Count Las Vegas among those not expecting a close game this weekend in Southern California.
Despite the fact that USC (1-1) is coming off a 10-7 home loss to Washington State and the Eagles are off to their first 2-0 start in three seasons, Boston College heads into this weekend's tip to Los Angeles as a significant road dog. The Wynn Las Vegas has pegged the Eagles as a 15-point underdog against USC.
USC is a program in disarray. Despite fielding a roster 10 scholarships below the FBS maximum, USC has the talent to compete with most programs in the nation. Yet embattled head coach Lane Kiffin has badly mismanaged a quarterback competition between Cody Kessler and Max Wittek that, through 15+ percent of the season, has no clear cut winner. Neither Kessler or Wittek was able to get the offense going in the loss to Washington State, with Wittek (3-of-8, 13 yards, 1 INT) relieving Kessler (8-of-13, 41 yards, 1 INT) after the first half.
The Trojans' most dangerous offensive weapon, reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee, finished the game with just seven catches for 27 yards against a depleted Cougars secondary, though that stat was the result of numerous swing passes and bubble screens that went for little to no yards.
There is still talent on the defensive side of the ball and the Trojans' new aggressive 3-4 defense has performed well through two games. The USC D has already forced seven turnovers through the first two games of the season, including three (1 fumble recovered and 2 INTs) in the loss to Washington State.
Even though the Trojans have acquitted themselves well on defense, the combination of offensive ineptitude, Kiffin's QB indecision and the home lost to hapless Washington State likely means the fourth year Trojans head coach is looking at his final year in Los Angeles. That is if he even makes it through the year.
It'll be interesting to watch the line over the course of the next week as Kiffin tries to keep the USC locker room together and attempts to dismiss all the hot seat talk.
For more on the Trojans, visit Conquest Chronicles.
Other early week 3 lines of note:
-- Army (1-1) is a 29-point home underdog as the Black Knights host Stanford (1-0).
-- Virginia Tech (1-1) is a 7.5-point road favorite at East Carolina (2-0). As is Maryland (2-0) at Connecticut (0-1).
-- Wake Forest (1-1) is just a 3-point home favorite over Louisiana-Monroe (1-1).
-- Florida State (1-0) is a 32-point home favorite against Nevada (1-1).
-- New Mexico State (0-2) is a 7-point home underdog as the Aggies host UTEP (0-1).