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Trojans and Bruins Seek More of Same on the Road

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This weekend should play host to two blowouts for the local college football teams.

Coming off of three victories, however unimpressive they might have been, USC begin their Pac-10 schedule with a trip up to the Palouse against the lowly Washington State Cougars. The last time USC went up to Pullman in 2008 they came out with a 69-0 rout, and the last time the Trojans have lost to the Cougars was a 30-27 overtime loss in Pullman in 2002. That loss by the way was only one of three in the history of the series that dates back to 1921.

But as for Saturday not much analysis is needed. The Cougars have an inexperienced offensive line that should have the Trojan defense salivating if they can remember to tackle. And the Cougars defense are giving up an average of 180 yards on the ground, so Marc Tyler, Dillon Baxter and Allen Bradford should have a field day up there.

The only question that remains is whether the Trojans will cover the 22-point spread. Seeing as how the Trojans are 0-3 against the spread this season, not a lot of people are buying explaining how the line has moved from the 24 points when it opened.

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For the other side of town, the UCLA Bruins will head over to visit the seventh-ranked Texas Longhorns. UCLA has won the last two meetings in 1997 and 1998 including a 66-3 drubbing where quarterback Cade McNown threw five first-half touchdown passes en route to a 38-0 halftime lead over the then tenth ranked Longhorns in Austin.

The Bruin offense will have a big test on the road with the Longhorn defense being quite stout feasting on quarterbacks early in the season. UCLA looked comfortable for the first time in their new pistol offense installed in the offseason, but the credit for that really had to go to the awful Houston Cougar defense. Running back Johnathan Franklin ran wild with a breakout 158 yards and three touchdowns in the Bruins improbable victory.

And while the Bruin defense held the high octane Cougar offense to only 13 points, don’t be fooled. The Cougars used four different quarterbacks with starter Case Keenum suffering a concussion the week before. Although Keenum was cleared to play on gameday, the effects of the concussion and the lack of practice time during the week seemed to have an effect. The Bruin defense is still inexperienced aside from linebacker Akeem Ayers and free safety Rahim Moore.

The line on this game is all over the place anywhere from Texas as 15 to 16 point favorites. Regardless I’d take Texas and lay the points.

USC at Washington - Saturday at Noon, FS Prime Ticket, AM 710 KSPN.

UCLA at Texas - Saturday at 12:30 pm, ABC, AM 570 KLAC.