Four Key Match Ups: USC vs. Stanford

USC’s Defensive Line vs. Stanford’s Offensive Line

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Stanford’s offensive line is good, really good. The o-line leads the nation in sacks allowed with a grand total of two. While they haven’t faced a defensive line as talented as USC’s yet, future first round draft picks Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro should be more than up to the challenge. If USC is going to win this game they are going to have to get after Andrew Luck and disrupt the running game. That brings me to my next key match up...

USC’s Defense vs. Stanford’s Running Game

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If Stanford’s last game is any indication, Andrew Luck is not their only offensive weapon. Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney both rushed for more than 100 yards against a solid Washington team and Anthony Wilkerson was just seven yards short of reaching the century mark himself. Now whether or not the USC defense has to prepare for all three backs is hard to say. While Taylor has had multiple 100 yard performances this season and is a consistent threat, neither Wilkerson nor Gaffney eclipsed sixty yards all season until the Washington game. Don’t forget that USC has the 11th ranked rush defense in the country and held Notre Dame to 41 yards rushing last week and Cal to 35 the week before. That’s a good sign for the Trojans come Saturday.

USC’s Receivers vs. Stanford’s Secondary

USC fans have to like their odds in this match up. The Stanford game last year was a coming out party for Robert Woods. As a freshman he went for 224 yards and three touchdowns. That sounds like a good day for a quarterback let alone a receiver. Woods is even better than last year and is going up against a Stanford secondary that has had trouble tackling at times and will be without starting safety Delano Howell. Yikes! Marqise Lee can’t be left out of this discussion either. He had four consecutive games with a touchdown earlier this season.

Andrew Luck vs. Matt Barkley

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Well you had to know this one was coming. Everyone has been talking all week about this match up of future NFL stars. Both teams are less than stellar when it comes to pass defense, which means that both of these quarterbacks should put on a major aerial display. Whichever quarterback puts up the biggest statistics on Saturday will lead his team to victory.

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