(14) Stanford vs

(13) USC

at Santa Clara
Fri, Dec 1
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 303
Odds: USC -3.5, Total: 58.5

Game Analysis

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Southern California (-3.5)  32   Stanford  31

This game is being play just a 15 minute drive from the Stanford campus but USC fans travel in droves to the Bay Area to watch their football team play (something I’m very familiar with as a Cal fan). But, even if I call this a pure neutral field the value is still on a Stanford team that is improved with K.J. Costello now entrenched as the quarterback. After a full year of horrible passing numbers with Keller Chryst (half of last year and half of this year) the Cardinal finally have a capable quarterback to use play-action passes down the field to compliment the immense talent of running back Bryce Love, who has run for 1848 yards at 8.6 ypr despite missing a game and playing on a gimpy ankle in a 4 other games the last month. Love still produced good numbers against a good Notre Dame defense last week and his ankle should continue to improve. Love ran for 160 yards at 9.4 ypr against USC early in the season but the Trojans had the luxury of facing Chryst, who averaged just 5.3 yards per pass play in that loss. For the season Chryst was 0.5 yards per pass play worse than average (5.8 yppp against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average quarterback) but Costello has averaged 6.8 yards on his 167 pass plays while facing teams that would combine to allow just 5.6 yppp to an average QB. Stanford has a significant advantage over a USC defense that is just 0.2 yards per play better than average (5.7 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.9 yppl against an average team).

USC’s offense also has a pretty good sized advantage in this game, as the Trojans have been 1.3 yppl better than average offensively (6.8 yppl against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl) while Stanford’s defense is also just 0.2 yppl better than average (5.8 yppl allowed to teams that would average 6.0 yppl). Stanford hasn’t given up many points off of those yards, however, as they’ve allowed an average of just 20.7 points per game.

Overall, the math model favors USC by just ½ a point and I’ll lean with Stanford plus the points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Stanford
  • USC


  • Run Plays 31.4 34.1
  • Run Yards 210.9 174.3
  • YPRP 6.9 5.6


  • Pass Comp 15.3 19.1
  • Pass Att 26.2 30.6
  • Comp % 58.3% 62.4%
  • Pass Yards 183.3 220.1
  • Sacks 1.3 2.6
  • Sack Yards 7.4 16.8
  • Sack % 4.6% 7.8%
  • Pass Plays 27.4 33.2
  • Net Pass Yards 175.9 203.3
  • YPPP 6.4 6.1


  • Total Plays 58.8 67.3
  • Total Yards 394.3 394.3
  • YPPL 6.7 5.9


  • Int 0.5 1.3
  • Int % 1.9% 4.3%
  • Fumbles 0.3 0.7
  • Turnovers 0.8 2.0
  • Points 32.3 20.7
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