Oregon State vs. USC NCAAF Odds: Trojans Have Open QB Competition Now

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Kedon Slovis #9 of the USC Trojans. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP.

So far, USC’s decision to fire head coach Clay Helton has been a success as the Trojans look to improve to 2-0 since that move when they host Oregon State in Pac-12 action late Saturday. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Oregon State Beavers vs. USC Trojans 

Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 10:30 PM EDT at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 

Interesting that this is already USC’s third Pac-12 game of the season – the Trojans are 1-1 in league play – but it’s the first for Oregon State. Then again, USC’s non-conference schedule is always a bit out of whack because it plays Notre Dame every year and usually in October. 

This is the first time the Trojans are hosting Oregon State (Beavers are in the opposite Pac-12 division) since 2017. USC has won 14 straight games at home in the series. Overall, the Trojans lead 63-11-4 and have taken 36 of the previous 40. USC has posted 17 shutouts of the Beavers. 

The last meeting was in 2018 in Corvallis and Southern Cal rolled 38-21 as that was a very bad OSU club. JT Daniels, now at Georgia, was the Trojans’ QB that day and threw for 177 yards and a TD. Aca’cedric Ware rushed for 205 yards and three scores on 17 carries. Whatever happened to that guy?! Jake Luton threw for 301 yards and a TD for Oregon State.  

The underdog is 5-2 on NCAAF picks in the past seven meetings. The total has gone under in the previous five. 

Beavers off Impressive Victory

Oregon State (2-1) lost its season opener 30-21 at a solid Purdue team but has since easily handled Hawaii and Idaho at home. It was a 42-0 beatdown of the Vandals on Saturday. The shutout was the first for the Beavers since the 2008 Sun Bowl and the first at Reser Stadium since 2006. The 42-point win was the biggest margin of victory for OSU since trouncing Nicholls State 77-3 on Dec. 1, 2012. 

B.J. Baylor rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns – he has rushed for seven scores already on the year (tied first nationally) and is the first Beaver with three consecutive multi-touchdown games since Storm Woods in 2012. Chance Nolan passed for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Nolan has completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 634 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions thus far. The Beavers have scored on 14 of 19 offensive series with Nolan at QB. 

Oregon State was 9-for-12 on third down vs. Idaho, with that 81.8 percent conversion rate the school’s best since at least 1996. Because the game was such a rout, Coach Jonathan Smith was able to rest his starters quite a bit. Defensively, OSU ranks ninth in the country with 27 tackles for loss. By comparison, it had 27 total during last year’s seven-game schedule. 

The Beavers haven’t gone to a bowl game since 2013 under Mike Riley, but I could see a way toward six wins and bowl eligibility. I don’t see them winning this one, but they could potentially run the table at home vs. Washington, Utah, Stanford, and Arizona State – none of them are currently ranked.  

Oregon State is 4-0 ATS on the NCAAF odds in its past four after a win. 

USC Now Has QB Controversy? 

USC fired coach Clay Helton following an embarrassing 42-28 home loss to Stanford in Week 2. Former associate head coach/cornerbacks coach Donte Williams, a Los Angeles native, took over as the interim coach, but he’s not getting the full-time job. BetOnline had some NCAAF futures up last week on who might get it and Penn State’s James Franklin had been the favorite, although that prop is currently off the board. Williams is the first black head coach in program history.  

Despite losing starting quarterback Kedon Slovis in the first quarter to injury this past Saturday, the Trojans were 45-14 winners at Washington State. Freshman Jaxson Dart replaced Slovis and was 30-for-46 for 391 yards (school record in a debut), four touchdowns, and two picks. USC was down 14-7 at halftime but blew up with 28 third-quarter points. USC’s 38 second-half points were its most in a second-half since 2005. 

Slovis apparently has avoided a serious injury but now will have to “battle” Dart for the starting job. Williams said he and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell will make the decision together. Dart was the 2020 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at Corner Canyon High School in Utah. 

"I mean me personally being the head coach, I approach everything as a battle," said Williams. "I think part of why people don't succeed and develop is because they get complacent. That's not just at quarterback that's at every position. I want to make sure guys are never complacent. You get too comfortable you start to realize practice maybe isn't that important to you, and you start looking forward to Saturday and the game. I want to make sure these guys look forward to practice and continue to get better and develop every day." 

Star wideout Drake London had 13 catches for 170 yards and two scores but left the game following his 31-yard TD to end the third quarter. London is in the concussion protocol as of now, but Williams said he thought London would be cleared to practice this week. 

USC is 1-5-1 ATS in its past seven after scoring at least 40 points in the previous game. It would be nice to know if Slovis/London were playing, but I’m going to take the points. Oregon State is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 on the road.  

NCAAF Pick: Oregon State +13 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

Oregon State +13 (-110)
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