USC Football Needs to Make a Strong Statement Against Stanford for Playoff Contention


C&G Shades On is a special weekly column from Sara Kakuris, bringing a die-hard USC fan’s voice and perspective to Reign of Troy. 

Two seasons ago, we all watched in awe as the USC football team pulled off a miracle. We had upset Stanford and proven to the critics, the rivals and the NCAA that we may be down, but we are never out. We rushed the field and regained the glory.

This year, the story is a little different. This time, instead of proving that we haven’t been demolished, we have to prove that we are legitimate contenders.

We’re not the underdogs. The upset is theirs to take.

We’ve looked good the last two games. Stanford has not. But neither team has played in a real competition yet.

As we learned with Boston College, NOTHING is a given.

I try to keep myself a football realist. My heart has been broken too many times.

The problem is, the hype is infectious. The ranking is intoxicating.

My name is Sara, and I am addicted to pundits saying we could make the playoffs.

We need to make a strong statement against Stanford for the high to continue. Our offensive line needs to stand strong. Our quarterback needs to use his feet as well as his arm. Our defensive line needs to lay on the pressure. Our secondary needs to be one step ahead.

The red zone needs to be our friend. The uprights need to be used for 1, not 3.

It’s no longer just about the win, it’s about showing the rivals, the committee and the country that we are a powerhouse to be reckoned with.

I’d be happy to beat the Bruins and the Irish. I’d be thrilled to take the Pac-12 title. I’d be over the moon to play in the Rose Bowl. The playoffs would be a dream come true.

But, wow, the thought of Arizona. It could be potentially deadly as it courses through my veins but, at this point, it’s beyond my control.

Stanford is our first small step towards greatness. We can’t sleep on the job, as easy as the job may seem. There are no small teams anymore, only potential landmines and golden springboards.

Let’s do this.

Fight On! Beat the Farm!

I welcome hearing your thoughts and any future ideas you’d like to see in a column. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @SCTrojanSara and tweet me any time.

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