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RT @LombardiESPN: Big: Stanford WR Ty Montgomery will NOT play vs UCLA: 12 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
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Football predictions: Stanford at USC

No. 4 Stanford (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) vs. USC (7-3, 4-2)

Sam Fisher: Stanford 27, USC 17

Just in time for this matchup, USC has pulled itself together and is in position to give the Cardinal a scare. Coming off a huge win against Oregon, Stanford needs to be wary of a letdown. There is too much senior leadership on this Stanford team, however, for the Cardinal to let that happen. While USC has big-play threats in wide receivers Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor, I don’t think Cody Kessler can be accurate enough under pressure to take advantage. Look for Stanford to dominate on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to take command of the game, slowly squeeze the life out of the Trojans and effectively clinch the Pac-12 North.

George Chen: Stanford 24, USC 10

We’ll see if the Cardinal offense can carry over its masterful performance against Oregon last Thursday to the Coliseum tomorrow, but either way, the Cardinal defense is too good to let an upset happen. As crazy as it may seem, Stanford has yet to play a complete game this year. What better time than to do it in front of a sellout crowd of 93,000 at the Coliseum? I think Stanford builds an early lead and wears down the Trojans like the Cardinal did against UCLA. Tyler Gaffney should see a lighter load after his ridiculous 45 carries last week, and Ty Montgomery should be more involved, whether it’s in the passing game or on the end-arounds. I just think Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov will be too much for Cody Kessler and the Trojans offensive line to handle, propelling Stanford past USC for the fifth consecutive season.

Michael Peterson: Stanford 23, USC 16

USC rides a three-game winning streak into this matchup and should get off to a fast start thanks to a pumped-up team and an energetic atmosphere at the Coliseum. However, this Stanford team looked too good last week against Oregon to falter here. Expect a close game, and maybe an early USC lead, but also for Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy and the Card front seven to shut down the USC offense by eliminating the run game and pressuring Kessler into bad throws. The Card made Matt Barkley look mediocre at best last year, and I don’t expect Kessler to have any more success than Barkley did. That being said, USC won’t go away easily and does stop the run well, so Stanford will have to grind this one out. Tyler Gaffney and the dominant offensive line will eventually break the Trojans down, and the defense will shut down any last-gasp USC rally attempts.

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The Daily Sports Staff is the collective moniker of an overworked, beleaguered, underpaid collection of sportswriters that feel comfortable enough with their own self-identities to give up any sense of individualism for the good of the sports section. To contact The Daily Sports Staff, send an email to dpark027 'at' stanford.edu to reach Do-Hyoung Park, keeper of the souls of those sportswriters.
  • Cardinal Fail

    All three of you were WRONG!!! Haha! No title shot this year, its kind of nice to be the spoiler instead of being the one getting your season shit on.