|Okay, my top play for September in College goes Sat night and it fits perfectly with my redemption theme.
Posted: 9/8/2017 4:58:50 PM
USC -5.5 for 3 units
Saw a lot of people posting Stanford as a play saying 'can't believe they're getting points, USC is overrated, etc.'
Well it would be easy to look at SC last week vs W Mich and say they were unimpressive. They started slow, they let W Mich hang around. I had the Trojans as I thought the Broncos would struggle to score without Davis and with a new QB and coach but they played well and still have good RBs and got the cover (Everything went wrong for me last week).
But listen, the Trojans did still win by 18, it's not like they got a scare like Louisville or something. Another thing: in that game the Broncos ran a trick play pass back to the QB, a defender was right there and it should have been a pick6 but instead the QB got it (still don't know how) and went for a score. Without that 14 point swing the Trojans cover even though they didn't start great. Just saying.
USC was likely in a bit of a look ahead. This is one of the biggest games on their slate and they have double revenge and are at home. But that's not what this play is based on. It's based on 2 things.
1)In last year's loss, Stanford had Christian McCaffrey.
2) In last year's loss, USC didn't have Darnold starting.
This year both those things have changed and it will change the result of the game too.
I invite you to go back and look at the stats from that game last year. McCaffery had almost all of the Cardinal yards. They only completed 8 passes the whole game and even 3 of them were to McCaffrey. Bryce Love has been referred to by his coach as one of the most dynamic players in College football this year but he hasn't started vs a PAC-12 team on the road and he is definitely not as good as McCaffrey, if you watch that kid last year or in Carolina's preseason, he is just something really special. It's rare for RBs to get drafted high any more and for a white one to be drafted that high you know he had to be really good. He was Stanford's whole offense and he's gone.
Conversely, the Trojans didn't have Darnold in that game though he game in mop up duty and actually completed some passes was like 5-7 but the game was over by then. He then went on to dazzle and start the hype about being a high draft pick. He's very accurate, can move around, just has the look of a winner.
It's actually better for USC that they had a bit of trouble 1st half vs W Michigan as they can focus on cleaning stuff up. Stanford blowing out rice scoring 60-odd really doesn't give them any edge in preparing for Darnold.
Stanford's offense last year was completely reliant on their future NFL 1st rd pick. Now the Trojans have the NFL 1st rd talent to lean on and their coaching situation is finally settled.
Don't bite on that +5.5 thinking it's a gift, Stanford's new QB and new RB have to go into the Coliseum and keep pace with Darnold who trounced the best pass D in the Pac12 last year, Washington, who had 2 NFL drafted CBs. Stanford is going to get rolled through the air and won't be able to play their game of get a lead and grind it out with the run. USC still has some vulnerability against the run but I don't think Stanford will be able to outscore Darnold's team by only completing less than 10 passes like they did last year. Just feels like it's USC's turn this weekend after losing twice in a row to Stanford.
Just another note on week 2: I played both USC and NC St last weekend and lost, one thing I've learned over the years is sometimes you're just a bit unlucky with a team one week and you need to stick with them in those cases.