Why Stanford is a good pick over USC

Why Stanford is a good pick over USC

Running away from defenders, throwing off his back foot, and yet it resulted in a score. The Cardinal had won the previous three meetings and seven of the past nine prior to Saturday's game. I am sticking with Stanford with the points. I've seen fights, violence, grown adults crying, drunken revelry, riot police, and actual dumpsters set on fire because of college football rivalry. I knew I had to play better than last week.

USC is going to have to get a big game from Darnold to win.

Stanford had gone 1-11 the year before, and Harbaugh began with three blowout losses in four games. Also, Freshman Stephen Carr proved his worth with a two-touchdown performance and rushing for 69 yards.

USC racked up 623 total yards - the most ever given up by a David Shaw-coached Stanford team - and controlled both lines of scrimmage while winning the first Pac-12 game of the new season. "They ran the ball better on us than we ran it on them". When they're out there, we're like fans.

The Trojans sure made good use of it, as they defeated Stanford, 42-24, at L.A. Memorial Coliseum behind QB Sam Darnold and RB Ronald Jones II. He missed the first half Week 1 serving a half-game suspension due to a targeting penalty received in January's Rose Bowl Game.

Heavy's Pick: USC 27 Stanford 24.

His running back, Bryce Love, had other plans, though.

"We have this confidence", USC safety Chris Hawkins said of his team.

The Trojans (1-0) beat Western Michigan 49-31 in Week 1, while Stanford (1-0) routed Rice 62-7. The Trojans are retooling a bit in the front seven after standout lineman Stevie Tu'ikolovatu expired his eligibility, but still have plenty of talent here, headlined by linebacker Cameron Smith and rising star Rasheem Greene at end. The greatest positive in the passing game was the play of JJ Arcega-Whiteside. "The high expectations for this team, and for myself, I'm aware people are going to scrutinize".

More news: SC Barrier Island Evacuations Begin 10am Saturday

It wasn't that his night had been subpar - he threw a ideal first half, consistently hitting his receivers and buying time in the backfield to keep busted plays alive.

USC bounced back with spectacular plays of its own, including a one-handed grab by wide receiver Deontay Burnett on a third-and-6 play in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't want to make the same mistakes we did last week", said Green, the junior defensive end who helped lead the methodical handcuffing of Stanford's offense after halftime. Sam Darnold completed 21 of his 26 throws for 316 yards and four touchdowns, yet he was nearly an afterthought with the way Jones II and Carr stole the show.

Burnett also reached the end zone twice. But the drive stalled, forcing a 36-yard field goal by Jet Toner to cut the lead to 21-17. He passed for 225 yards and three touchdowns against a talented Stanford secondary.

Darnold's first incompletion preceded an interception. Chryst ended the half 9 of 14 for 81 yards with completions to six different targets.

Stanford responded when Love took a pitch on the left side and broke 75 yards for the touchdown.

Stanford senior quarterback Keller Chryst finished 15-for-28 for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Western Michigan found success by exploiting cutback lanes as outside linebackers Porter Gustin and Uchenna Nwosu, who played as defensive ends while USC used nickel personnel for almost the entire game, crashed inside and failed to hold the edge.

The Cardinal pride themselves on their offensive balance, and running back Bryce Love looked comfortable against the Trojans last season, rushing for 51 yards on 11 carries. While the offense put up a lot of yards, they are facing a much superior defense tonight in Stanford.

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