This Saturday we have a rematch from last seasons Pac-12 Championship game. USC travels to the Bay Area to face the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal to begin a rough two game trip. Things are bound to get interesting whenever the Cardinal and Trojans step on the same field. Here are five bold predictions for Saturday’s meeting between the two Pac-12 foes.
Steven Carr returns a kickoff for a Touchdown
Special teams was kind of a low point for the Trojans in their win over UNLV. However running back Stephen Carr and Velus Jones Jr have provided a pretty impressive spark for USC last week. They provided speed and explosiveness to the Trojans kick return, which was something the Trojans been missing since Adoree Jackson. Carr almost took one to the house with a 73 yard kick return in last Saturday's game. USC hasn’t returned a kick for a score since the 2016 season and this Saturday seems like a prime chance to change that. Stephen Carr will take one to the house. He has the vision, speed, and can make the right moves to make defenders miss. Not to mention that the Cardinal has had a hard time with Carr last season.
JT Daniels Throws for 3 Touchdowns
This might be the boldest prediction out of them all here. True Freshman passing for three scores on Stanford’s defense. Given how the USC offense struggled a little against UNLV, there was some promise. Daniels impressed during the second half once he was settled and delivered a few impressive passes. One included a 43 yard touchdown to Amon-Ra St. Brown. Daniels will add three more as offensive coordinator Tee Martin opens up the playbook a little more against the Cardinal.
USC Defense Finally Stops The Reverse
The same old story with the USC defense is giving up a huge gain on the reverse. Last week UNLV scored off the reverse, something the Trojans have yet to figure out. Now while it was the first game of the season and does become quite old. What does that mean for Stanford? Expect them to at least pull this play off this weekend, however defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast will be expecting it too. We will finally see the Trojans defense play the reverse very well and stuff it in the backfield. Let’s hope at least.
Bryce Love Held To Under 100 Yards Rushing....Again
Given how UNLV running back Lexington Thomas ran for 138 yards on the ground and the Rebels rushed for over 300 yards on the USC defense, This might be a tall task for the Trojans. San Diego State basically put out the blue print on how to shut down Stanford running back Bryce Love. The Heisman candidate had 29 yards on 18 carries during the Cardinal’s opener last Friday. USC held Love in check in last year’s meeting following a lack luster performance against Western Michigan, could they do it again on the road?
USC Defeats Stanford By Two Scores
USC haven’t defeated Stanford in Palo Alto since 2014 and the haven’t won three in a row over the Cardinal since the Pete Carroll era (Trojans had a 5 game winning streak over Stanford from 2002-2006). This season could be where we see the Trojans take three in a row over Stanford and win by two scores on the road.