USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton could be coaching for his job.
The embattled head coach is rumored to be on his way out of Los Angeles faster than a shoddy Hollywood script, despite the fact the Trojans still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South.
USC (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12 South) is at a crossroads of their season, coming off hard-fought back-to-back defeats at the hands of Washington and Notre Dame. The Trojans do have impressive victories over Stanford and Utah earlier this season, but are averaging less than 30 points per game and have lacked the explosiveness you have come to expect from a team with as many weapons as USC.
Arizona (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12 South) has bounced back nicely after a dismal opening week loss to Hawai’i. The Wildcats have won four of five with their only loss coming last week to a tough-nosed Washington team. Senior QB Khalil Tate has been erratic at times tossing 10 touchdowns this season to go along with six interceptions.
Game Preview: Arizona at USC
Date: Saturday, October 19th
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, CA)
TV: Pac12 Network
Spread: USC -9.5
*All odds are courtesy of Covers
- Arizona is 2-3-1 ATS this season
- USC is 3-3 ATS this season
- Overs are 4-2 in Arizona games this season
- Unders are 4-2 in USC games this season
- Arizona is 5-1 ATS in last 6 games following a loss
- USC is 4-1 ATS this season against teams with a winning record
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How Arizona +9.5 Can Cover
Khalil Tate needs to play at a Heisman level. It’s no surprise that as Tate goes, the rest of the Wildcats offense follows. The Wildcats have proven they can move the ball at will, ranking 9th in the nation in total offense at 509.3 yards per game. However, Tate struggled last week in a 24-point home loss to Washington, the best defense Arizona has seen all year.
Arizona’s defense has to be better. The Wildcats rank 119th in yards allowed per game (473.2) and 128th in passing yards allowed per game (320.7). Unless head coach Kevin Sumlin can figure out a way to button things up in the back, it could be a long night for the Wildcats’ secondary.
How USC -9.5 Can Cover
The Trojans might have found themselves a quarterback. Kedon Slovis returned from a concussion and held his own at Notre Dame last week. The true freshman was unphased by the tough road environment and completed 24-of-35 for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Considering the weapons USC has on the outside, if Slovis continues to progress, the Trojans might be tough to stop down the stretch.
The depth on defense must rise to the occasion as USC will be without four key starters. Cornerbacks Greg Johnson (shoulder), Olaijah Griffin (back) and Isaac Taylor-Stuart (ankle) and linebacker Palaie Gaoteote (ankle) will all be sidelined.
This is a bad spot for Arizona. The Trojans have lost two straight and there are rumblings about their head coach being on the hot seat. The matchup also favors USC who are just starting to find their stride through the air with Slovis under center against the porous Wildcats secondary. The Trojans have won the last six in a row over in this series. Make is seven as USC prevails on Homecoming helping Clay Helton lives to fight on another week.
Pick: USC 38, Arizona 24