Seattle, WA - Coming off the heels of their 5th victory in a row, the USC Trojans stroll into Husky Stadium today with confidence you would have been hard pressed to find at the beginning of the 2016 college football season. In fact, with the way SC started things off this year, rattling off a streak of mediocre games, losing three of their first four games, imagining that the Trojans would be ranked at this point in the season was akin to reading a science fiction novel, a discount paperback at that. But, since freshman Sam Darnold took the helm at QB, USC has found themselves in the middle of a resurgence of medieval “Renaissance-like” proportions. On to business shall we?
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA
When: Saturday, November 12, 2016 @ 4:30 p.m. Pacific/7:30 p.m. EST
TV Info: FOX - Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (color) and Shannon Spake (sidelines) providing the commentary.
Radio Info: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7; Sirius (137) and XM (197)
How to Watch and Listen to the Huskies:
Audio Stream: TuneIn Radio
Video Stream: FoxSportsGo
The Trojans are one of the few teams in the Pac-12 that have a winning record against the Huskies. The hold a commanding lead right now, with the all-time series sitting at 51-29-4 in their favor.
I know what you’re thinking, since I’m thinking the same thing: What gives? Well, I’ll tell you. Nobody has a winning record against the Trojans. They’ve just always, with some exception just been plain awesome. However, the Huskies hope to chip away at that lead with another win.
Last year the Huskies went to the LA Coliseum and came away victories, jumping in at an opportune time, while the entire USC football program, which included coaches, players, and administrators, was in the middle of a huge pile of ... insert your favorite word to describe a large pile of brown stinky stuff.
0 - The number of Trojan running backs averaging more than 80 yards per game.
4:5 - The Husky Defense’s TD to Interception ratio (passing downs only - 8/10)
9 - The difference between total Trojan rushing yards in the first and seconds halves of each game (958 1st half - 949 2nd half)
11 - They Husky Defense national rank for yards allowed per play.
11 - The number of passing plays over 25 yards the Huskies have given up.
22 - The number of passing plays the Trojans have gone over 25 yards on.
38:3 - The Husky offense TD to Interception ration (passing yards only)
57 - USC’s third down conversion rate in the last 4 games.
58 - The percentage of total passing yards the Trojans get in the first half of their games (1388 1st half - 993 - 2nd half)
184.52 - USC’s QB rating on second down (this goes along with 1008 passing yards, 12 TDs, and a 73.1 completion percentage)
Putting it all Together
Two juggernauts clash again. The Trojans really want to put their horrific start to the season behind them. A win against the Huskies will do that for them. Things are coming together well for the Trojans at just the right time. They are playing hot and effective, being a force on offense, and shutting down teams on defense.
Granted, they haven’t been playing the class of the conference (the Trojans lost to Utah, and won a nail biter with Colorado) since four of their last five opponents have a combined record of 15-23. Still, USC has every reason to be confident coming into this game. They sure have the talent to compete with the Huskies. The big question is whether or not they can play with the consistency they need to overcome an extremely balanced and disciplined Husky team.
My answer to that question is probably not. The Trojans are a young team, and still have a lot to prove. They played solid against both Utah and Colorado, splitting games between those teams. However, in both games, when they played good defenses, their offense faltered.
I expect to see more of the same this week.
The Huskies are, favorites to win this game but they have one of the smallest predicted margins of victory they’ve had all season at 7.5 points (courtesy of VegasInsider). The only other game that low was when they were 3.5 point favorites over Stanford, and we all know how that game ended up .... The O/U is as season high for the Huskies at 60.5 points.
Ah, the game notes. My reliable source of trivia for viewing parties and tailgating. You’ll get much much more than just notes for the game at hand. Check it out, and you’ll impress you friends, relatives and pets with your encyclopedic knowledge of the Dawgs.