22.Sep.2014 USC Week
People want a new thread, but I don’t have time right now so I will keep it short.
The Beavs played their most complete game of the year on Saturday, and based on what I have seen of USC (2 quarters), the Beavs should have at least be competitive on Saturday. If the Beavs were home I’d be thinking upset. On the road probably not. But big picture here is that USC isn’t that great. The big problem is that OSU’s front four likely won’t get any pressure on Kessler and he’ll pick on the secondary. Other than that, the matchup is pretty even. I’d like to see the Beavs blitz LBs for a change, especially on obvious passing downs. They’ll have to take calculated gambles like that to get pressure.
On offense, I think there will be some jitters for the young guys (conference play, ESPN, road game, etc) and expect a bad first quarter. After that it should get better. Beavs don’t have any clear advantages on offense so they’ll need to execute at a high level to stay in the game. The -12 line seems a bit high to me. I’d say -7 or -10 would be more in line with reality, but we’ll see.
It was nice to see Hunter Jarmon come up big. I had him targeted as the guy who needed to replace Cooks, and also had him as a 5-star prospect and 2nd best in the 2013 class. I heard Xavier Hawkins was activated to replace Bolden. That is a big downgrade as far as I’m concerned. I had Hawkins as a 2-star. Many people in TN (and Beaver fans) raved about him, so we’ll see on Saturday. I’d be thrilled to be wrong, but he looked like Malcolm Marable part II to me.
I’m thinking something like 27-20 USC but would not be surprised if the Beavs are in this game in the 4th quarter. This is more about USC being slightly overrated and having more pressure/more to lose than thinking the Beavs are a top 20 team. The Beavs right now are an average team (top 40) that is executing at a fairly low level (but improving week to week). I do like how each opponent the Beavs have played has been progressively better. That’ll help, though USC is quite a jump from SDSU. Mannion better protect the ball.