Cleat Geeks

Pac 12 Week 3 Preview: USC, Stanford Begin Conference Play

Blowout Bound

Arizona State @ UTSA

pac12introphotoIdaho @ Washington State

Idaho State @ Oregon State

Portland State @ #8 Washington

Utah @ San Jose State

Hawai’i @ Arizona

Top 5 Games to Watch

1. USC @ #7 Stanford

What a tremendous match-up here to kickoff conference play in the Pac-12 for the 2016 season. A contest which features two favorites to take the conference this year, which is also a rematch of last year’s Pac-12 Championship which saw the Cardinal cruise to a 41-22 victory. USC travels to Stanford as they are still looking for redemption following their opening week embarrassment to Alabama. Stanford enters off a bye week after winning their opener against Kansas State.

Photograph by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

Photograph by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

The Trojans take a big hit on the defensive line as Noah Jefferson has been ruled out in this game. With an already stout offensive line, Stanford will likely win in the trenches which could be huge, especially for Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey as he looks to build off last year’s big game against USC. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal may have the edge in the trenches as well. In what I labeled as the best offensive line in the conference throughout the preseason, the Trojans’ line has been very disappointing, headlined by the poor play of Zach Banner. Although, they do get a healthy Chad Wheeler back to man the blindside. Still, it will be no easy task to stop Stanford’s front 7 which was very impressive in week 1 led by linebacker Peter Kalambayi.

This game features two 1st year starting QBs in Max Browne and Ryan Burns. I do give the edge to Browne, but Burns proved he can be a reliable, accurate passer and game manager in the opening week, but how will he perform on a bigger stage?

2. #22 Oregon @ Nebraska

3. UCLA @ BYU

4. #11 Texas @ Cal

5. Colorado @ #4 Michigan

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