USC vs. Stanford Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
Check out the USC vs. Stanford fearless prediction and game preview.
USC (1-0) vs. Stanford (1-0) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 7th
Game Time: 8:30 pm ET
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
The Pac-12 is much, much better this season – 12-1 so far – so it’s not quite fair to assume that this is a preview of the conference title game, but yeah … it might be the preview of the 2017 Pac-12 Championship.
Stanford went through the motions in a dominant performance over Rice in Australia, while USC struggled out of the gate against Western Michigan, but neither of those two tune-ups matter.
USC now has to show it’s ready to really and truly be a player in the national title race, and not just getting by on a fantastic quarterback, brand name, and a great Rose Bowl performance.
There’s no room to be shaky at home against a Cardinal team that appears to be back to Pac-12 title form after a year off. But can the Stanford power over come the Trojan flash?
Can USC show the same ground game it did against WMU? Can Sam Darnold break out and come up with a much, much sharper performance?
Stanford punched USC in the mouth last season in a 27-10 win, but Darnold wasn’t the main man under center yet.
Now USC has the best option at quarterback. And to lead the Trojans to the win, and after what Josh Rosen did against Texas A&M, it’s Darnold’s turn to show that he’s the best quarterback in town.
And it’s Stanford’s turn to show that it has the defense to keep that from happening.
One Reason Why USC Will Win
Stanford’s defensive front is far, far better than Western Michigan’s but the Trojans showed off the balance last week they’ll need all season long.
At the very least, they’re going to have to keep pushing for ground attack.
The O line might still be a wee bit of a question mark, but it was terrific on the ground paving the way for a huge day from Ronald Jones – 159 yards and three carries – and 232 yards overall from the running game.
Darnold was fine. He didn’t throw any touchdown passes and gave up two picks, but he’s still Darnold – there’s no reason to worry. As long as Jones is breaking free once in a while, the offense will work.
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
Bogan, Jarvion Franklin, and LeVante Bellamy combined to crank out 263 rushing yards on the USC defense, keeping the game close until late.
No, the passing game didn’t work, and yes, USC eventually showed up late, but considering there wasn’t anything happening for WMU through the air, it was way too close a call.
The Stanford offense ran at will against Rice, but that was Rice – it has one of the nation’s worst run defenses. The key was Keller Chryst, who threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
As long as Chryst is hitting his third down throws, and as long as Stanford is Stanford in terms of owning the clock – it held the ball for almost 34 minutes against the Owls – it should be able to control the game throughout.
What’s Going To Happen
Stanford will look the part again.
USC, or course, is talented, balanced, and fast, but that’s all going to be negated by a rested and ready Stanford team that’s going to come out slugging in the mouth.
Get ready for frustrating drive after frustrating drive, with the defense coming up with one big late stop after Darnold gets into a second half groove.
This is the moment when Stanford shows that it’s ready to be the star of the Pac-12 again.
USC vs. Stanford Prediction
Stanford 26, USC 20
USC -7 o/u: 54.5
5: 4th Quarter Josh Rosen – 1: 1st Quarter UCLA fans … 3
Must See Rating
5: Logan Lucky – 1: The Mayor … 4.5