The USC Trojans rallied from a disappointing start to emerge as one of the nation’s top teams in 2016. On Saturday, they will try to keep that momentum moving forward when they kick off their Pac-12 schedule against their West Coast rival, the Stanford Cardinal. The two meet in prime time for an 8:30 ET kickoff, broadcast live on FOX (live stream).
This showdown between the two top-15 teams will be a welcome respite from the FBS-FCS beatdowns and disappointing non-conference battles that typically rule Week 2. The Cardinal have dominated the rivalry in recent years, winning their last three contests with the Trojans by an average of more than 15 points per game. They’ve won seven of the last nine games in the rivalry, and an eighth would damage USC’s national title aspirations.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles
- TV: FOX
- Streaming: Fox Sports GO
- Odds: USC is favored by 10.5 points.
Stanford vs. USC news:
- USC looks like a national title contender. Here’s why.
Winning a title requires that you have some dimension to your offense that is a guarantee to put 30 points on the board even if you’re facing another top program with a loaded defense. For USC that winning dimension is probably best summed up as “Sam Darnold.”
- USC’s blind long snapper may have given us 2017’s best moment in college football.
- Bryce Love was awesome in Stanford’s opener, but let’s not compare him to Christian McCaffrey just yet.
Of course Love wants to be successful and in all likelihood, wants to surpass and exceed expectations that have been set by McCaffrey, but let the kid play and develop into his own player and have his own style. We’ve seen a very small sampling of how great this kid can be.
- Baller blocking was one of the main takeaways from Stanford’s win over Rice.
Running lanes were clear, and Stanford running backs ran wild on Saturday. A large part of that had to do with the offensive line, and with so many returning starters, everything seemed to click for the unit up front. A couple of years ago, Stanford’s line led the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl, and this year’s line shows similar promise.
USC has revenge in mind on Saturday night.
The Trojans bounced back from a 1-3 start to close out 2016 as one of the nation’s top-five teams. On Saturday, they’ll get the chance to avenge one of those losses when Stanford travels south to Los Angeles. The Cardinal failed to follow up on their early season promise last fall, losing three of their next four games and falling in the Sun Bowl. USC, on the other hand, dropped their following game before surging to a nine-game winning streak and victory in one of the greatest Rose Bowls of all time.
Stanford vs. USC prediction:
Stanford head coach David Shaw is 4-2 against the Trojans, including the aforementioned three-game streak of double-digit victories. USC hasn’t made it out of September undefeated since 2010. Until Southern California proves it can beat Shaw and exorcise its demons on a consistent basis, the nod goes to the Cardinal. The Trojans’ Week 1 struggles against Western Michigan also fail to elicit confidence in a team