As Arizona State showed last night at Cal, the Pac-12 is great at cannibalizing itself. It’s to the point where you can’t really count anyone out in a conference game.
With USC-Washington, there are the obvious factors like Talanoa Hufanga being out and the home-field advantage of Husky Stadium.
But to me the key will be how USC fares against Washington’s defense, especially when the Huskies drop eight men back. USC didn’t handle BYU’s similar scheme too well and the Huskies are better at it.
I like the leadership Matt Fink showed last week. I just wonder about his decision making at times, especially in a hostile environment. He’s going to throw some deep balls but I doubt Washington’s secondary will be as inept as Utah. But hey, you never know in the Pac-12. Anything is possible with Michael Pittman grabbing jump balls.
You can also make the case Washington’s Jacob Eason is the best QB USC has faced this season. Drake Jackson will need a big game applying pressure.
This should be a fairly close game, unless Clay Helton gets involved and Graham Harrell tries to get cute like he did at BYU. Chris Petersen laid an egg in 2016 when USC upset the Huskies, 26-13.
I don’t think he will make the same mistake twice. So I’m taking Washington, 31-23.