USC vs. Utah has a lot of importance in regard to the Pac-12 standings, but do the Utes have any real shot at upsetting the Trojans? In a report by CBS Sports, all of the college football experts have picked the USC Trojans to win this game, but most feel that it is going to be closer than the Las Vegas oddsmakers are predicting. The current line for the game favors USC by 13 ½ points.

There are going to be a lot of eyes on the USC vs. Utah game, especially due to Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. He is trying to help increase his stock for the 2018 NFL Draft.

It took a bit of a hit when Darnold and USC lost to Washington State back in Week 5. They rebounded by beating Oregon State 38-10, but now have to go up against a team that is trying to knock them out of first place in the Pac-12 South.

Current Pac-12 South standings

The USC Trojans (5-1, 3-1) currently lead the Pac-12 South Division, but the Utah Utes (4-1, 1-1) are right there with them. This game may very well decide which school heads to the Pac-12 Championship Game, even if there are a lot of games left on the schedule. Arizona (3-2, 1-1), UCLA (3-2, 1-1), and Arizona State (2-3, 1-1) still have a shot to catch up, but the talent doesn’t seem to be there for those schools this year.

Anything can happen in the Pac-12, as seen by California beating up on Washington State Friday night (Oct.

13). That loss knocked the Cougars down to 6-1 and may have severely damaged their postseason aspirations. WSU is trying to win the Pac-12 North but has to go through the Washington Huskies (6-0, 3-0) to do it. As it currently stands, the winner of the USC vs. Utah game would most likely face Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

This underscores the importance of a win on Saturday.

Sam Darnold takes center stage

There is a lot of chatter about Sam Darnold becoming one of the first selections of the 2018 NFL Draft. In order to get to that point, he needs to have some “showcase” games on his resume. Putting up big numbers against a vaunted defense from Utah could be the perfect recipe for his resume.

Utah isn’t going to make it easy, though, especially since the season might be on the line for the Utes. Losing last week to Stanford brought Utah down a few notches, but they have seven regular season games to make it back up the national rankings.

Start time for the USC vs. Utah game is 5 PM PT on Saturday (Oct. 14). It will be played at the Los Angeles Coliseum and ABC is providing the national television coverage. Watch ESPN will have the live stream version of the game and it will, of course, also be on the radio. The game as all the makings of a low-scoring, defensive battle, but anything can happen when two teams in the Pac-12 Conference square off. Can USC beat Utah? Can USC cover the spread of 13 ½ points?