California Love

Campus Clash

(15) USC Trojans at (13) Stanford Cardinal

USC: They got off to a very sluggish start in the opener against UNLV, but they pulled away and ended up beating them by double digits. Throughout the off-season, everybody wondered who would be the replacement for Sam Darnold and they found him and he goes by the name of J.T. Daniels and he became just the second freshman to start in a season opener for the Trojans. My biggest takeaway from watching the tape on him was how advanced he is as a freshman. When you watch him, you’d think he was in his junior or senior year with how poised he plays and he doesn’t seem phased by anything and that’s always a good thing, especially with younger players. He also has a really good connection it seems with receiver Aman St. Brown who was also his high school teammate. UNLV really gave the Trojans defense all they could handle, but they ended up getting it together. I feel this will be what determines the success for them this year. Really, it’ll take a collective effort of course to win football games and both sides of the football need to be on top of their game if they want to have people talking about them again. They’ll travel up the road to face one of their in-state rivals on Saturday night.

Stanford: I’ve always been a fan of watching this team play and how they go about their business on the field. You won’t see anything flashy because they play downhill and David Shaw has instilled a pro-style offense and their bread and butter has been having a good offensive line and a solid running back and since I mentioned the ground attack, let’s talk about the guy that runs the ball for them and has been considered to be the front-runner for the Heisman and that’s Bryce Love. This guy can take a game over at any time with his athleticism and speed. If you watched their opener last Friday night over San Diego State, I was impressed with how they won it and here’s the shocking thing: Bryce only ran for 29 yards in the entire game and Stanford knows that each team they’ll see will come in and try to load up the box each and every game and force Costello to throw the football and beat them and he’s shown that he’s more than capable of doing just that. They’ll face the Trojans of Southern California in the second game of the season for the second year in a row.

USC Player To Watch– Cameron Smith: I remember when he came on as a freshman and how some broadcasters said this would be a name we’d be saying for years. Now, he’s a senior and a veteran on that USC defense. He’s a very instinctive linebacker who knows where to be at all times and he’s a sure-handed guy, a term we normally use with a receiver, but he doesn’t miss tackles. When he latches on to the ball-carrier, he always gets the guy.

Stanford Player To WatchJJ Arcega-Whiteside: He had a big game last week and this is what happens when you play with a guy of Bryce Love’s caliber. Defenses load up the box and the corners play single man coverage on the outside. He was Costello’s top target on Friday and what does he do for an encore on Saturday night?

Final Analysis: When these two met last year, USC dominated them and never looked back. For the second straight year, these two will see each other in week two. Stanford loves to throw many exotic looks and schemes defensively and I see them putting consistent pressure on Daniels. How will USC prepare for Love? He won’t be held under 50 yards each week. They have to worry about stopping everyone else.

Prediction: Stanford 28 USC 17