Wash St.-USC Odds

Los Angeles, CA Despite some unanticipated stumbles in each of the last three seasons, Southern California has extended its streak of Pac-10 titles to seven.

To make it eight in a row, the Trojans again need to rebound from a surprising loss to an unranked Pac-10 rival.

Bet College Football Week 4

The No. 12 Trojans look to bounce back from a shocking defeat to one team they had dominated lately by continuing their mastery of another as they host Washington State on Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL have made USC -44.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on Washington State +44.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

USC (2-1, 0-1) has set a conference record by winning at least a share of seven straight Pac-10 championships, but each of its last three runs to the title has been marred by a loss to an unranked conference opponent.

The Trojans were ranked third when they lost at Oregon State in 2006, second when they fell at home to Stanford in 2007 and No. 1 for last season's 27-21 road defeat to the Beavers.

As much experience as they have with such letdowns, the Trojans suffered another one last Saturday. Coming into the game at No. 3, USC fell 16-13 to a Washington team that earlier this season matched a conference record by losing its 15th consecutive game.

" Washington wasn't the better team. They just outplayed us," said tailback Joe McKnight, who ran for 100 yards on 11 carries and scored USC's only touchdown 2:32 into the game. "Clearly, we have superior athletes. But hard work beats athleticism any day."

The Trojans, who had won their previous seven games against the Huskies, were stung by eight penalties, an 0-for-10 conversion rate on third down and three turnovers inside the Washington 35.

"We didn't get any better from last week," coach Pete Carroll said. "I'm not doing a good enough job of making the points of how we win."

Perhaps one of the reasons the Trojans didn't win last week was the absence of Matt Barkley. The freshman quarterback helped USC to an 18-15 road victory over then-No. 8 Ohio State in his second career start Sept. 12, but he missed last week's game because of a bruised shoulder.

Sophomore Aaron Corp started in Barkley's place last week and went 13 for 22 for 110 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

"I felt I was prepared. I just didn't execute," Corp said solemnly.

Barkley and Corp have both been taking snaps in practice this week. USC hasn't announced who will start against Washington State (1-2, 0-1).

Whichever player is under center Saturday, he'll try to help the Trojans avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since a four-game skid from Sept. 8-Oct. 6, 2001, Carroll's first season at the helm.

USC has won its last six meetings with Washington State by an average of 34.5 points. The Trojans routed the Cougars 69-0 last season, recording their largest shutout win since 1931 and handing Washington State its first shutout loss since 1984.

Washington State is 8-56-4 in the series, including 4-37-2 in Los Angeles.

The Cougars got their first win of 2009 last Saturday, scoring 20 of the last 23 points in regulation before beating SMU 30-27 on Nico Grasu's 39-yard field goal in overtime.

Washington State's offense was outgained 504-276, but the Cougars returned two interceptions for touchdowns and a third pick set up the game-winning kick.

"The defense kept us in the game and put points on the board," Grasu said. "You can't ask for anything more."

The defense, though, might have an added burden with James Montgomery missing the rest of the season. Coach Paul Wulff said the running back - who ran for 118 yards against Hawaii on Sept. 12 - had surgery on his left leg Sunday and won't play again in 2009.

The Trojans hope for better injury news on Taylor Mays. The All-American safety missed his first career game last week because of the right knee ligament he sprained against the Buckeyes. His status for this week is uncertain.

Bet College Football Week 4

Posted: 9/22/09 6:37PM ET

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