Stanford (1-1) at #6 USC (2-0)
When: Saturday, September 18th, 2015
Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ABC Radio: XM 80, 84
The Stanford Cardinal and USC Trojans begin their PAC 12 play tonight in Los Angeles. Stanford is coming off a 31-7 win over Central Florida last week after losing it’s opener at Northwestern. Quarterback Kevin Hogan passed for a career high 341 yards and 3 touchdowns last week. He’s coming off a fine Junior year in which he threw 19 TD’s to only 8 interceptions in 2014. In last year’s game against USC, Hogan threw for 285 yards, but the Cardinal came up short 13-10. So far this season, Stanford has the best defense in the Conference holding opponents to just 255 yards a game through two weeks. It was that type of defense that limited the Trojans to just 291 yards in last year’s meeting in which Stanford dominated statistically. They also held USC quarterback Cody Kessler to just 135 yards passing. Stanford has held 33 of it’s last 43 opponents to less than 20 points. The Cardinal are just 10-27-1 against the Trojans in the last 38 meetings.
USC comes into this game as the 6th ranked team in the Nation and they have aspirations of making the Playoffs. Kessler is the leader of this team as he is now in his Senior season. He had a monster Junior season with 39 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions and has started off 2015 with 7 TD’s and no picks. USC has not been tested yet as they have blowout wins over Arkansas State and Idaho. Despite allowing only 15 points in two games, the Trojans have given up 356 yards a game. That will need to change as they enter PAC 12 play. The defense allowed Stanford to rack up 429 yards in last year’s meeting. The offense is flying high under Kessler. They are ranked 5th in yards and 6th in points out of the 128 FBS teams. Now things get tougher with Stanford tonight and Arizona State next week. Their running game looks good early on with Tre Madden and Ronald Jones together averaging 9.42 yards a carry.
These teams usually play tight games as the last 5 meetings have been decided by 8 points or less. Considering that this line is 10 and the public is all over USC, I’ll stick with the trend and take Stanford to cover.
Pick: Stanford +10