TALE OF THE TAPE

taleofthetape_College_CHEVY_600x60BrandedHeader.jpg

College Football Week 3: #2 USC At #21 Stanford

#2 USC
#21 Stanford
(credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Duke v Standford
(credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Coaching
Winner Lane Kiffin and his talented staff usually have the best players on the field, which always helps. But Kiffin has brushed aside detractors who feel he didn’t earn the USC head coaching job (he didn’t) by winning games.
Even without Andrew Luck, David Shaw has his team at 2-0 heading into this huge matchup with Pac-12 favorite USC.
Offense
Winner Can anyone stop the USC offense? The Trojans had balance against Syracuse last week: they threw 30 times (completing 23) and ran 33 times (for nearly eight yards a carry). Matt Barkley set a school record with six touchdown passes.
The Cardinal offense looked completely transformed from Week 1 to Week 2. Josh Nunes threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns against one interception and Stepfan Taylor found the end zone as Stanford put up 50 points against Duke.
Defense
Winner The Trojans have given up plenty of yards, but they’ve forced six turnovers and registered seven sacks. Considering the offenses they’ve faced—Hawaii and Syracuse—it is safe to say this is an above-average unit.
Stanford’s improvement was noticeable on the defensive side as well. The Cardinal held Duke to just 27 rushing yards and forced three turnovers. It will need a similar effort against USC.
Special Teams
Winner Marqise Lee returned a kickoff for a score in the opener and Robert Woods was exceptional returning punts last week. The Trojans don’t seem to have a weakness right now.
Drew Terrell returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown on Saturday and Jordan Williamson converted three out of four field goals.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Winner #2 USC
4 out of 4

USC has lost to Stanford three years in a row. Don’t expect the streak to run to four, as USC is not only more talented but should play with a chip on its shoulder.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (L-R) Mikal Bridges #25 of the Villanova Wildcats, Jalen Brunson #1, Darryl Reynolds #45, and Josh Hart #3. (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Kennedy Meeks #3, Justin Jackson #44, Marcus Paige #5, Joel Berry II #2 and Brice Johnson #11 of the North Carolina Tar Heels.  (credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    NCAA Championship Tale: 2 Villanova vs. 1 North Carolina

    After all the hoopla and hype, the NCAA Tournament Championship Game has arrived, and both North Carolina and Villanova are very good, deserving teams.

  2. Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels.  (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: 1 North Carolina Vs. 10 Syracuse

    North Carolina-Syracuse is an interesting matchup for the Final Four.

  3. Daniel Ochefu #23 of the Villanova Wildcats (C) celebrates defeating the Kansas Jayhawks in the South Regional. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Buddy Hield #24 of the Oklahoma Sooners holds up the West Regional trophy.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: 2 Villanova Vs. 2 Oklahoma

    Most of the country predicted the Kansas Jayhawks to be here, but the Villanova Wildcats knocked off the top team in the country in last Saturday’s Elite 8 contest.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Los Angeles

Play.It
Introducing Your New Podcast Network

Listen Live