College football odds: No. 24 Southern Cal at Hawaii

Few coaches are more squarely on the hot seat this season than Southern Cal’s Lane Kiffin after last season’s huge disappointment. Kiffin may need a BCS bowl trip to keep his job. His Trojans open Thursday night at Hawaii as a 21.5-point favorite.

The big question is who replaces Matt Barkley at quarterback for USC. Both Max Wittek and Cody Kessler both will play for No. 24 Southern California in its season opener. Kiffin thinks Wittek and Kessler are even in their competition to succeed Barkley, the Trojans’ four-year starter. Wittek started the final two games last season for USC while Barkley was injured, but Kessler had a strong training camp this month. Kiffin will not alternate by quarter or series and Kiffin said he did not even have a pre-game plan on how to use the duo in the season-opening game. Kiffin said he might go by his gut feeling on when to change.

“We’re not going to put anything in stone,” Kiffin said. “We’ll get a feel for how the game is going. We do that with all positions.”

USC tailback USC tailback Silas Redd will not play Thursday. Redd tore the meniscus in his knee during spring practice, ironically while playing on special teams. A meniscus tear is usually only a six-to-eight week injury. With Redd out, freshman Justin Davis could start after being the most dynamic tailback of training camp. The other tailback who could start is Tre Madden, who sat out last season with a knee injury.

UH is coming off a 3-9 campaign in 2012, however, the Rainbow Warriors concluded the season by winning their final two games. The Trojans went 7-6 last year, including a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, and lost their last three games of the season.

Coach Norm Chow and the Rainbow Warriors open against the Trojans for the second consecutive year. Last season, in Chow’s first game as a head coach, USC won 49-10 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. UH and USC have opened four previous seasons (1999, 2005, 2010, 2012), while the Trojans have won all eight meetings in the series, five of which have occurred in Honolulu.

Chow spent four seasons as USC’s offensive coordinator (2001-04)…UH is 29-53 all-time vs. current members of the Pac-12 conference. UH has played at least one Pac-12 opponent each year since 2005 with a 5-5 record during that span…UH owns a 10-35 all-time record against nationally ranked teams including a 9-21 mark at Aloha Stadium.

WagerWeb trends: Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. Trojans are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 road games. Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. Rainbow Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Pac-12. Rainbow Warriors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. Rainbow Warriors are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games overall.


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