USC / Stanford Under 58.5 3.3% play
I took USC -3 earlier in the week before the line move. Pure numbers grab given the situation USC is in it sets up nice for them, but I'll be looking for Stanford +7 or higher in live game action or +4.5 before the game if I can get it in hopes of getting a middle. I really think this could be a close game.
Stanford off a big win over Notre Dame, but that was a bit misleading as they trailed 20-17 int he 4th Q before forcing 3 TO's as Notre Dame fell apart. Stanford's defense has played a lot better of late and if they avoided the big plays that Notre Dame had in this game, 83 yard pass in the 1st quarter, and 75 yard pass in the 3rd quarter they actually held Notre Dame to 6 points. They also held Washington to 22 points. The adjustments that David Shaw has made to a struggling defense have been impressive. Their struggling run defense which has plagued them all year just held Washington to 4.09 ypc, and Notre Dame to 3.50 ypc both really good rushing offenses. I expect a better game from Stanford's defense here.
Now Stanford's offense can also help their defense by sitting on the ball which they have been pretty good at over the history of the program. Bryce Love is banged up but he is a tough kid and he will get the bulk of the carries here. KJ Costello took over at QB and he's been a better fit than Keller Christy who started in the first game, but overall I wouldn't expect him to make a huge difference in the total which is 4.5 points higher than the first game giving us line value. Costello did not impress me against Notre Dame. He made a couple of tight throws that were essentially jump balls.
For USC they ran the ball 48 times in the first match-up and 26 throws. The running games will keep the clock rolling in this one. I don't see them wanting to take too many chances with Darnold who had 2 INT's in the first match-up.
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