Get up to speed before the Cougars hit the road to play the Trojans in Los Angeles.
Washington State (3-0) at USC (1-2)
When: Friday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: L.A. Coliseum
TV/Radio: ESPN/770 AM
Line: USC by 3 1/2
WSU players to watch
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QB Gardner Minshew — 117 of 165, 1,203 yds., 8 TDs
WR Tay Martin — 24 rec., 290 yds, 3 TDs
RB James Williams — 137 yds rush, 121 rec., 6 TDs
LB Dominick Silvels — 3 sacks
USC players to watch
QB JT Daniels — 67 of 117, 819 yds., 1 TD, 3 INT
RB— 32 carries, 167 yds, 5.2 ypc
WR— 18 rec., 304 yds, 1 TD
Keys to the game
USC’s confidence has to be fragile, coming off two losses in which it was dominated. If the Cougars can get up by a couple of touchdowns early, the fans will undoubtedly turn on the home team and it could be another long night for the Trojans.
Make Daniels beat them
USC has been very poor running the ball (when was the last time you read that? 1899?), averaging 109 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per attempt. That has put pressure on true freshman quarterback JT Daniels to win games. Daniels, who could be playing his senior year in high school but left a year early, has not been able to do that, with just one TD pass and three interceptions.
The Cougars did not have a turnover last week against Eastern Washington, and they scored 24 points off four EWU turnovers. If the Cougars can have a similar turnover margin against USC, they should return home 4-0.
If the prediction was three weeks ago, it would have been USC by two touchdowns. As always, the Trojans have a lot of talent, but they have not looked good at all, while the Cougars are coming in full of confidence.
Washington State 31, USC 20