NCAA Football Preview – Stanford Cardinals @ University of Southern California Trojans

NCAA Football Preview – Stanford Cardinals @ University of Southern California Trojans

NCAA Football Preview – Stanford Cardinals @ University of Southern California Trojans

With the NFL kicking off last week and two weeks of College Football action in the books, American Football in America is well and truly underway. The strong schedule continues this week as week three of the NCAA Football presents some really competitive match-ups. The final game of the evening we’re taking a look at takes us to the West Coast. The City of Angels sees the USC Trojans play host to the Stanford Cardinals in an all-state rivalry.

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The Stanford Cardinals have started the season with a split following a very unexpected week one upset loss to Northwestern. They then bounced back in week two against UCF in a 31-7 victory, however UCF lost their starting Quarterback in the opening drive, only adding to their already overmatched team who lost to Florida International the week prior. This Stanford offence looked cagey, averaging 18 points a game. Senior Quarterback Kevin Hogan is leading the offence this season, with a 57% completion rate and three touchdowns with a single interception. Christian McCafferey leads the rushing game, averaging 62 yards a game with a single touchdown on his resume. The defence has been somewhat reticent, allowing only 255 yards a game and 11 points.

The USC Trojans have kicked off their 2015 campaign with two strong wins and albeit against weak opposition, their offence and defence have showed some fantastic quality. They’ve put up over 55 points in both games and allowed less than 10 in both. Quarterback Cody Kessler has been a catalyst to the success, throwing seven touchdowns with a completion rate of 78%. Ronald Jones II and Tre Madden are adding a unique committee-back running game to this offence. Jones has averaged 12 yards per carry, adding 169 yards and two touchdowns. Madden has averaged 9 yards a carry with 142 yards and three touchdowns. The stingy defence have allowed a meagre 7 points per game and only 356 yards.

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These PAC-12 games are always great games and the USC-Stanford fixture is always a calendar fixture which impresses. For the first time since 2003, Stanford are now unranked, which is probably warranted due to their incredibly slow and uncharacteristic start. Although USC started well, which led them coming into this tilt as the favourites, it’s hard to ever count out Stanford, especially in a game of large magnitude like what we have here. I think that’ll be quite evident in the first half as the game will start slow. That being said, I can’t dismiss the quality of this USC team on the offensive side of the ball. They’re putting up great numbers so far and Stanford have allowed a Northwestern team to beat them out. USC will be a much more formidable challenge. I like Cody Kessler to lead this USC team to a strong two score victory in the Coliseum this evening.

Dan Glozier.

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