC offense is scoring 47.3 ppg, while passing for 322.2 ypg, rushing for 158.9 ypg, and converting 43.5% of their third downs.

USC Player Notes

Caleb Williams struggled with the fierce Notre Dame defense, finishing at a season-low 199 yards, with one touchdown and three picks. The Washington DC native will definitely be looking to respond here, as he’s been passed in the Heisman voting by fellow Pac-12 QB Michael Penix, but things may not come easy against another strong defensive unit in Utah. Williams has thrown for 2,021 passing yards, with 23 touchdowns to four interceptions on the season. 

• SC transfer Marshawn Lloyd has found the endzone in five of the last six games,  and he leads the Trojans in rushing yards (565).

• Senior wide Brenden Rice has scored in six of the last seven games, and he’s posting strong splits of 23/452/8.

• Veteran receiver Tahj Washington leads the Trojans in receiving yards (233) on nine catches.

• The USC defense has allowed 30.0 points per game.


Utah vs USC Trends

Utah is 3-2-1 against the spread, with a 5-1 O/U record. 

USC is 2-5 ATS, with a 6-1 over/under record.

Corey’s Free Pick

After opening conference play with a trio of narrow victories, USC met this match with Notre Dame, but this is a very manageable spot for them to respond here in LA. Utah’s defense remains strong, but they’ve really struggled on the offensive end without Cam Rising at QB, and they may be outgunned here by Caleb Williams and company. The Heisman hopeful needs to bounce back here to help his case after two quiet performances, and a strong outing against a stiff Utah team would do wonders. Let’s back USC here at the Coliseum for this Pac-12 matchup. 

Corey’s Pick USC to Cover

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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