Stanford Cardinal (9-3) at USC Trojans (10-2)
College Football: Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Levi's Stadium)
The Line: USC Trojans -3 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The 21st ranked Stanford Cardinal and 11th ranked USC Trojans will face off in the PAC-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium this Friday night in College Football action.
The 21st ranked Stanford Cardinal improved to 9-3 (8-2 Pac-12 North) on the season after defeating the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 38-20, this past Saturday. Stanford fell behind 20-17 after the third quarter, however, the offense powered by QB K.J. Costello would score 21 unanswered points to get the Cardinal the come-from-behind victory. The Cardinal were outgained by the Fighting Irish by a 415-328 margin and won the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin. Leading the way for Stanford was QB K.J Costello who completed 14 of 22 passes for 176 yards with 4 TD. On the season, the Cardinal are averaging 32.3 ppg on 390.3 total yards per game (183.7 passing yds/g; 210.4 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Stanford has been led by RB Bryce Love who has 16 TD’s on the season while averaging 168.0 yds/g on 19.6 att/g. QB K.J. Costello has completed 61.1% of his passes on the season for 9 TD and 2 INT while averaging 129.9 passing yds/g. WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside (4.1 rec/g, 63.3 yds/g, 6 TD), WR Trenton Irwin (3.3 rec/g, 36.3 yds/g, 2 TD), and TE Kaden Smith (1.6 rec/g, 27.8 yds/g, 3 TD) lead the way for the Stanford receivers. Defensively, Stanford is holding their opponents to an average of 20.7 ppg on 394.1 total yards per game (183.7 passing yds/g; 220.0 rushing yds/g). The Cardinal have forced 24 turnovers on the season and have an overall turnover margin of +14.
The 11th ranked USC Trojans improved to 10-2 (8-1 Pac-12 South) on the season after defeating the UCLA Bruins, 28-23, on November 19th. USC had the Pac-12 South Division wrapped up going into this matchup, however, still were able to secure their 4th straight game after Ronald Jones II scored his 2nd TD of the game and gave the Trojans a 28-17 lead with just 5:19 left in regulation. USC was outgained by UCLA by a 501-417 margin, however, won the turnover battle by a 2-1 margin. Leading the way for the Trojans was RB Ronald Jones II who carried the ball 28 times for 122 yards and 2 TD. On the season, USC is averaging 34.8 ppg on 488.6 total yards per game (292.1 passing yds/g; 196.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, USC has been led by QB Sam Darnold who has completed 63.3% of his passes for 24 TD and 12 INT while averaging 288.5 passing yds/g. The main receivers for Darnold and the Trojans have been Deontay Burnett (6.1 rec/g, 80.5 yds/g, 9 TD), Tyler Vaughns (4.0 rec/g, 55.3 yds/g, 4 TD), and Steven Mitchell Jr. (4.3 rec/g, 64.2 yds/g, 4 TD). The USC backfield has been led by Ronald Jones II (19.3 att/g, 122.4 yds/g, 16 TD) and Stephen Carr (7.0 att/g, 40.2 yds/g, 3 TD). Defensively, USC is holding their opponents to an average of 26.2 ppg on 409.9 total yards per game (251.0 passing yds/g; 158.9 rushing yds/g). USC has committed 24 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of +2.
The Cardinal are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in December and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. The Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game however, are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
Stanford finished the season winning 8 of their last 9 games to reach the Pac-12 Championship and have been led by one of the best running backs in the country in Bryce Love, who finished currently ranks 2nd in the country in rushing yards per game. USC still has some very slim hopes to make the CFF Playoffs as the Trojans have won 6 of their last 7 games and have one of the better QB/RB duos in Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones II. Stanford has played well as of late however, their last two games away from home haven’t been impressive as they lost to Washington State and barley beat Oregon State and as I like how the USC offensive looks like they’ve finally gotten thing together, I’m taking the Trojans to cover this small spread and win the Pac-12 Championship.