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College Football
Preview
Stanford at Southern California
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 16, 2013
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Ten days after spoiling Oregon’s national title hopes, Stanford looks to avoid a letdown on Saturday when the fifth-ranked Cardinal visit USC to face the much-improved Trojans. Stanford has won three straight following a loss at Utah, while USC improved to 4-1 under interim coach Ed Orgeron with a 62-28 rout of California last Saturday. “We handled our business, and Stanford is coming off a big win,” Trojans safety Su’a Cravens said. “We've got momentum rolling. It’s going to be a great game.”

The Trojans have lost four straight to Stanford, who moved atop over the Pac-12 North Division by using a power run game to upset Oregon. The Cardinal should receive a test from USC, which boasts the Pac-12’s second-ranked run defense and features one of the nation’s top kick returners in Nelson Agholor, who had two of USC’s three punt returns for touchdowns against California. If the game is close, USC will need a bounce-back effort from kicker Andre Heidari, who missed a field goal and an extra point in last week’s win.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Stanford -3.5

ABOUT STANFORD (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12): The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings, but they’ll need help to land a spot in the national championship game. They certainly appeared worthy in their win over previously unbeaten Oregon, with the offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage and Tyler Gaffney rushing for 157 yards on 45 carries. Coach David Shaw indicated the offense will be more diversified against the Trojans, which could result in more opportunities for quarterback Kevin Hogan, who is 13-1 as a starter.

ABOUT USC (7-3, 4-2): Tailback Silas Redd is questionable after suffering a knee injury last week, so the Trojans will likely lean on Javorius Allen against Stanford, which leads the Pac-12 in run defense. Quarterback Cody Kessler has improved since Orgeron took over on Sept. 29, and he’s completed 82 percent of his passes over the last two games. The Trojans rank tied for third nationally in red zone defense, and they’re hoping to have defensive end Leonard Williams (team-high 11 tackles-for-loss) available after he missed last week’s contest with a shoulder injury.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Stanford has won 31 of its last 32 games played in the state of California.

2. USC has allowed a total of 17 points in the first quarter this season.

3. Stanford has gone 5-1 while averaging 36 points over the last six meetings with USC.

PREDICTION: Stanford 24, USC 14
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Stanford 8-1 W3 31.9 19.4 5-0 3-1 5-0 0-0 6-1
Southern California 7-3 W3 29.0 19.6 4-1 3-2 4-3 0-0 4-2
Last Meeting
Stanford Southern California
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/15/12 USC 14 STAN 21 417 202 215 272 18 254
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Stanford J. Nunes 46.9 215 2 2
Southern California M. Barkley 48.8 254 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Stanford S. Taylor 27 153 5.7 1
Southern California C. McNeal 7 37 5.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Stanford Z. Ertz 3 71 23.7 1
Southern California M. Lee 8 100 12.5 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Stanford S. Taylor 2
Southern California S. Redd 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Stanford K. Hogan 60.5 1596 13 5
Southern California C. Kessler 64.0 1977 12 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Stanford T. Gaffney 211 1038 4.9 13
Southern California T. Madden 128 671 5.2 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Stanford T. Montgomery 41 639 15.6 5
Southern California N. Agholor 36 647 18.0 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Stanford T. Gaffney 14
Southern California J. Allen 8
Quickchart Matchup
Stanford Off vs  Southern California Def
388.9 yards
339 yards
4.8 yards/rush
3.6 yards/rush
8.4 yards/attempt
6 yards/attempt
Southern California Off vs  Stanford Def
402.6 yards
349.4 yards
4.8 yards/rush
3.3 yards/rush
8.2 yards/attempt
5.8 yards/attempt