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This Week in the Mountain West: Fresno State at USC

Can Fresno State March into the Coliseum and Defeat a Strong USC Trojan Team?

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

A Pac-12 and Mountain West prime-time game airing on Fox on September 17th at 7:30 pm (PT). This Saturday night game makes for an interesting match-up. USC is looking to improve their already 2-0 record, while Fresno State seeks to redeem themselves after their 35-32 loss against Oregon State.

USC was nearly perfect last week against Stanford on the road defeating them 41-28. Quarterback Caleb Williams went 20-27 in passing completions, threw for 341 yards, and topped off his stats with four passing touchdowns as well. Running back Travis Dye had a day too, finishing off with 114 yards and one touchdown, while only receiving 14 carries. As an experienced running back in the FBS Travis Dye stated in a recent article published by 247Sports giving a lot of praise to this 2022 USC Trojan football team.

“I’ve been on some really good teams and this is the best team I’ve ever been on and that’s no disrespect to my past teams, it’s just the truth.”

Overall, USC looks strong so far this season and is at home against the Bulldogs as 12 and a-half point favorites according to WilliamHill Sportsbook.

Fresno State had a close and strong-fought game against Oregon State, however, lost 35-32 and is now set to face off against the Trojans in the Coliseum. Even though Fresno State lost they still beat Oregon State in total yards and passing yards in the stat sheet, which goes to show this Fresno State offense is prepared to put up points. To beat USC, Fresno State will have to continue to establish a strong run game on the ground against USC’s defensive line, and for them to do that they will have to get the ball to Senior running back Jordan Mims. Mims had a day last week against Oregon State by getting 21 carries resulting in 122 yards and two touchdowns. Fresno State was able to show a good balance of offense against the Ducks between running the ball and passing it, so hopefully, they will be able to continue that against USC’s defensive talent.

Senior quarterback Jake Haener for the Bulldogs was given a lot of opportunity to pass the ball against Oregon State completing 29-45 pass attempts for 360 yards, but throwing for only one touchdown. If Fresno State is looking to win this football game the key for them is to stop settling for field goals on potential touchdown drives. Last week against Oregon State, the Bulldogs settled for four field goals in which two of those field goals were only from 20 yards away. Missed touchdown opportunities will slow the momentum for Fresno State and USC will capitalize on those missed opportunities.