Stanford at USC: Prediction, pick, odds, line, TV channel, live stream, watch online

Week 2 offers some compelling nonconference games, but one of the great conference matchups takes place in the Pac-12 between USC and Stanford in Los Angeles. The Cardinal have won six of the their last eight against the Trojans, and this game figures to be a huge litmus test for both sides. 

Can USC rebound from a close call against Western Michigan in Week 1? Can Stanford continue to impress after handling Rice and taking time to recover from a trip to Australia? Here are our storylines and matchups to follow for Saturday's big game. 

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 9 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- Los Angeles, California
TV: FOX | Live stream: fubo.TV (try for free) and Fox Sports Go

Storylines

Stanford: It's been two weeks since Stanford last played a game, but they traveled halfway across the world to Australia, so the two-week break was much-needed. The running attack of Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett is explosive, though the only metric we have so far is against Rice. Still, the Cardinal looked impressive in their opener. A win against USC, the preseason Pac-12 favorite, would go a long way in showing the North Division isn't just Washington and five other teams. Stanford has an identity of a power running team with a stingy defense, but this group has plenty of big-play potential as well. 

USC: Week 1 close calls can be tough to figure out. There are no preseason warm-up games and college football teams have been known to look ahead from time to time. USC had one against Western Michigan before ultimately pulling away, but how do we read into that? We'll get a much better idea of whether USC truly is the team it has been pumped to be all offseason against the Cardinal. This has been a tough matchup for the Trojans in the past as Stanford's physicality has had the advantage. Can quarterback Sam Darnold and Co. exorcise one demon early on their way to a conference title?

Prediction

USC certainly has the quarterback advantage with Darnold, but he's still developing in the technical aspects of his game. That includes his footwork. Against Western Michigan, he threw a number of passes off his back foot and floated them down the field. Stanford has the pass rush to make Darnold feel the pressure (though he has a knack for being cool under the gun). The key is going to be whether Stanford can dictate the game and force USC to play the kind of uglier style the Cardinal use to suffocate opponents. Pick: Stanford -6.5 (Stanford 30, USC 27) 


CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories