PAC-12 Opening Weekend – Predicting USC Vs. San Jose State

The PAC-12 needs a booster shot.

Which one?

I don’t know. Probably all of them.

At least, can we shoot those who support PAC-12 admins who thought saying “no” to ESPN’s $30+ billion offer was a good idea?  

Okay, that’s the end of my rant, so it’s safe to take the fork out of your eyes.

USC seems to be first in everything this year. First PAC-12 team to leave the PAC-12. They are the first PAC-12 team to play a game this season.

Does that mean the Trojans will still be first when this ramshackle conference season is mercifully over?

I don’t think so. But at least the Trojans should win their first game this week when they host San Jose State.

The betting line on this one favors USC by five touchdowns. Although everyone agrees that the Trojans will win the game, my Savvy Index prediction system is saying to bet the “under” on both point spread and total game points (64.5).

San Jose State is not a “gimme” game for anyone. Consider that last year, this outfit traveled to Auburn and played before a crowd that was five times what the Spartans get at home. In the end, SJSU lost by a single possession.

A month later, they traveled to Fresno State, a program that won 10 games and finished in the top 25. Once again, the Spartans lost by a single possession.

The point is that San Jose State is accustomed to playing high-caliber opponents on the road and vying for wins right up to the final gun.  

Keep in mind that USC was abysmal in stopping the run last year. The Trojan defense ranked 118th in yards allowed per carry. San Jose State’s rush defense finished seventh in the nation.

USC’s pass defense ranked 112th in FBS for allowing yardage through the air, while San Jose State’s pass defense ranked 70 spots higher.

San Jose State is a prolific passing team, so expect the USC secondary to be chasing fly balls all game.

Of course, SJSU doesn’t have Heisman winner Caleb Williams at quarterback, but they have four-year starter (Hawai’i and San Jose State) Chevan Cordeiro, whose career has been consistently spectacular. Last year, Cordeiro not only passed for more than 3200 yards, but he was a national leader in 427 passing attempts. He threw a ridiculously low six interceptions.

USC will win this game because, on a position-for-position basis, the Trojan roster is just plain better. But San Jose State will make a game of it.

My Savvy Index says the final will be USC 36, San Jose State 21.

Last year, my Index beat the bookmakers in all three elements of prediction accuracy: picking game winners, setting point spreads, and setting total game points.

You can see all of the system’s predictions this week, plus last month’s analysis of USC, by clicking here.

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About Bobby Albrant 135 Articles
Bobby Albrant is a former journalism major at the University of Oregon, creator of Savvygameline.com for college football predictions and rankings, former analyst for Southern Mississippi football games, and twenty years coaching girls basketball for all ages through CIF high school. He has three grown children with his youngest daughter playing on the Ventura (Ca) High School basketball team that defeated Dom Lugo High School and was the last high school game ever played by Diana Taurasi. He can be reached at bobbywildcat@gmail.com.