USC vs Stanford: Get To Know The Cardinal

USC Trojans Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum | USC Football
The Los Angeles Coliseum prepares for the calm before the storm.

USC vs Stanford: Get To Know The Cardinal

Ah, Yes the Stanford Cardinal vs the USC Trojans. If you feel like you’ve heard that before, well, you have. This is the 100th time these two teams have met and currently, USC is leading the series 62-33. Although as of recently it really was a coin flip on who played better than night.

This isn’t the same game last week where we knew going into it the other team was not at the same level. Stanford definitely has the pieces to challenge Oregon for the first spot in the North Division.

Stanford Rushing Attack

On the offensive side, Stanford is usually known for its relentless yet effective rushing attack. Last week against Kansas State they were only able to gain 39 yards on the ground. This year it looks like it’ll be running back by committee with a rotation of Junior running back Austin Jones and Sophomore running back E.J. Smith.

This year was supposed to be a handing of the torch from K.J Costello to Senior QB Jack West. If you take away the two interceptions he threw he honestly didn’t play that bad, went eight for 12 for 76 yards.

Unfortunately what doesn’t help is that two of your twelve throws end up in the other team’s hands. To make matters worse for Mr. West, the Sophomore quarterback Tanner McKee came in to provide some sort of a spark.

The electric Texas product Elijah Higgins is a huge part of that offense and didn’t receive nearly enough targets.

Tanner McKee played exceptionally well and he even found the end zone late in the game throwing to Brycen Tremayne the wideout from L.A. He’d end the game with a much better stat line, 15 for 18 and 118 yards with a touchdown. His coaches thought so as well giving him the start this week against Southern California.

From a Big 12 Rushing Attack to a Pac 12 Air Raid

Senior defensive end Thomas Booker, who has a massive 6’4 300-pound frame, has all the tools to be one of the better pass rushers in the Pac 12. He only recorded half a sack and three total tackles. He has tough company in the PAC 12 with the Trojans’ very own Drake Jackson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.

The defensive backfield for Lance Anderson is highlighted by Kyu Blu Kelly who made an impressive interception in the corner of the end zone closing the first quarter.

Surprisingly Stanford didn’t do too bad against the pass last week only allowing 144 passing yards in total with only one receiver having 81 yards.

Where they got beat however is on the ground. Kansas State had over 200 yards rushing. Running back Deuce Vaughn had 13 attempts for 124 yards – nearly 10 yards per rush attempt.

If Stanford wants to have any chance of winning in the Coliseum they’re going to have to focus on stopping the run, which adversely makes USC’s passing game that much more difficult to defend.

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The Los Angeles Coliseum prepares for the calm before the storm. Via Yogi Roth