Utah at No. 13 USC: Prediction, pick, line, odds, TV channel, live stream, watch online

No. 13 USC hosts Utah in a key Pac-12 South matchup. Both teams enter the game with a loss in conference play, and a loss here would be a significant blow to either team's hope of winning the division this season.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct. 14 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Coliseum -- Los Angeles, California
TV: ABC | Live stream: Watch ESPN

Storylines

USC: The Trojans rebounded from their loss to Washington State two weeks ago by coming home and beating up on a bad Oregon State team. Still, the 38-10 win over the Beavers didn't do anything to erase any of this team's flaws.

Even in last week's win, Sam Darnold threw an interception, meaning he's thrown at least one pick in every game this season and has nine total. Just because he hasn't thrown a back-breaking interception yet doesn't excuse the frequency they occur. Instead, the timing has only made sure USC hasn't lost a game due to them. It also helps that the USC defense can force turnovers at a high rate itself. Still, keep playing with fire, and you'll get burned sooner or later.

Utah: The Utes enter this game coming off a 23-20 loss to Stanford last week. If they want to avoid another loss, they'll need to rely on their defensive line in this game. Utah's front four is quite large and can be disruptive. Considering all the injuries USC is dealing with on its offensive line, that's something Utah will look to exploit.

And on offense, the key will be to stay within its capabilities. This USC defense is good and forces a lot of turnovers, so the best strategy for the Utes might be to focus on taking care of the ball rather than taking big shots. Or, at least, pick your spots to get aggressive wisely.

Prediction

I'm expecting this game to be a low-scoring, defensive affair. The kind where both offenses sweat just to move the ball a few yards at a time, and we see plenty of punts hoping to win the field position battle. Considering that, and remembering that Sam Darnold is likely to throw at least one pick, it's hard to pass up on any points Vegas wants to give me.  Pick: Utah +13.5


CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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