In their win on September 19th, Stanford converted on eight of 12 third down attempts. With a Heisman candidate at running back and a veteran quarterback who led his team to a come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame this past Saturday, Stanford has a very complete and deep team. Below are just a few Cardinal players to watch on Saturday:
RB Christian McCaffrey: Is there anything this guy can't do? McCaffrey is averaging 252 all-purpose yards per game and with 3,035 total yards on the season, he needs to 215 yards to tie Barry Sanders' FBS record of 3,250. McCaffrey averages almost 137 rushing yards per game, leads the team with 37 receptions, and has close to 1,000 kickoff returns yards in '15. USC held him without a touchdown in the first meeting but McCaffrey did have over 210 total yards. USC needs to slow down McCaffrey on Saturday.
TE Austin Hooper: It seems like every year Stanford has a big-physical tight end and this year it's the junior from San Ramon, California. Hooper is third on the team in receptions (29) and receiving yards (406) and leads the team with six receiving touchdowns. Hooper has a touchdown in six of the last nine games and had his best game against USC when he had four receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown.
OG Joshua Garnett: Garnett, a finalist for the Outland Trophy Award which goes to the best interior offensive or defensive player country, will be a top-10 pick in next year's NFL Draft. The 6'5" 321 pounder from Washington anchors an offensive line that has allowed the second fewest sacks in the conference (18) and the fewest tackles for a loss (54). USC had four tackles for a loss and three sacks in the first meeting and Claude Pelon and Antwaun Woods will have their hands full with Garnett in the Pac-12 Title Game.