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USC vs. Oregon: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, Pac-12 prediction, pick, odds, spread, kickoff time


USC or Oregon have been a part of five of the nine Pac-12 Championship Games since the league began hosting them in 2011, but they have never played each other with the conference title on the line. That will change Friday night when the No. 13 Trojans face the Ducks, who are standing in for Washington after the Huskies informed the league that they will not be able to play due to COVID-19 issues.

This is the conference title matchup that was predicted in the league’s preseason media poll; however, the route to a battle between USC and Oregon in the championship game took some strange twists in an already strange year. The Ducks (3-2) rose as high as No. 9 in the AP Top 25 poll during a 3-0 start and came in at No. 15 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings before consecutive losses to Oregon State and Cal ended their chances of making any noise on the national scene. 

On the flip side, the Trojans enter the contest a perfect 5-0 and looking to make a bit of a statement. While Ohio State has the same record, the Buckeyes sit at No. 4 in the College Football Playoff Rankings while USC is No. 13. So even with a dominant win over the Ducks, it’s highly unlikely the Trojans can make the semifinals. Still, USC has plenty to play for and a major bowl bid is on the line. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup and storylines to follow before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread.

Storylines

USC: The Trojans have won three of their games in dramatic fashion, and could just as easily be 2-3 after narrow wins Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA. But give USC credit because although its air-raid attack has looked ineffective at times, sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis has repeatedly made important plays at important times. It helps that he has three excellent receivers in Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns and Drake London, who have combined to catch 12 of Slovis’ 15 touchdown passes. A win in this game would make USC 6-0 for the first time since 2006, which was the height of Pete Carroll’s tenure as coach. Reaching that milestone in 2020 would be huge for current coach Clay Helton, who needed a good season to cool hot seat talk.

Oregon: Cristobal isn’t on the hot seat, but he has been reported to be a candidate for the Auburn job even though his third season at Oregon hasn’t gone quite according to plan. Coming off a 12-2 season capped with a Rose Bowl victory, the Ducks had a lot to replace. In addition to losing star quarterback Justin Herbert, Oregon was also hit with a wave of opt outs. Among them was star left tackle Penei Sewell, whose departure left Cristobal using five new starters on his offensive line. Offense wasn’t the primary problem in a 41-38 loss to Oregon State that dropped the Ducks from the ranks of the unbeaten, however. The Beavers ran all over Oregon in that game before the offense struggled in a loss to Cal the following week. But with 3-1 Washington unable to play this week and the Ducks holding a head-to-head tiebreaker with 3-2 Stanford, the Ducks are where they wanted to be — playing in the Pac-12 title game with a chance to get some young players experience in a big setting.

Viewing information

Event: Pac-12 Championship Game
Date: Friday, Dec. 18 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — Los Angeles
TV: FOX | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Oregon at USC

Latest Odds:

USC Trojans
-3

Nothing about this Pac-12 season has made sense, so why should the title game? An undefeated USC would be a better representative for the league during bowl season than a two-loss Oregon team that didn’t really deserve to be in the league title game. But USC’s clutch magic is bound to run out at some point, and you can bet the Ducks are ready to wash out the taste of consecutive losses to sub .500 league foes. Pick: Oregon (+3)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 16, and which team will pull off a shocking upset in a conference title game? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons — and find out.





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