After a narrow escape against Syracuse last weekend at MetLife Stadium, the No. 2-ranked USC Trojans will put lessons learned in Week 2 to use on the road at No. 21 Stanford this Saturday.
The Trojans led by just five points over the Orange going into the fourth quarter in East Rutherford last weekend, but wound up winning by 13 points, setting up a Pac-12 clash of 2-0s in Stanford this weekend.
Don't expect the Cardinal to be within reach heading into the final quarter on Saturday, though.
Stanford's triple overtime win over USC last season is surely still stinging the Trojans' players, and will have them focused on winning their first conference game of 2012 in blowout fashion.
USC is the best team in the conference without question, and they will make sure that message is received loud and clear at Stanford.
Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley has thrown for more than 550 yards and 10 touchdowns through two games, and USC boasts the nation's 12th-highest scoring offense thus far in 2012.
The Cardinal simply will not be able to keep up with the Trojans' offense on Saturday.
USC is an elite team with an unrivaled aerial assault led by Barkley and dynamic wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Lee and Woods have combined to account for 398 of Barkley's 559 passing yards and eight of his 10 touchdowns.
With Stanford's defense scrambling to contain all of USC's weapons on Saturday, the Trojans will pull away easily on the road.
I have USC winning by a score of 41-14.
Stanford junior quarterback Josh Nunes had attempted two passes before the start of this season, and is averaging just 200 yards and two touchdowns per game so far this fall.
That production pales in comparison to Barkley's however, which is why the Cardinal will inevitably find itself on the losing end of a one-sided shootout on Saturday.
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