The Stanford Cardinal are coming off one of the biggest wins in school history. Now, they’ll look to carry that momentum through the rest of the 2013 season to a potential national championship berth.
Last week, Stanford upset undefeated Oregon with a 26-20 victory. A road game against USC is up next for David Shaw's squad in a crucial Pac-12 showdown. The Cardinal look to be well on their way to playing the Pac-12 Championship Game. A chance at the national title is possible, though they’d likely need losses from unbeaten Florida State and Ohio State to gain a berth in the title game.
"(The BCS) is all hypothetical scenarios. It doesn't matter at this point. We lose a game, whew, it's all for naught," linebacker Shayne Skov said. "The recipe for us ending up anywhere relevant is for us to win the rest of our football games."
A month ago, it appeared that USC might not have much to play for. However, the team has played very well since Ed Orgeron took over for Lane Kiffin. The interim head coach is 4-1, with the only loss coming by four points at Notre Dame. The Trojans still have a chance to reach the Pac-12 title game, themselves. They have the same conference record as UCLA and are one game behind Arizona State. One of those teams is guaranteed to lose on Saturday, since they’ll be going head-to-head.
The Cardinal have won the last four games in this matchup, but the rivalry has remained a close one. The last three contests have been decided by one score, including a triple-overtime game.
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“Honestly, in the seven years I’ve been here now, I think five of them have gone down to the wire,” Shaw said. “We expect the same thing. I don’t think anybody in our conference is surprised at how well they are playing. Good schemes, good coaches, they are healthy and they are dangerous.”
The 2013 matchup between the two teams is expected to be no different. On the road, the Cardinal are favored by 3.5 points, according to most Las Vegas casinos.
ABC will broadcast the contest nationally on TV. It is set to start at 8 p.m. ET.