Stanford vs. USC NCAA Football Preview
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, CA
When: Saturday, September 9, 2017, 8:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Stanford Cardinal (1-0)
Stanford’s 62-7 Week 1 win should be taken with a pinch of salt as they beat up on a poor Rice team. However, it was promising that the Cardinal offense didn’t seem to miss superstar back Christian McCaffrey all that much.
Junior Bryce Love had 180 rushing yards on just 13 carries and the Cardinal as a team had 287 rushing yards with five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Keller Chryst also had a solid outing as he went 14-of-24 for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
Love and the rest of the Stanford offense will have taken note of how Western Michigan put up 263 yards on the ground against the USC front, and so should you. Stanford is very stout in the trenches and could have their way against a Trojans D-line that once again got pushed around too often by the Broncos.
It remains to be seen how Stanford’s own defensive front fares to a much stiffer test in terms of running the football. But the Stanford secondary figures to be very good and should be up to the challenge of slowing down Sam Darnold and the Trojans’ passing attack for the second straight week.
Stanford has famously had a ton of success going into Los Angeles and beating the Trojans on their own turf. The Cardinal are 5-1 (SU and ATS) in their last six visits at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and 3-1 under head coach David Shaw.
Betting on the USC Trojans (1-0)
The USC Trojans were given a much stiffer test than they anticipated in Week 1 against Western Michigan. The Trojans were still tied with the Broncos with halfway toward the end of the fourth quarter, but managed to pull away in the end with a couple of big touchdown runs as well as a game-sealing pick-six.
The USC running game was simply unstoppable. Ronald Jones II was a beast as he rumbled his way to 159 yards in just 18 carries and had three touchdowns. Stephen Carr also chipped in with 69 yards on seven carries and had two scores.
The ground game ended up sparing the blushes of quarterback Sam Darnold. The much-hyped Heisman favorite and potential No. 1 pick in the NFL draft was a dud in the opener. He went just 23-of-33 for 289 yards, no touchdowns and two picks. It was the first time he has gone without a touchdown pass since his debut last season.
Meanwhile, the defense, which was suspect for much of last season, had a hard time corralling the Broncos on the ground.
Darnold should be a bit better than he was, and the Trojans should have better balance on offense thanks to their running game. However, the USC defense doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. If this game devolves into a war of attrition instead of a shootout, the Trojans will be at a disadvantage.
Stanford could very easily win this football game, so taking them at +6.5 is great value. For the record, I think they do beat the Trojans, 27-24.
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