Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 10:45 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Opening College Football Odds: USC -10
Arizona vs. USC TV Coverage: ESPN
This four-game run for Arizona has been wildly impressive. The team has scored at least 45 points in all four games, and it has been favored in just one of the four duels.
The timing of this run corresponds with Rodriguez's switch at quarterback to Khalil Tate.
Tate is just a sophomore, and he certainly isn't a polished passer at this point in his career. That said, his legs are opening up this offense in epic form over the course of his first four games of the year, and he's averaging 11.7 yards per pass and 13.4 yards per rush, numbers that look like they're straight out of a video game.
Tate has 784 passing yards and 926 more on the ground, and he's amassed these 14 total touchdowns in just four games.
The Trojans should definitely be scared of Tate's raw abilities.
That said, Clay Helton's team knows that the Pac-12 South title will effectively be wrapped up with a win in this one. The Trojans beat Arizona State on the road last week as short 4.5-point favorites, and that 48-17 victory was a dominant performance in a game that could have gone sideways after the blowout loss in South Bend the week prior.
A win over Arizona would at least keep the discussion alive about playing for the College Football Playoff, though at this point, the Trojans are probably pointed at the Rose Bowl at best.
Let's remember that Tate hasn't exactly played against the cream of the crop defenses in the Pac-12 at this point. He blew apart a Colorado defense that returned just three starters from a season ago, a UCLA defense that couldn't stop peewee teams this season, a Cal team that has never been known for its defensive prowess and a Washington State team that had never seen anything quite like that this year.
These four teams rank No. 80, No. 130, No. 79 and No. 42 nationally against the run. Only Washington State's defense, of the four, ranks in the top-75 in scoring defense.
USC is only No. 67 against the rush, but its defensive line has been outstanding this season. This is a big moment for men like Josh Fatu and Uchenna Nwosu to ultimately prove they're ready to take that step to the next level in the NFL.
Arizona vs. USC Free Picks
The fun and games are over for Arizona, just like it was over for Arizona State. The Wildcats are once again not going to be favored at any of the best online sportsbooks, but this time, they're going to be overstated now that they have a 6-2 record and a real shot of winning the Pac-12 South.
But just as quickly as Tate has become a star, he's probably set to become a dud.
The Trojans beat up Arizona 48-14 last season, and they have averaged holding the Wildcats under 150 rushing yards per game in the Rodriguez era. If that turns out to be the case again on Saturday night at the Coliseum, there is literally no hope for Arizona to seize control of this division. USC will effectively win the South on Saturday.
College Football ATS Pick: USC -10 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: USC 44, Arizona 14