Stanford Stories: Looking Ahead to Saturday


Some links to tease the weekender trip to Palo Alto:

As usual, we will begin with ESPN Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller, who has this to offer:

"Stock down USC: A second-consecutive loss to Washington — this time inside the formerly formidable Coliseum — seems to, once and for all, indicate that the Trojans are in decline. USC QB Matt Barkley is No. 1 in the Pac-10 and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency. USC (4-1, 1-1) at No. 16 Stanford (4-1, 1-1), ABC, 8 p.m.: Both teams are coming off their first defeat. Last year, Stanford humiliated USC. Will the Trojans be hungry for revenge? Or will they be flat? And how does Stanford bounce back after a disappointing showing at Oregon. Up next: USC plays host to California; Stanford is off."

The Los Angeles Times: 

Despite the notion that the defense would be spectacular, USC has struggled on that side of the ball. Heading to Palo Alto this week, USC is looking for answers.

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck is arguable the best quarterback in the conference. He presents another difficult assignment for the struggling USC defense.

The Orange County Register:

Lane Kiffin delivered high praise for Stanford. Michael Lev believes USC could be more successful if the Trojans played like the Cardinal.

The fact that USC is an underdog may play to their advantage. Lane Kiffin just needs to sell his team on the fact none of the pundits will pick them to win.

The defense has had its share of problems, and the linebacking corps lack of big plays is a major reason.

Neon Tommy:

Matt Barkley was named the USC quarterback in his freshman year with much fanfare, but he still may have some growing up to do.

The San Jose Mercury News:

College writer Jon Wilner looks at Stanford’s performance in Autzen and grades the Cardinal performance.

Both USC and UCLA will be in the Bay Area this weekend to play. Several themes underscore the match-ups.

When Stanford went for 2 against USC last year, it irked Pete Carroll and led him to ask Jim Harbaugh, “What’s your deal?” The marketing department at Stanford turned the infamous exchange into a ticket package. For the Cardinal, it proved profitable as it has brought in $100,000.

The San Francisco Chronicle:

Although there was controversy, Jim Harbaugh doesn’t regret going for 2. He also doesn’t believe the incident is still relevant.

And finally, a look at Stanford’s promotional email for the game:

"The 16th-ranked Stanford Cardinal (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) will look to rebound from its first loss of the season on Saturday when it plays host to the USC Trojans (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) at Stanford Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ABC and on XTRA Sports 860 AM radio. Both teams are coming off losses last week. Stanford dropped a 52-31 decision at Oregon, while USC fell at home to Washington, 32-21. Stanford is unbeaten at home this season and is 13-2 in its last 15 home games. What to Watch For… Looking to go Back-to-Back Stanford is 2-1 against USC under head coach Jim Harbaugh-both wins occurring at the Coliseum (2007 and ’09). The Cardinal have lost four straight at home to USC dating back to its last home win over the Trojans in 2000 (32-30). Saturday’s game marks just the fifth time Stanford has faced USC when it has been ranked higher than the Trojans in the AP poll; other such match-ups came in 1940, ’41, ’71 and ’86. The Cardinal is looking for its first back-to-back wins over the Trojans since winning three in a row from 1999-2001. Last year Stanford defeated the Trojans, 55-21 at the Coliseum. The 55 points were the most ever scored against USC and marked the Trojans worst home loss since its 51-0 defeat by Notre Dame in 1966."