USC vs. Stanford: Cardinal Open as a Slight Home Favorite

By Hank Shaw

With the USC vs. Stanford rivalry being among the nation’s most hotly contested, Las Vegas has pegged the Cardinal as a four-point favorite at home per Vegas Insider.

It’s a fitting line for Saturday’s game, as each of the last four meetings have come down to the game’s final quarter –three decided in the final minute or overtime– and Stanford sports an 18-game home winning streak at Stanford Stadium.

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Despite the series dating back to 1905, only recently has California’s two biggest private schools found themselves as heated rivals on the gridiron.

The Trojans ended a four-game losing streak to the Cardinal last November, but David Shaw’s team won’t exactly be keen on allowing USC to win on the farm for the first time since 2008.

Both teams are 1-0 against the spread, meaning that something will have to give.

After USC’s big 52-13 win over Fresno State, the Trojans will be looking for a win over Stanford to validate their dominate performance, while Stanford needs a win to prove they’ve restocked a roster that graduated a ton of talent.

Stanford began their season with a methodical 45-0 win over UC Davis on Saturday, as expected. The Cardinal, ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press, gave up 115 yards of offense, despite sporting a defense that replaces household names like Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy.

Senior quarterback Kevin Hogan was 12-for-16 for 204 yards and three touchdowns, while Barry Sanders Jr. led Stanford in rushing with 43 yards.