Despite a problematic 2013 season, the USC Trojans were able to come away with a memorable victory when they beat the Stanford Cardinal. The loss was a huge one for the Cardinal, as it took away their chances to play in the national championship game. Almost a year later, both teams will meet again, this time at Stanford Stadium, where the revenge-seeking, pro-Cardinal crowd will be there to witness this highly anticipated meeting between two old rivals.
USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal Betting Preview and Prediction
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford
When: Saturday, September 6, 3:30 PM ET
Line: USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal – view all NCAA Football lines
Betting on the USC Trojans
[sc:NCAA240banner ]By the time the Trojans’ 52-13 Week 1 annihilation of Fresno State was over, any reason for quarterback Cody Kessler to miss Marqise Lee, the team’s top receiver last season, has all but vanished. Kessler might have even forgotten totally who Lee is. Kessler and his new No. 1 target Nelson Agholor played sweet music together with the latter catching two of the quarterback’s four touchdown passes.
With the victory, USC now has a record of 8-1 in its last nine games overall, and 7-3 ATS in its last 10.
However, it won’t be just Kessler and Agholor who will carry the bulk of the offense when USC plays the Cardinal on Saturday. The Trojans own a slew of weapons to flank Agholor down the field, all of which will pose serious threats for Stanford. Juju Smith, Darreus Rogers, Adoree’ Jackson, and tight end Bryce Dixon – who combined for 241 receiving yards with two TDs versus Fresno State – are among the talented wide receivers Kessler can opt to target in case the Cardinal’s defense decides to bottle up Agholor.
But if Tre Madden remains sidelined due to a foot injury, their depth in the backfield will still be a little questionable. Sophomore Justin Davis and freshman James Toland backed up Javorius Allen (133 rushing yards with 1 TD) vs. Fresno State, but ran for only 77 yards on 24 carries.
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Betting on the Stanford Cardinal
How are the Cardinal going to stop USC’s offense, which totaled 702 yards against Fresno State? Although it was matched against the lowly UC Davis Aggies, Stanford’s defense appears to have the answer to that question. The Cardinal blanked the Aggies, 45-0, while limiting them to just 115 total yards.
Against the visiting Trojans, Stanford’s primary focus on defense should be on how to stop Kessler and USC’s aerial attack. That responsibility partly falls on the shoulders of a defensive line filled with seniors, whose collective experience is going to play a major factor on Saturday. The secondary will also have to step up. If the Cardinal force Kessler to hand the ball more often to the backfield instead of passing it to his receivers, it will be a slightly easier game to win for Stanford.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan hasn’t quite proven yet that he belongs in the group of elite Pac-12 slingers (Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, etc.) but that doesn’t mean Stanford’s offense can’t deal significant damage against a stingy defense like USC’s. Hogan was more than adequate in their first game against UC Davis, as he passed for 204 yards and three touchdowns, while his top receiver Ty Montgomery had 77 receiving yards on five receptions with a touchdown.
The Cardinal are 4-1 in their last five games against USC. They are also 9-1 in their last 10 home games.
Stanford won’t get their revenge, as the Trojans win straight up.[sc:NCAA490banner ]
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