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USC Opens Four-Point Underdog Against Stanford

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Following equally dominant displays on Saturday, the schedule amps up for the Weekender Trip.

Should be a great game next Saturday.
Should be a great game next Saturday.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans came out punching from the opening whistle Saturday against Fresno State, needless to say the rest was etched in stone during a dominant 52-point outing.

Check out the best video highlights from USC's win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Steve Sarkisian's first act as USC head coach because next week will be much tougher when the Trojans travel to Palo Alto to take on Stanford.

Per Vegas Insider, the Stanford Cardinal are four-point favorites at home in this much anticipated showdown. Each of the last four meetings have come down to the final quarter, including three last-minute or overtime finishes. The Trojans just recently ended Stanford's four-game winning streak, something fans might never forget.

Based on the sequence of events that unfolded this weekend, USC should land No. 13-14 in the AP Poll before heading up to Palo Alto for a ranked matchup against a Stanford squad hungry to exact revenge. While the Trojans dominated Fresno State with offense, the Cardinal smashed UC Davis with an impressive defensive display.

USC ran a Pac-12 record 105 plays dismantling the Fresno State Bulldogs with a fast-paced attack. The Cardinal methodically moved the football down the field, then suffocated UC Davis, holding the Aggies to just 115 yards of total offense. In a matchup of strength against strength, the hotly contested battle should come down to the quarterback position.

Experience may play a factor in this matchup as the Trojans played 11 true freshmen against Fresno State. Stanford must also replace some key cogs on defense, but their football factory has produced another strong offensive line to power the running game which will be tested by USC's stout defensive front.

Expect this Week Two meeting to be much like the last four or five: very competitive, very physical and very heated from the start, especially given the way Steve Sarkisian's staff at Washington gave David Shaw fits every season with far less-talented rosters in recent memory.

The rivalry is now better than ever.