USC (3-0) at Washington State (1-2) Noon at Martin Stadium TV: FSN. Radio: 850 AM, 1300 AM, 1380 AM. Line: USC by 22. The setup: It's the...

USC (3-0) at Washington State (1-2)

Noon at Martin Stadium

TV: FSN. Radio: 850 AM, 1300 AM, 1380 AM. Line: USC by 22.

The setup: It’s the conference opener for both teams. USC has played mostly unimpressively under first-year coach Lane Kiffin. But the Trojans have won seven straight in the series, including a 27-6 triumph last year in the LA Coliseum.

    Most Read Stories

What to expect: USC will try to pound the Cougars with a multi-tailback system, featuring Allen Bradford (193 yards, 8.4 average), Marc Tyler and freshman Dillon Baxter, mixed with excellent quarterbacking from sophomore Matt Barkley (9 TDs, 2 interceptions). WSU has been inconsistent protecting QB Jeff Tuel and must shore that up.

Notes: In the teams’ last meeting in Pullman, USC won 69-0 as WSU featured a conservative game plan aimed at not adding to a long injury list. … WSU coach Paul Wulff said this week he would consider burning redshirts of freshmen Bennett Bontemps and Tracy Clark because of lack of depth. … No USC coach since 1951 (Jess Hill) has started 4-0 his first year.

Key matchup: For this to be interesting, the WSU offensive line must hold its own against USC’s stout defensive front, led by DT Jurrell Casey.

Injuries: USC — DL Armond Armstead (shoulder), questionable; DE Nick Perry (ankle), probable. WSU — DT Toni Pole (calf infection), out.

Upset brewing? It takes a huge imagination to see that happening, as the Trojans, even with some depth issues, have a major edge in size and speed.

Pick: USC 38, WSU 10.

Bud Withers