2012 Game 3: USC vs. Stanford


No. 2 USC (2-0) at No. 21 Stanford (2-0)

Stanford Stadium at 4:30 p.m. pt on FOX

Cardinal to Watch: Senior RB Stepfan Taylor

Taylor-USC-Stan.jpgStanford does not have the athletes to compete with USC on the outside, so the Cardinal will likely pack it in with two tight ends and try to pound the Trojans undersized front seven with Taylor.  If he can get into a rhythm, Stanford can shorten the game by controlling time of possession and keep the pressure off QB Josh Nunes in his first big start. 

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3 Keys

3rd Down Defense

Andrew Luck's greatest strength in college was picking up third downs with short throws or his feet.  Assuming David Shaw sticks with his methodical game plan, Nunes will find himself in a lot of 3rd-and-3 situations.  Without many perimeter weapons to defend, USC's safeties and linebackers can press the Cardinal's tight ends and force Nunes into congested throws and deflections.

Fast Start

USC was blanked in the first quarter against Syracuse and started sluggishly in the game against Stanford last year.  If the Trojans high-octane offense can run up the score early, the Cardinal will be forced out if its comfort zone.  Assuming Matt Barkley gets protection, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are too good for Stanford's secondary.


The players are not focused on revenge, but beating Stanford makes the "unfinished business" checklist.  Barkley's class experienced the "What's your deal?" blowout in 2009, the clock malfunction in 2010 and the 3OT heartbreaker in 2011.  At the very least, Stanford should have the Trojans full attention Saturday.



What a great game,I loved to see the arrogant ego manaic Lane Kiffen get knocked down a notch.
Although i live in Tennessee i am not a UT fan.
We in the midsouth got tired of his smart ass remarks and that air arrogant conceit that is Lane Kiffen.
When they ranked USC over Alabama in the opening poll i knew it was just a matter of time before USC would lose a game in the regular season.

Well that game was very disappointing. The Trojans played poorly in all phases. I would have to think that the National Championship is out of the question. No blocking, poor tackling and receivers dropping passes. It all adds up to another embarassing loss to Stanford.

This loss really hurts.

Whoa........National Championship Over, maybe next year.

Would've been nice for Barkley and the rest of the seniors to have just one win against the Cardinal though. We owe them an asskicking so I'd love to see them in the conference championship.

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