4. USC Trojans
Opponent: at Oregon State | Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m. ET | Spread: USC -5.5
No question, the USC offense has looked damn near unstoppable through the first three games with Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams running the show. They’ve been putting points up at will and, despite the critics, they’ve not come even remotely close to slipping up to this point.
That being said, legitimate questions about USC’s defense still exist as they have not been able to string together consistent play on that side of the ball to this point. To be sure, they’ve created turnovers that have flipped games in their favor quickly, but the Trojans defense has been doing so at an unsustainable rater. And now they face an Oregon State team that has been extremely impressive thus far and that boasts a high-end offensive line to negate their pass-rush, which has been key to USC’s success.
On paper, the Trojans are the better team. But Corvallis is always a tricky place to play for this program and, with the questions still remaining about USC, there’s a world where they end up in trouble late on Saturday night.
3. Texas A&M Aggies
Opponent: Arkansas | Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. ET | Spread: TAMU -1.5
Credit where it’s due, Texas A&M welcomed a Top 25 opponent in Miami to College Station and did what they couldn’t do against App State — pick up the win at Kyle Field. At the same time, though, the questions that still remain about the Aggies haven’t gone anywhere.
The Texas A&M defense is going to present a challenge to KJ Jefferson and the potent Arkansas offense on Saturday night but the truth of the matter is that’s not what we’re looking at. Even with the change to Max Johnson at quarterback over Haynes King, the Aggies struggled to move the ball with any kind of consistency, which doesn’t bode well for Jimbo Fisher’s team taking advantage of the struggling and banged up Razorbacks pass defense.
There’s a reason that this spread is so tight for a game that’s at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for a neutral site affair. These are both teams with question marks early in the year, but that definitely means the favorite in A&M could end up in danger of suffering their second loss already.