USC Football Heads To Bay Area To Face No. 16 Stanford

    Oct. 3, 2010

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    USC, unranked for just the second time since the start of the 2002 season, travels to No. 16 Stanford in a meeting of teams looking to bounce back after tough losses last weekend. Stanford is Troy's oldest current rival (the first game was in 1905). The Cardinal has won 2 of the last 3 meetings with USC, including last year's eye-opening blowout. Ranked Stanford teams have fared well against USC over the years.

    USC, which is banned from post-season play because of NCAA penalty, is coming off heartbreaking 1-point home loss at the gun to Washington. Head coach Lane Kiffin's offense--in the national Top 15 in total offense, rushing offense and passing efficiency--features QB Matt Barkley, who leads the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, TB Allen Bradford (he galloped for 223 yards last Saturday), receiving/return threat WRs Ronald Johnson and Robert Woods and multipurpose FB Stanley Havili. The Trojan defense has been susceptible to date, twice allowing 500-plus yards of total offense. Featured on the defense are players such as CB Shareece Wright, DT Jurrell Casey, LBs Malcolm Smith and Devon Kennard and S T.J. McDonald.

    What's the deal with Stanford this year? Head coach Jim Harbaugh's Cardinal, which started off 4-0 and ranked in the AP Top 10 before falling big at Oregon last weekend, has a high-scoring offense coupled with a stingy defense. Stanford shows up among the national stat leaders in scoring offense, passing efficiency, rushing offense, total offense, turnover margin, pass defense and pass efficiency defense. QB Andrew Luck tops the Pac-10 in total offense and is one of the nation's best in passing efficiency, with his prime targets being WR Doug Baldwin and RB Stepfan Taylor. FB-LB Owen Marecic starts on both sides of the ball. Among the Cardinal's key defenders are SS Delano Howell and OLB Chase Thomas, while PK Nate Whitaker leads the Pac-10 in field goals.

    The game will be shown live regionally on ABC, a school-record 112th consecutive USC game on some form of live television. Before the football game, the highly-ranked USC and Stanford men's water polo teams face off. USC and its crosstown counterpart, UCLA, will both be playing in the Bay Area on the same day for just the third time in history (the Bruins will be across the Bay at California earlier on Saturday).