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USC will follow up the cross-country trip to New York City with a much shorter journey upstate to visit the Farm.
Stanford has had the Trojans' number of late, winning three in a row and four of the last five against USC.
After last year's heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to the Cardinal, you can bet Lane Kiffin and his players have had September 15th circled on their calendars for quite some time.
Stanford may have lost back-to-back Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck to the NFL, but the cupboard is still full for David Shaw.
Stepfan Taylor is a fine running back who is capable of handling the bulk of the offensive load. Three starters still remain along an offensive line that lost potential first-round picks David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin to the draft.
Defensively, the Cardinal may have one of the best linebacking corps in the country, led by 2011 First Team All-Pac 12 selection Chase Thomas. The talented Shayne Skov will also be raring to go after suffering an ACL tear a year ago.
It appears as if Brett Nottingham is in line to take Luck's spot under center, but when the Trojans pay their visit to Palo Alto, the junior will have just two collegiate starts under his belt.
Stanford has given USC fits over the past few years, and this is the Trojans' Pac-12 road opener, which is never a breeze.
The Cardinal will certainly present more problems than Syracuse, but Stanford's inexperience at quarterback may be too much to overcome against the mighty Trojans.
And finally, Stanford's students won't even be in school yet, meaning the environment may not be as intimidating as it has been in recent years.
If this game was scheduled for later in the season, the difficulty rating would undoubtedly be higher.
Difficulty Rating: 6 out of 10