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Originally published Friday, September 24, 2010 at 4:08 PM

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Scouting report: USC at Washington State

USC (3-0) at Washington State (1-2) Noon at Martin Stadium TV: FSN. Radio: 850 AM, 1300 AM, 1380 AM. Line: USC by 22. The setup: It's the...

USC (3-0) at Washington State (1-2)

Noon at Martin Stadium

TV: FSN. Radio: 850 AM, 1300 AM, 1380 AM. Line: USC by 22.

The setup: It's the conference opener for both teams. USC has played mostly unimpressively under first-year coach Lane Kiffin. But the Trojans have won seven straight in the series, including a 27-6 triumph last year in the LA Coliseum.

What to expect: USC will try to pound the Cougars with a multi-tailback system, featuring Allen Bradford (193 yards, 8.4 average), Marc Tyler and freshman Dillon Baxter, mixed with excellent quarterbacking from sophomore Matt Barkley (9 TDs, 2 interceptions). WSU has been inconsistent protecting QB Jeff Tuel and must shore that up.

Notes: In the teams' last meeting in Pullman, USC won 69-0 as WSU featured a conservative game plan aimed at not adding to a long injury list. ... WSU coach Paul Wulff said this week he would consider burning redshirts of freshmen Bennett Bontemps and Tracy Clark because of lack of depth. ... No USC coach since 1951 (Jess Hill) has started 4-0 his first year.

Key matchup: For this to be interesting, the WSU offensive line must hold its own against USC's stout defensive front, led by DT Jurrell Casey.

Injuries: USC — DL Armond Armstead (shoulder), questionable; DE Nick Perry (ankle), probable. WSU — DT Toni Pole (calf infection), out.

Upset brewing? It takes a huge imagination to see that happening, as the Trojans, even with some depth issues, have a major edge in size and speed.

Pick: USC 38, WSU 10.

Bud Withers

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