USC/Stanford Prediction.

USC wins 49-28.

I know, I know.

Stanford has a strong running game,  and a decent defense, but this is the game where I think the USC defense takes over in the 2nd half.

We all know about Stepfan Taylor, and Stanford’s huge offensive line. But with this new quarterback, and new corners who are completely terrible… this might get ugly. The national media is playing up the narrative that Matt Barkley hasn’t beaten Stanford since he’s been the starting QB. Shoot, even I wrote a letter to Matt (https://shaunhoward.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/matt-barkley-its-time/) about how he needs to beat the Farm. I mean, I’m sitting here thinking about the reasons how Stanford could beat USC tonight. There really aren’t much positive things going for them. Stanford averages 300+ yards a game on offense, but is giving up 350+ yards on offense. Stanford’s first two opponents? San Jose State and Duke.

We all know about USC’s struggles to find their 2nd corner back, and I think this is the game, Torin Harris FINALLY takes it. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but Lamar Dawson will start with Dion Bailey and Hayes Pollard. If anything, I think this is the game where USC’s young defensive line dominates the line of scrimmage. They’ve played well early on, but I think now, this is where they take over the game.

On offense, we all know about Barkley/Marqise Lee/ Robert Woods. I expect those two to have big games. But eventually, Matt has to show love to the Tight Ends, right? Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble are impact players at Tight End, and Stanford can’t scheme stop all of the offensive weapons. I expect Lane Kiffin to open up the playbook. Granted, SC’s averaging 40+ with a vanilla playbook and vanilla playcalls (Kiff called 11 screen passes last Saturday), but you can’t beat a ranked opponent with  this type of playbook. He knows it, and the fans know it.

Khaled Holmes was injured last week at the end of the Syracuse game, and nobody knows if he’ll play. I honestly don’t expect him to because he got rolled up pretty badly last week, and was carted off. Never a good sign when a lineman is carted off the field. But maybe that was for pre-caution.

I’m expecting nothing less than a USC victory on Saturday Night. Stanford will be good by the end of the year, but right now?

Too much Trojans.

– Shaun

 

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