Stanford (9-3) vs Southern California (10-2)
When: Friday, December 1st 2017
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Southern Cal -3.5/57
For the second time in three seasons, the Pac-12 Championship Game will be decided by either the Stanford Cardinal or Southern California Trojans, when the two teams meet once again at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The 15th-ranked Cardinal have won eight of the past nine games and are coming off a convincing 38-20 victory against No. 17 Notre Dame on Saturday, while USC has won four straight for the second time this season. These teams met early in September in Los Angeles and the Trojans played one of their best games of the season, racking up 623 total yards in a 42-24 victory inside the Coliseum. USC quarterback Sam Darnold completed 21-of-26 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns, and led the Trojans on six touchdown drives of 75 yards or longer. Stanford’s offense revolves around running back Bryce Love, who had 160 rushing yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown in the first meeting. Love surpassed 100 yards rushing in 10 games this season and should be one of the representatives at the Heisman Trophy presentation in a few weeks. USC will see a different quarterback as sophomore K.J. Costello replaced senior Keller Chryst four games ago and is coming off his best game thus far, throwing for 176 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions against the Fighting Irish. Stanford has won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Trojans and the South Division is 0-6 in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
The Cardinal have a bend but don’t break defense as they give up a lot of yards, but are 25th in the nation in points allowed at 20.7. They are led by a strong line that features senior Harrison Phillips, who leads all FBS defensive tackles with 16.5 tackles for loss, including 6.5 sacks. The Cardinal also have a strong secondary led by strong safety Justin Reid, the conference’s co-leader in interceptions with five, including one against the Trojans earlier this season. Reid was all over the place last week against Notre Dame, totaling nine tackles (three solo), a sack and a pass breakup. Costello has played in nine games this season and has completed 61.7% of his passes with nine touchdowns to only two picks.
The Trojans had two 100-yard rushers in the first meeting with Stanford, but Stephen Carr, who had 119 on just 11 carries, has appeared in just two games since coming back from a four-game injury absence in October. Carr has totaled only 12 rushing yards on four carries and caught three passes for 59 yards since. Ronald Jones II has taken over as the No. 1 back for USC, especially in the past four games, combining for 674 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in that span. Wideout Deontay Burnett, who leads the Trojans with 73 catches and 966 yards, caught nine for 121 yards in the first meeting including two of his nine touchdowns in 2017.
The Cardinal always play well against USC, but this Trojan team is rolling on offense right now and I’m not confident that Stanford can keep up with them. I think USC strikes early and often and cruises to a victory. The Trojans also have the benefit of coming off their bye week.
Pick: USC -4
- Cardinal are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in December.
- Cardinal are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games.
- Cardinal are 4-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Cardinal are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Friday games.
- Cardinal are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Cardinal are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Trojans are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
- Trojans are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in December.
- Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
- Trojans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Trojans are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 7-0 in Cardinal last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 7-1 in Cardinal last 8 games overall.
- Under is 6-1 in Cardinal last 7 conference games.
- Over is 5-1 in Cardinal last 6 neutral site games.
- Under is 4-1 in Cardinal last 5 games on grass.
- Under is 4-1 in Cardinal last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 4-0 in Trojans last 4 games following a bye week.
- Over is 4-0 in Trojans last 4 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 7-0-1 in Trojans last 8 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Trojans last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 5-1 in Trojans last 6 games overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Trojans last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 8-2-1 in Trojans last 11 games in December.
- Over is 4-1 in Trojans last 5 games on grass.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Trojans last 6 neutral site games.
- Over is 4-1 in Trojans last 5 conference games.
- Under is 6-2 in Trojans last 8 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Southern California.
- Cardinal are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings in Southern California.
- Over is 16-7 in the last 23 meetings.