Once upon a time, a long time ago...
USC and Stanford both get to play real teams this week when they play each other...
Real teams as in conference foes, OOC opponents.
The biggest question of this game is how will Stanford fare without Andrew Luck? We also to get see just how good a coach David Shaw is without a once in a lifetime player.
Andrew Luck was "one in a million," according to USC linebacker Dion Bailey. The former Stanford quarterback was "one of the best prospects to ever come out" of college, according to USC coach Lane Kiffin.
So how do you replace that? And what does your offense look like in the aftermath?
Don’t expect the Cardinal to look that much different when it faces the Trojans on Saturday; Stanford still will run the ball between the tackles to set up play-action passes. But don’t expect Josh Nunes to be able to do all the things Luck could.
Don't be fooled...Stanford is still dangerous and with the way USC's defense struggled last week, on the road, some are calling for the upset.
It has been said before that teams take on the personality of their coach. I would agree, Stanford under Harbaugh went from the little engine that could to a force to be reckoned with. Pete Carroll may have been "loose" in his approach but when he had Tim Davis, Coach O and Norm Chow on the staff it was a little more business like. The lack of discipline showed up when Pete replaced his taskmasters with buddies or yes men.
We see what this is team is under Kiffin.
Shaw will now be tested. He has a pretty good O but they are still coming together and a new QB in Josh Nunes, but is is that enough to beat USC?
I think USC's defense can disrupt Nunes, but that is not enough. Nunes will get his yardage...especially if the USC defense plays it soft. Nunes is going to test the corners too. If Monte Kiffin's strategy was holding some things back last Saturday then it becomes interesting...but I don't subscribe to that.
Andrew Luck was pretty much an automatic...that is now not the case.
Stanford has to earn this one. We almost got them last year with Luck, will this USC team respond this season.