The Stanford Cardinal will host the USC Trojans for a primetime battle on Saturday night in week two of the NCAA football season. Both teams were victorious in their season-opening games and will square off in a pivotal Pac-12 battle. Both teams are ranked in the AP top 25 with USC coming in at number 15 and Stanford holding a number 13 ranking.
USC struggled in the first half of their season opener but responded nicely by beating the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels by a score of 43-21. Stanford was able to hold off a strong San Diego State team, winning by a score of 31-10. The Cardinal comes into this game as a 3.5 point home favorite over their rivals from USC.
Bryce Love Struggles in Season Opener
Last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love was expected to have a monster season as running back for Stanford. Love got off to a slow start in the season opener, finishing with just 29 yards on 18 rushing attempts against San Diego State. The offensive line of Stanford didn’t provide the running back with many holes in the season opener, but Love will have to find a way to rack up more yards against USC.
With the running game being shut down, the Cardinal opened up the passing game in a big way against San Diego State. Wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside broke loose for three long touchdown passes in the victory. Quarterback K.J. Costello threw for 332 yards and 4 touchdowns on 21-31 passing in the victory. A balanced offensive attack will serve the Cardinal well in their matchup with USC.
JT Daniels Impressive in First Start
Freshman quarterback JT Daniels was impressive for USC in his first collegiate start. Daniels became just the second true freshman to start a series opener for the Trojans. The former Mater Dei High School product went 22-35 with 282 passing yards in the victory. He connected with his high school teammate and fellow freshman, Amon-Ra St. Brown on a beautiful 43-yard touchdown pass to open the fourth quarter.
Despite the season-opening victory, the Trojans need to shore up their defense if they are going to upset Stanford. USC got burned by two huge plays that resulted in touchdowns for UNLV to keep the game close. UNLV scored on a 71-yard run and a 43-yard pass to take advantage of a young USC defense. The Trojans face an even bigger challenge in this game.
Stanford Beats Rival At Home
This game could be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship game, but both teams have a tough road ahead. USC is relying on a ton of young players, and they will likely make some freshmen mistakes along the way. If the Trojans can’t find a way to slow down the run in this game, Bryce Love will rack up the rushing yards.
Stanford will look to get Love back on track after a rough season opener, but they can score in a variety of ways. The Cardinal hope to get some revenge after losing to USC 31-28 last season in another top-15 matchup. Look for Love and Stanford to take advantage of a weak USC defense to earn a decisive victory. Bet Stanford -3.5 over USC on Saturday night.