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Stanford Tries To Avoid A Letdown Against USC After Its Big Win Over Oregon

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:46:43 AM

In the Pac-12 Conference’s North Division, Stanford is now in the driver’s seat following its win over Oregon. The Cardinal will likely defend their division title with a win this Saturday.

Stanford Cardinal @ USC Trojans – Saturday, November 16

Sport betting line: Stanford -3

Why Stanford Will Win

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will realize that the weight of argument in this game should flow to Stanford, not just because this team beat Oregon, but because it is equipped to handle whatever USC can do. The Cardinal are in very good position to win this game on defense. Stanford’s offense might not be all that good, but Stanford is so tough on defense that its offensive limitations frequently don’t matter. The Cardinal are good enough to overcome their deficiencies on offense because they make so few mistakes on defense. Coach David Shaw gets his players to maintain good positional integrity, and the power of the team’s front seven just doesn’t allow opponents to establish any sort of leverage. Stanford’s front seven, even without injured defensive end Ben Gardner, is forceful enough to handle USC’s offensive line. USC’s weakness is in the passing game. Cody Kessler has some really talented wide receivers such as Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor, but he has trouble getting the ball to those two players.

Why USC Will Win

USC has been leaning on its defense for most of the season. The Trojans were terrible in a loss to Arizona State, but that came before former head coach Lane Kiffin was fired. Interim head coach Ed Orgeron has instilled a new level of toughness in his team, especially on defense. The Trojans were excellent on Nov. 1 in a resounding win on the road against Oregon State. USC’s defensive line snuffed out Oregon State’s running game, and the Trojans’ secondary took away the big play from the Beavers as well. USC used a two-pronged formula against Oregon State that forced the Beavers to throw a lot of short passes. Oregon State couldn’t stick to that formula or execute it well enough to win, and USC’s defensive line was the reason why. If USC’s front four can bother Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan to the point that Hogan bails out of some throws and panics under pressure, the Trojans can force a few turnovers and establish the field position advantage that Stanford so desperately wants. If USC gets what Stanford can’t have, the Trojans can naturally change the way in which this game is played, and they can apply a lot of pressure to the Cardinal on a number of fronts.

Who Will Win?

The big-game experience of Stanford is hard to pick against. The Cardinal have the offensive line that can control this game, and they are playing with great confidence after handling Oregon so authoritatively.

College Football Betting Pick: Stanford -3

There’s a lot going on in college football every Saturday, so there are plenty of numbers to look at. It takes just one click to get the odds on every college football game.

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