Culver City Observer -

USC Expects Its First Test from Stanford


September 17, 2015

By Myke Williams

Sports Reporter

The USC Trojans move into the heart and soul of their football schedule starting this Saturday when they battle the Stanford Cardinal at the Coliseum at 5 p.m.

This will be the first Pac-12 game for both teams when the 1-1 Cardinals face the 2-0 Trojans.

USC will be playing its first upper class Division 1 team after beating up on Arkansas State 55-6 and Idaho 59-9. Regardless of the opponents the Trojans are loaded with enough talent to may a run at the Pac-12 south title and a major bowl game but their first step in the long process is to beat Stanford.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” said linebacker Su’a Cravens after the Idaho game last Saturday. “Although we have a lot of work to do I think we are ready to play a good game against Stanford.”

The USC offense, led by quarterback Cody Kessler, has gotten most of the media attention this year but the defense is quietly making a name for itself after holding its first two opponents to a combined 16 points.

“We don’t play defense to be pretty,” said Cravens. “We play defense to stop the other teams’ offense and that’s what we have been doing the last few weeks and hopefully we can carry that into the Stanford game.”

Although the Trojans are fare from perfect, they are still one of the top offensive teams in college football. If their offensive line can continue to improve they will be hard to beat because they have so many dynamic offensive weapons.

Last Saturday Kessler threw for a career high 410 yards and three touchdowns. Kessler along with backup quarterback Max Browne completed passes to 14 different receivers. Juju Smith-Schuster led the parade with a career high 10 catches for a 192 yards and two touchdowns, one for 50 yards and the other for 41.

USC had five tailbacks who combined for over 270 yards last Saturday. Tre Madden, Justin Davis, Ronald Jones, Dominic Davis and Aca’Cedric Ware all bring a different style to the football field.

Against Idaho Jones carried the ball eight times for 83 yards, J. Davis ran the ball five times for 74, Madden seven times for 40 , D. Davis five times for 37 and Ware four times for 14.

These last two blowout wins have allowed USC to play a lot of players which helps in a lot of different ways. “Playing a lot of players is good for our team and our locker room,” said USC coach Steve Sarkisian. “It gives players the opportunity to say that actually played in a game at USC.”

The following week, September 26 the Trojans travel to Arizona State and they return home on Thursday, October 8 to play Washington at 6 p.m.


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