Date: Saturday, November 16th, 2013
Time: 8:00 pm EST
Game Line: Stanford -3.5 (from JustBet)
Over/Under: 47

Saturday NCAA analysis: The #4 ranked Stanford Cardinal head to the coliseum and Los Angeles to take on the USC Trojans in a pivotal PAC–12 matchup.Stanford Football Picks

Stanford comes into this match up at 8-1 and coming off their biggest win of the year defeating Oregon 26–20 last Thursday night. The Cardinal dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and rushing for 274 yards. The win catapulted Stanford to fourth in the BCS rankings and put them in the driver seat as far as playing for a PAC-12 championship. Since being upset at Utah, Stanford has gone on quite a run shutting down some of the top quarterbacks in the conference. The Cardinal beat Brett Hundley and then #9 ranked UCLA 24–10, Sean Mannion and the #25 ranked Oregon State Beavers 20-12, and last week frustrating Marcus Marietta (again) and the #3 ranked Oregon ducks 26–20. Stanford’s defense has been dominant during this three game stretch, allowing an average of 288.6 yards per game, and a total of 153 yards rushing in all three games.

It’s been a strange season for The USC Trojans to say the least. Since Lane Kiffin was fired and replaced by interim head coach Ed Orgeron, the team has definitely shown signs of life. Since Orgeron has taken over, The Trojans have won their last four of five games including three in a row. Surprisingly the Trojans are still in the PAC-12 title picture. If USC can win out and should Arizona State lose two out of there next three, USC would represent the South division in the PAC-12 championship. In the past three games USC has been fairly dominant, including an impressive 31–14 victory over Oregon State, which was their first victory in Corvallis since 2004. Sophomore Cody Kessler has been efficient during this stretch, completing 74% of his passes for 647 yards with 4 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The running game, behind senior Silas Redd and sophomore Javorius Alan, has been effective as well. Wide receivers Marquis Lee and Nelson Agholor have had productive seasons as well, as they have combined for 1168 yards receiving combined with 5 touchdowns. The Trojan defense has definitely been one of the bright spots this year. They are ranked eighteenth in the country in total defense, and seventeenth in the country in run defense giving up only 113 yards per game.

Stanford has won the past four meetings in this series, and there is no doubt that talks of BCS contention have to be some sort of distraction for this team. This will be without a doubt the toughest defensive front that Stanford has faced this year, and there’s no question that this game will be won in the trenches. One could argue that USC’s offense is actually more balanced than Stanford’s, and that could be the difference in this game. Stanford has had an impressive run, beating 3 ranked teams in a row, but that could prove to take its toll. With distractions of the BCS, combined with USC playing with a lot of confidence and revenge on their minds, it’s an all too familiar formula for an upset.
Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans Free NCAA Pick: USC +3.5 Under 47
Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans Game Prediction: USC 24 Stanford 20


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