USC vs. Stanford: Gameday Preview, Injury Report, Starting Lineups, and Links


USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal


  No. 5 Stanford 17, USC 20 in 2013

“I’d like to beat Stanford by 2,000 points. They have no class. They’re the worst winners I’ve ever gone up against.”  — John McKay

Prepare yourself Trojan fans. This afternoon the USC Trojans will meet their oldest rival, the Stanford Cardinal, for the 92nd time since 1906.

Steve Sarkisian will be looking for his first conference win as the Trojans’ head coach, keeping in mind that it was his Washington Huskies who delivered a Pac-12 road opening loss to USC back in 2009. The Men of Troy have lost five of the past six Pac-12 road openers.

Palo Alto has not been a happy hunting ground for USC as of late. The Trojans have lost their last two games up north and four of the last five against the Cardinal in general.

Still, USC owns the rivalry by some margin, posting a 30-game advantage in the win department.

They also own bragging rights for the time being, having knocked off the then-No. 5 Cardinal in the Coliseum last year.

Can USC beat Stanford by 2,000 points this time? Well, they ran 105 plays last week so anything is possible.

Gameday Links:

Injury Report:

  •  Kenny Bigelow (knee), Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (academics), Jabari Ruffin (knee), Jordan Austin (hip), Chris Willson (foot)
  •  Lamar Dawson (elbow), Josh Shaw (suspended)
  •  Khaliel Rodgers (knee), Jordan Simmons (knee), Tre Madden (toe), Damien Mama (knee)
  •  Leonard Williams (ankle)

When Stanford has the ball…

It is hard to project what the Cardinal will attempt to do on offense this year without Tyler Gaffney to pound the rock.

With the duo of Kevin Hogan and Ty Montgomery available to lead the charge, there’s every chance Stanford may approach their offensive attack very differently this year by looking to beat teams through the air.

The limited carries afforded Stanford running backs Kelsey Young and Barry Sanders Jr. in the opener against UC Davis suggest that may be the case, especially as the Cardinal look to break in a new-look offensive line which returns just one starter.

From USC’s perspective, rushing the passer and attacking that offensive line with All-American Leonard Williams will be key.

Kevon Seymour will be called upon to contain Montgomery, but coming off shut-down performances against the likes of Davante Adams and Josh Harper, Seymour should be up to the challenge.

WR #89 Devon CajusteLT #70 Andrus PeatLG #51 Joshua GarnettC #52 Graham ShulerRG #57 Johnny CaspersRT #78 Kyle MurphyTE #84 Austin HooperQB #8 Kevin HoganRB #39 Kelsey YoungFB #36 Lee WardWR #7 Ty Montgomery

SOLB #47 Scott FelixDE #90 Claude Pelon OR #52 Delvon SimmonsNT #99 Antwaun WoodsDE #94 Leonard WilliamsRUSH #58 J.R. TavaiMLB #10 Hayes PullardWLB #56 Anthony SaraoCB #13 Kevon SeymourFS #27 Gerald Bowman OR #22 Leon McQuay IISS #21 Su’a CravensCB #4 Chris Hawkins

When USC has the ball…

Sarkisian’s offense stole the headlines last weekend, setting the Pac-12 record for plays in a game and posting 701 yards of offense on the evening against Fresno State.

The Trojans will know going in that Stanford presents a much stiffer test defensively than the Bulldogs, but the plan will remain the same: keep the pace uptempo, force the defense off balance and get Cody Kessler and company into a rhythm.

As USC’s most experienced receivers, expect Nelson Agholor and Darreus Rogers to take center stage. Agholor eclipsed 100 yards in last year’s contest while Rogers proved himself as a reliable third-down receiver against the Bulldogs.

Javorius Allen, aka Buck, and Justin Davis will need to supply enough of a run game to take pressure off the passing attack, but their performance will depend on that of the offensive line, which will face a formidable Stanford front.

That Cardinal defensive line will be responsible for knocking the Trojan offense off its rhythm and they’re the most equipped unit on Stanford’s team to make a major impact on the game.

The Stanford linebackers are working to replace some heavy hitters, while the secondary is potentially their strongest to date. Still they were vulnerable to threats in the air during 2013.

WR #9 JuJu SmithWR #15 Nelson AgholorTE #82 Randall TelferRT #73 Zach BannerRG #51 Damien MamaC #75 Max TuerkLG #50 Toa LobendahnLT #72 Chad WheelerTE #86 Xavier GrimbleWR #8 George FarmerQB #6 Cody KesslerFB #31 Soma VainukuTB #37 Javorius “Buck” Allen

DE #91 Henry AndersonDT #58 David ParryDE #43 Blake Lueders OR #7 Aziz ShittuOLB #48 Kevin AndersonILB #4 Blake MartinezILB #17 A.J. TarpleyOLB #9 James VaughtersLCB #25 Alex CarterFS #10 Zach HoffpauirSS #8 Jordan RichardsRCB #2 Wayne Lyons