The USC Trojans have handled their business to this point in the season, and are now looking to get their schedule schedule started on the right foot with a win over rival Stanford. Here are three reasons why they'll do just that on Saturday:
3) Dominant defense
The competition hasn't been great, but USC's defense has only given up 15 points combined in their first two games against Arkansas State and Idaho, which ranks them 6th in the country. They have athleticism all over the field, allowing them to make plays sideline to sideline. That's bad news for Stanford because...
2) Stanford's offense is atrocious
Stanford ranks 109th in the country in scoring offense (18.5 points per game) and 94th in total offense, which are major warning signs as they head into conference play. Quarterback Kevin Hogan is completing a career-worst 57 percent of his passes, and their usually potent rushing attack has been pedestrian this year with only 215 yards on the season. If they don't suddenly turn this around, they could very well miss a bowl game.
1) Cody Kessler
The age of Kessler started in 2014, but the talented junior signal caller still managed to fly somewhat under the radar. That's not the case anymore as he's passed for 650 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions through USC's first two contests. Stanford's defense is one of the best in the country, but Kessler has the experience and talent to shred them. He'll be able to keep the Trojan offense humming no matter what Stanford's defense does.