Point Spread: Cardinal -8
Stanford rushed for a team-record 446 yards last week in a 65-21 thrashing of Washington. USC earned a tough 31-17 road win at rival Notre Dame last Saturday.
The fact Stanford set a rushing record last week isn’t a total shock as they are averaging 219.4 yards per game on the ground. RB Stepfan Taylor (111-697-6) is the leading rusher but the Cardinal can trot out four backs that can get the job done. USC has the athletes to compete and look for them to pack it in inside and force the action to the outside. QB Andrew Luck (20-3 TD/INT) gets all the pub and it is well deserved. Stanford is 100% in the Red Zone and Luck has been sacked twice on the year. The Trojans are very familiar with their conference rival and look for them to bring extra pressure on Luck and try to force quick throws.
While he doesn’t get the same notoriety, USC Matt Barkley (19-4 TD/INT) is a great QB also and some think, better than Luck. He has All-NCAA WR Robert Woods to throw to (2nd in receptions and yards-per-game in the NCAA) and Woods had a monster game in this matchup last season (12-224-3). RB Marc Tyler is the starter but backup RB Curtis McNeal has been more effective (6.3 to 4.5 yards-per-carry). Look for both players to get their touches. Stanford’s defense has played well this season but they will have their hands full with this offense. USC can run the ball and Woods has shown he can handle this secondary.
Stanford has the nation’s longest winning streak (15 games) and has 10-straight wins by 25+ points. That’s the longest streak in 75 years! However, this is the Trojans they are facing. USC isn’t used to being an underdog at home and they are getting more than a TD to boot. Stanford is the better team but we feel Barkley and Woods will have a big game and the Trojans ability to run the ball will sustain drives.
Take the Trojans