Posts Tagged ‘Trojans’

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-USC

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Quarterback Matt Barkley during a visit to a U...

QB Matt Barkley and USC run the bro style offense. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on DailyAxe.com]

For the first time in years, Stanford is the favorite to beat USC. Sure, the Cardinal overcame the greatest odds in football history to beat USC in the Coliseum in 2007, and Stanford thumped the Trojans in Los Angeles last year. But USC hasn’t been double-digit underdogs–the lines move, but it looks like the spread will be about 10 points at game time–since before the turn of the millennium. That spread came in September 1998, before Pete Carroll took over in Heritage Hall, when USC was set to play at Florida State. All this is to preface the following: USC finds itself in an unfamiliar, and probably uncomfortable, position.

The Trojans are also coming off their first loss of the season, a 32-31 defeat in the Coliseum to the hands of Jake Locker’s Washington Huskies. But the 2010 Trojans are not the USC of old, which would occasionally drop a game or two and still look dominant most of the time. Lane Kiffin’s USC v. 1.0 hasn’t played good defense and looks susceptible to giving up tons of points to the offensive juggernauts of the PAC-10 (i.e. Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona). Against Washington, the USC defense allowed 536 yards of total offense, a 50% 3rd down conversion rate, and forced only one turnover. And although Washington isn’t one of the conference’s weaker offenses, it isn’t as productive as Stanford’s. Washington’s average of 28 points scored per game pales in comparison to the Card’s nearly 45 points per contest, so USC’s defense will have its hands full. (more…)