The USC Trojans are set to kick off Pac-12 play on Saturday as they hit the road to take on Stanford. Even though they're the visitors and the underdog, there are plenty of reasons to believe that USC will pull the upset. Here are three reasons why the Trojans will knock off Stanford.
3) More athleticism all over the field
Stanford is a very solid, well coached team, but they don't have the individual talent (especially on defense) to keep up with USC's dynamic athletes. They have no cornerback who can cover JuJu Smith-Schuster one on one, and everyone in the Trojans' running back committee can turn any touch into a touchdown if the Cardinal are out of position. Look for USC to get their athletes out in space, where they'll have a distinct advantage.
2) Stanford's stagnant offense
There's no denying how good Christian McCaffrey is - USC fans are still having nightmares about that Pac-12 Championship Game - but the rest of the offense is extremely mediocre. They only accounted for 272 total yards against a Kansas State team that will be fighting to just make a bowl game this year, and they don't have anything near the talent USC does on that side of the ball. The Trojans could have similar success against them.
1) Statement game
USC was embarrassed against Alabama, but the Tide are going to do that to virtually everyone they play this year. The Trojans want to show they're back as being one of the Pac-12's powerhouses under Clay Helton, and they have added motivation to redeem themselves in a very winnable game. USC will come out playing with their hair on fire, and Stanford may not be able to match that intensity.