USC plays host to No. 23 Stanford on Saturday in a late night Pac-12 contest that could be a fantastic nightcap for Week 2. The game between the Cardinal and Trojans took a hit and unfortunately may have lost some of its luster when each team lost its starting quarterback last week. USC's JT Daniels is with an ACL tear, and Stanford's K.J. Costello is with a head injury he sustained against Northwestern.
However, this is still a bitter rivalry game between two old school programs looking to stake their claim as one of the best in the Pac-12 with a chance to win the conference and potentially earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. Let's take a closer look at what to expect in Los Angeles.
Stanford: The Cardinal are banged up offensively. Costello is out, and left tackle Walker Little is also out for an extended period of time with a leg injury. Losing your left tackle and your starting quarterback for the first road game of the year isn't ideal, to say the least. Can the Cardinal lean on their defense again? Northwestern had a putrid offensive outing, but USC is a far different beast with its availability of skill players.
USC: Daniels is out, but Kedon Slovis played well in the second half against Fresno State. He completed 6-of-8 passes for 57 yards, and while he did throw a pick, was good about moving the ball and running the offense with some tempo. He'll still have a plethora of excellent wideouts to throw to, as well. Tyler Vaughns is among the most entertaining pass-catchers in the game. If Slovis can pick up where he left off, USC should at least be good enough offensively to win.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 7 | Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- Los Angeles
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
Even though Costello's injury is every bit as big for Stanford as Daniels' is for USC, the Trojans seem to have an answer with Slovis. Nothing's a sure thing with Helton's Trojans, but that offense is awfully hard to stop when it starts clicking. Pick: USC -2.5
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