USC vs. Stanford 2017: The matchup by the numbers


Ten facts about Saturday’s big USC vs. Stanford matchup in Week 2 at the LA Coliseum, where both teams will look to prove themselves.

The Trojans got off to a shaky start last weekend but rallied late to beat the Western Michigan Broncos. This Saturday, the annual USC vs. Stanford game at the Coliseum.

Stanford, coming off a 62-7 thrashing of Rice in Australia, will look to continue their three-game winning streak over the Trojans, while USC needs to build on the second half against Western Michigan and make a statement in front of the home crowd.

Let’s run down the matchup between the Cardinal and the Trojans, by the numbers.


As in the number of wins in two USC streaks. The Trojans have won both 10-straight games going back to the 2016 season and 10-straight games at home. The 10-straight wins at home is USC’s longest streak since they won 12-straight games at home between 2007-2009. That previous streak began after Stanford’s 2007 upset win over the Trojans snapped a school-record 35-game home winning streak.


The average yards per carry by freshman Stephen Carr against Western Michigan. There was a lot of talk around the USC program about how good Carr could be, and Saturday against the Broncos, he showed why there was so much buzz. The freshman carried the ball seven times for 69 yards and two touchdowns, including an electrifying 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to help USC put the game in a strangle hold.


Eight of the last 11 clashes between USC and Stanford have been decided by eight points or less. However, the three games that were not happened in the last two seasons, including the Trojans’ 41-31 loss to Stanford at home and a 41-22 loss in the Pac-12 Title game in 2015. Last year in Palo Alto, Stanford won 27-10.


Stanford has only allowed more than 200 team rushing yards seven times in their last 53 outings. However, the last three times that the Cardinal have allowed 200 or more yards were in 2016. They gave up 214 yards in a 44-6 loss to Washington, 224 yards in a 10-5 loss to the eventual Pac-12 south winner Colorado, and 226 in a 52-27 victory over the Oregon Ducks.


The number of tackles junior middle linebacker Cameron Smith made after returning in the second half against Western Michigan. The arrival of Smith in USC’s opener turned out to be exactly what was needed to help stop the Broncos ground attack. With Stanford coming into the Coliseum, Smith’s ability to shoot the gaps and make tackles in the backfield is going to be immensely important.

Matt King/Getty Images
Matt King/Getty Images /


The number of games Stanford has gone in a row without committing a turnover. The five-straight games are already a school record for the Cardinal. USC will look to end this streak, among others. USC forced one turnover in Week 1, an interception that safety Marvell Tell returned for a touchdown.


The number of catches senior wide receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. made in Week 1. On a day when the majority of the Trojan receivers were dropping passes, Mitchell was a reliable option for quarterback Sam Darnold. USC will be facing a talented defensive front in Stanford, who will be looking to take away the run. Expect the Trojans to rely on Mitchell and the rest of the receiving corps to keep the Cardinal honest on defense.


The number of touchdowns the ‘Texas Tesla’ Ronald Jones II had last week. Jones and USC will look to electrify the Coliseum again, as they face a Stanford rush defense who only gave up 146 yards on 38 attempts to Rice two weeks ago. Jones carried the ball 18 times against Western Michigan and finished with 159 yards.

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The number of interceptions starting quarterback Sam Darnold threw against Western Michigan. USC’s Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback was a bit unlucky with his two interceptions last week. The first was a poor throw tipped into the air, and the second was a wild tip drill. Darnold composed himself late and finished with a rushing touchdown, as well as leading USC to scores on his final four drives.


The Season of Sam continues with another first for the quarterback. Sam Darnold will be making his first start against the Stanford Cardinal. While Darnold did play in last year’s 27-10 loss, it was Max Browne who made the start. Darnold and USC will look to continue their winning ways and get a win over the No. 14 Cardinal in the Pac-12 opener.