It's a rematch of one of the strangest endings in recent memory as the USC Trojans hit the road for Salt Lake City and a Pac-12 rivalry clash with the Utah Utes Thursday night (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Last year, this meeting became one of those "Weird Betting Hall of Fame" games where the ending threw Vegas sportsbooks into a tizzy. That game was won by USC, 23-14. Or was it 17-14?
Utah had a chance to tie the game with a field goal on the last play of regulation, but the Trojans blocked it and returned it for a touchdown, seemingly ending the game at 23-14. For USC bettors, it was terrific, giving them a 7.5-point cover in place of a loss.
But Southern Cal was flagged for excessive celebration, and the score was taken away, making the final 17-14. Then, a couple hours afterward, Pac-12 officials nullified the penalty, making the final score, once again, 23-14.
With USC favored by 7.5 points in that game, chaos ensued, and some books actually paid out on both sides, or at least refunded losing bets. Whatever the case, it was a mess, and USC plans to make it tidier for its supporters this time, even as 13.5-point favorites (according to the live odds matchup data).
USC (3-1), formerly the No. 1 team in the land, opened this season with a 49-10 romp over Hawaii, then traveled cross-country to beat Syracuse, 42-29, in a game played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. But in their Pac-12 season opener, the Trojans got stuffed at Stanford, 21-14.
Southern Cal then got back on track with a 27-9 victory over the Cal Bears.
Utah (2-2), meanwhile, opened its season with a 41-0 victory over Northern Colorado (FCS), but then lost an in-state rivalry game to Utah State, 27-20, in overtime. Utah then won a rivalry game, beating BYU, 24-21, but in its Pac-12 opener, got ambushed by Arizona State, 37-7.
Both these teams had last weekend off.
Utah is playing with its No. 2 quarterback, Jon Hays, after starter Jordan Wynn suffered a career-ending shoulder injury vs. Utah State.
As of Wednesday morning, most college football betting outlets were listing USC at -13.5 for Thursday night's game, with an over/under of 47.5.
USC holds an advantage in the running game, has superior talent and faces a team running a backup QB. We give the points and take the Trojans (courtesy of PickShark.com).
Mike Pickett is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!