USC Stanford Odds
In one of the premiere college football games of week 3, the No. 21 Stanford Cardinal will host the No. 2 USC Trojans in a huge Pac-12 matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 EST and will be televised nationally on FOX. It took triple-overtime to settle the score between these teams a year ago. Stanford was able to escape with a 56-48 in one of the most entertaining games of the entire season.
For those of you interested in placing a wager on who will cover the spread, oddsmakers currently have USC favored by 8-points over Stanford with the total set at 56 points.
To Trojans got their season rolling with an easy 49-10 win over Hawaii at home and followed that up with 42-29 win over Syracuse. USC has been slightly overvalued early. They have failed to cover the spread in each of their first two games. Their win over the Orange wasn’t as dominant as the final score might indicate. USC didn’t do anything offensively in the first quarter and went into the 4th quarter leading just 21-16.
I really wasn’t all that surprised to see USC struggle a little bit against Syracuse. The Trojans had to travel across the country for their road opener and the conditions were anywhere close to ideal.
Despite the poor conditions, starting quarterback Matt Barkley was able to throw a career-high 6 touchdowns. Normally when you see a quarterback throw for six scores, you expect to see him have well over 300 yards through the air. Barkley had just 187 but was an efficient 23 of 30.
Barkley had a field day throwing to his two NFL-ready wide receivers. Robert Woods caught 10 passes for 93 yards and two scores, while Marquise Lee finished up with 11 receptions for 66 yards and three scores.
With the conditions not really ideal for the passing game, USC went to work on the ground. The Trojans rushed it 33 times for 258 yards. Penn State transfer, Silas Redd led the way with 107 yards on just 15 attempts. Curtis McNeal also had a solid game with 63 yards on 11 carries. USC also got their two star receivers involved on the ground. Woods had a 76 yard run and Lee had one for 23 yards.
Last year the Trojans put up 432 yards of total offense against the Cardinal defense. Barkley threw for 284 yards and three scores, while McNeal rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Stanford’s defense gave up 358 yards passing to the Blue Devils last week, and I think the Cardinal defense is in for a very tough game against the Trojans balanced attack.
I was really impressed with the Cardinal in their 50-13 blowout win over Duke this past Saturday. Head coach David Shaw did an excellent job of getting his team to respond after a lackluster 20-17 win over San Jose St in the opener. For those that aren’t all that familiar with Shaw, he is one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the entire nation. His Stanford team may not have the talent like what USC will send to the field, but they are very well coached in every area of the game.
Offensively, I haven’t been all that impressed with Stanford up to this point. They managed just 280 yards of total offense in their win over San Jose St and just 373 against Duke. If it wasn’t for the defense forcing four turnovers, that game against Duke would have been a lot closer.
Starting quarterback Josh Nunes made some solid improvements from week 1 to week 2. After throwing for just 125 yards and a touchdown against the Spartans, he picked apart the Duke secondary for 275 yards and three scores.
The most surprising stat from the Cardinal win over Duke, is the fact that they managed just 92 yards rushing. Stepfan Taylor was responsible for most of those yards, as he carried it 14 times for 69 yards and a touchdown.
To give you a better idea of how this offense isn’t quite where it needs to be, Florida International put up 513 yards of total offense on the road against the Blue Devils in week 1.
The Cardinal are 25-5-1 ATS in their last 31 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game and 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games. However, a lot of that was a result of Andrew Luck and all the success he had over the previous two seasons. USC is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.