As week three of the NCAA football season comes upon us this week. One match up in the PAC-12 Conference is a must watch for this man.

(2) USC will take on (21) Stanford in Palo Alto this Saturday night! The Stanford Cardinal is going to try to win their fourth straight against rival USC. Though in the 107 years between these two teams Stanford has never won four straight against the Trojans.

As we await this battle on Saturday night. Lets look at the three keys to the game:

1)   Josh Nunes (Quarterback Stanford).  Key number one in this game is quarterback for the Cardinal Josh Nunes. Nunes is entering his first big game as the Stanford starting quarterback. He will try to accomplish what Andrew Luck did in beating Lane Kiffin's Trojans in 2012. The only way for Stanford to even have a chance against the high powered passing offense of the Trojans is if Nunes can convert on third downs and not turn the ball over in this game. Josh Nunes in week one against San Jose State did not look very good, but facing a poor Duke team last weekend he look very dominant and in control of the Stanford offense. Look for Nunes to come up big if Stanford wants to stay with Matt Barkley and the Trojans offense.

2)   Stanford Passing Defense versus Marquis Lee, Silas Redd (RB) & Robert Woods. Continuing with passing aspect of this game if Stanford wants to keep with USC they must have their passing defense be as good as they can be against Matt Barkley and his receiving core. Stanford going into this game has given up 570 plus yards passing and one passing touchdown.  Now if you combine Lee, Reed, and Woods statistics they combine for a total for the season so far they combine for 439 total receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Barkley has maybe the most lethal and dominant receiving core in college football that I have ever seen and if Stanford wants to stay in this game they need to find a way to neutralize at least Lee and Woods deal with Redd during this game. Though any of these players can break away from the defense and score touchdowns easily. The second key to watch fort his game is if the Stanford passing defense can find a way to keep these three players at bay and keep the Cardinal in the game.

3)   Silas Redd & Stepfan Taylor.  The third key to this big Pac-12 conference division match up has to be the running back play for both teams. If Silas Redd can run well against coach Shaw's defense then USC will have total control over this entire game. The fact that Matt Barkley is probably the best quarterback in college football this year and the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy Stanford has to find an aspect of the game they can stop USC on offense which must be the running game. Now for Stanford Stepfan Taylor must continue to be brilliant in the backfield for Josh Nunes. If Taylor can find a way to run for over 100 yards against the Trojan average defense then Stanford will make this a game. Taylor is a huge key for coach Shaw and his offense. If Taylor is not even an average running back at his abilities Saturday night then Stanford will get destroyed, but if Taylor plays what he has done in last two match ups with 100 yards and at least two touchdowns then Stanford could win this thing late.

If Stanford can find a way to keep Barkley from throwing all over their defense and Josh Nunes can find his inner Andrew Luck then Stanford will have a chance against the #2 ranked team in the country the USC Trojans.

Prediction:

USC beats Stanford. Score: USC 31- Stanford 24.

This game comes down to a late play by USC in the 4th quarter. This will not be a a blow out as many USC fans think it will be. 

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