USC Football: What the Stanford Game Means for Cal

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September 15, 2012; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor (33) runs with the ball against Southern California Trojans safety T.J. McDonald (7) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Against Stanford: The much-maligned USC defense more than did their job. With the ineffective offense unable to sustain a drive, the defense was on the field for 31 minutes. They collected two interceptions. They held Stanford to 35% third down efficiency. Most importantly, they never gave up more than one score in a quarter.

What this means for Cal: Do not sleep on this Trojan defense. They may not have the flash and hype of the offense, but they are capable of doing the job. Saturday proved that fact. In terms of Cal, the defense will be facing a different animal. The Bears favor speed over power. One thing USC doesn’t lack is speed. They’ve been solid containing the outside so far this season and  they have displayed good tackling in the open field. The young Trojan defensive line didn’t sack Josh Nunes, but they did hurry and hit him. The Cal O-line is 104th in the nation in sacks allowed. They should have much more success in that regard. What’s more, they should be playing with fire. Following the loss, USC linebacker Anthony Sarao vented his frustration: “I feel bad for the next team we’re going to play.” 

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