Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The wounds from USC's 20-17 upset of Stanford last November will still be fresh when the Trojans visit the Farm in Week 2.
After winning five of six games in the series from 2007 through 2012, including four straight, last year's loss in the Coliseum effectively ended Stanford's bid for the BCS championship. For USC, that night marked the pinnacle of Ed Orgeron's tenure as interim head coach, and never was the groundswell to retain him stronger than in the following week.
As it stands, Sarkisian is head coach and is introducing a new offensive philosophy that will undoubtedly have kinks to work out this early into the season. Lance Anderson takes over at defensive coordinator for Stanford, replacing Derek Mason.
Mason crafted a strategy specifically tailored to slowing hurry-up offenses—though Sarkisian's Washington team had success against the Cardinal in 2013.
That's not the only history with Stanford Sarkisian brings from his time at Washington. The first-year Trojans head coach had a public spat with Cardinal head coach David Shaw following Stanford's 31-28 win.
This game is critical for the Trojans' 2014 prospects because, win or lose, a competitive effort sets a positive tone for the entire campaign—if not the entire Sarkisian era.
Statistics compiled via CFBStats.com.