Both the USC Trojans and No. 5 Stanford Cardinal are red hot going into their Pac-12 clash on Saturday.
The 7-3 Trojans have now won four of five since Lane Kiffin's dismissal with Ed Orgeron assuming control. Most recently, quarterback Cody Kessler and the offense put a 62-28 beatdown on California.
Things have been even better for the Cardinal. Last week, Stanford upset then-ranked No. 3 Oregon to move to 8-1 and remain on track to host a second-consecutive Pac-12 title game.
Plenty is on the line in the conference when these two foes take the field. Stanford has won four straight and three in a row at USC, but anything is possible between these two.
Here is a full breakdown.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 46
- Spread: Stanford (-4)
Cardinal Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Tyler Gaffney||RB||11/11/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||head|
|Ben Gardner||DE||10/29/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||torn pectoral muscle|
|Ikenna Nwafor||DT||09/20/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||undisclosed|
Trojans Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Zach Banner||OL||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||hip|
|Gerald Bowman||S||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||shoulder|
|Morgan Breslin||LB||11/11/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||hip|
|Anthony Brown||CB||11/11/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||knee|
|Justin Davis||RB||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||ankle|
|Lamar Dawson||LB||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Tre Madden||RB||11/11/2013||is expected to miss Saturday's game against Stanford||Out||leg|
|Steven Mitchell||WR||08/08/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|D.J. Morgan||RB||11/01/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Silas Redd||RB||11/11/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||knee|
|Taylor Ross||RB||11/11/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||leg|
|Devian Shelton||CB||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||foot|
|Jordan Simmons||G||10/23/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||leg|
|Shane Sullivan||TE||10/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Randall Telfer||TE||11/11/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||knee|
|Greg Townsend Jr||DL||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Leonard Williams||DE||11/12/2013||is probable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Probable||shoulder|
Can the Trojans Stunt Tyler Gaffney?
Stanford senior running back Tyler Gaffney has made it look easy all season long. Gaffney saved his best act for when his team needed it most last week in the major upset as illustrated by ESPN:
In the win, Tyler Gaffney finished with 45 carries, broke Tommy Vardell's team record for most rushing attempts in a single game. #UOvsSTAN— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 8, 2013
If USC didn't know before, it does now—Gaffney is the key to a win over the Cardinal.
In six of nine games this year, Gaffney has 100 or more yards, and he's scored more than once in four games. On the year, Gaffney has 1,043 yards and 13 touchdowns on a 4.9 average.
Gaffney makes life easy for quarterback Kevin Hogan, who completes over 60 percent of his passes and has 13 touchdowns to five interceptions.
USC has allowed just one back to go over the 100-yard mark in 10 games (Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona), but Gaffney is more than up to the task. If he can, the Trojans are in trouble.
The Kessler-led USC offense has the look of an unstoppable unit with 988 total yards and 93 points in its last two games.
Which team wins?
One problem—Oregon was once considered unstoppable as well.
USC has just inside a top-50 rushing attack, but Oregon had a top 10 rank last week. Stanford held the Ducks to just 62 yards on the ground, their lowest total since 2009.
The Trojans have not won against ranked opposition since November 2011, and that won't change here as Stanford uses an elite defense and solid ground game to grind out the win.
Cardinal win 28-17