Washington vs. USC prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen during Saturday’s premier matchup between the Huskies and Trojans.
USC is much better than it was earlier this season. Whoopdy-doo. No way am I taking Clay Helton over Chris Petersen. It seems like everyone – including the College Football Playoff Committee – is waiting for Washington to fail. It might, just not against the Trojans. Jake Browning adds three more touchdowns to his resume and helps the Huskies pull out a 10-point victory.
You’re going to think I’m nuts, but I’m rolling with the upset here. Jake Browning has been exciting to watch this season, but I’m picking Sam Darnold to be the hero in this one. Both quarterbacks will go off, but Darnold will lead the Trojans on a key drive late in the game to pick up the win for USC, effectively dampening the Huskies’ shot at the College Football Playoff.
This is not the same Trojans squad that was blown out by Alabama in the season opener and struggled out of the gate. Clay Helton has done a wonderful job of keeping this team together, and Sam Darnold has been a difference-maker at quarterback. However, Washington is No. 11 in the country in points allowed at 17.0 points per game, and Budda Baker and Co. are allowing just 5.6 yards per pass attempt, which is the fifth-best mark in the nation. Give me Chris Petersen and his defense in a big game.
I don’t trust Clay Helton in a big game, while Chris Petersen has won many big games when given the opportunity. Washington pulls this one out, but here is my real question: do Boise State fans resent Petersen for leaving? They seem like a bunch that would.