Fresno State Looks For Better Result This Time Against USC
The Fresno State Bulldogs come out of the Mountain West Conference, and as such, they are going to often be in the position where they have to prove their legitimacy. They ran into a problem in that regard last season against the USC Trojans, and now they have an opportunity to redeem themselves and beat the football odds in action that kicks off at 7:30 PM ET on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
As most people engaged with NCAA betting are aware, Fresno State had an outstanding quarterback last season, as Derek Carr threw for 69% accuracy and 50 touchdowns and was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Raiders. USC had its problems from the start at the QB spot last year, and eventually got it straightened out, as they feel they have the man to move ahead with in Cody Kessler, who ended the season with 20 TD passes and just seven interceptions. They also have a new head coach in Steve Sarkisian, who once played baseball for the Trojans, played football for BYU and coached at Washington last year.
In the college football betting odds that have been established at VietBet, the Trojans are considerable favorites:
USC Trojans -21.5
Fresno State Bulldogs +21.5
Over 57.5 Points -110
Under 57.5 Points -110
Fresno State had some close wins last season on their way to a 10-0 start, in which they were harboring hopes of a “BCS-buster” experience. They were “paper tigers” in a sense, and that fact got exposed against San Jose State (which scored 62 points) and then in the post-season. The Bulldogs have lost their last three bowls by a combined 128-47 margin, which is duly noted by those who analyze the football odds.
In the Las Vegas Bowl they were buried by the Trojans, 45-20. In that game USC was using its third different head coach. They began the season with Lane Kiffin, who lasted until a 62-41 loss to Arizona State, when he was literally fired in the airport by athletic director Pat Haden. Ed Orgeron took over on an interim basis, and there was no question among VietBet customers that the level of intensity and enthusiasm on the part of the team increased. They won five of their last six regular season games, including a victory over then-#5 Stanford. Unfortunately, they were beaten by three touchdowns by intra-city rival UCLA. Still, Orgeron thought he had done a good enough job that he deserved to have the “interim” tag removed, but Haden apparently preferred to have more of a marquee coach. So Oregron resigned, and Clay Helton took over for the bowl game.
Fresno State points to the fact that it has eight starters returning on defense, but college football bettors know it was a defense that was not well equipped to deal with a passing attack of any level of quality last season. The problem is whether this team, without Carr, can trade points with good schools. There are certain pieces of good news for them. One is that they were able to hold opponents to 3.6 yards per rushing attempt last season. And they are hardly turning to a green kid to take over at quarterback. Rather, they have a former starter at Duke, Brandon Cornette, who completed 62% of his passes for the Blue Devils last season. He can both pass and run, which is a dimension the Bulldogs might find necessary against a USC stop unit that ranked 13th in the nation and brings back eight starters.
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By Charles Jay
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