Pac-12 Conference Championship Game Preview: Utah vs. USC

Dec 2, 2022

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Game: Utah Utes @ USC Trojans

Time: 9:00 p.m.

Odds:  Utes +2.5, Trojans -2.5

Total: 67

In their previous three games versus the Utah Utes, the USC Trojans (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) are 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS, including their lone loss of this season which occurred back in October. With a victory in Las Vegas on Friday night, the Trojans will attempt to exact revenge for that defeat and secure a position in the College Football Playoff.

In the Pac-12 championship game, the Trojans started off as a 1-point favorite but betting activity moved the line to USC -3. Since the game’s initial total of 65.5 points, the total has increased to 67 points. In the previous eight meetings between the Utes and Trojans, the OVER is 6-1-1.

In Week 12, the Utes lost 20-17 to the Oregon Ducks on the road as 1-point underdogs. The offense had a rare off day. In a 63-21 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes just last week, Utah’s offense showed what it is capable of and covered as 30-point favorites.

Ja’Quinden Jackson led the rushing assault with 117 yards and three touchdowns on only 10 carries, while Cameron Rising led the passing attack going 17-of-19 for 234 passing yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

In their most recent matchup, Rising shredded USC’s defense, throwing for 415 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 60 yards and three scores. Utah won 43-42 and will probably need another fantastic performance by Rising to claim the Pac-12 title. The Utes have a 3-1 SU and ATS record over their previous four games going into Friday night.

USC QB Caleb Williams did his part to make himself the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy with a superb performance in USC’s 38-27 victory at home against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud struggled against the Michigan Wolverines in an ugly loss.

Williams completed 18 of his 22 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 35 yards and three more scores in the win over Notre Dame. Williams has 3,712 passing yards going into the Pac-12 championship game and a stunning 34-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

With a victory on Friday night, USC will be in a position to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Trojans are 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS since falling to Utah by a single point in October. The Trojans were just 4-8 SU in 2021, but with new head coach Lincoln Riley, they are once again among the top teams in the country.

The Utes have been the better defensive team this year, which ought to increase their chances of pulling off the upset. It will be up to Rising and the offense to out-shoot the Trojans in order to win.  In USC’s loss to Utah in October, Williams had 381 throwing yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Utah is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games in Pac-12 play and 10-1 SU in its last 11 games against a South Division opponent.

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