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No. 2 Southern California (2-0) at No. 21 Stanford (2-0), 4:30 p.m. (Fox)

Line: USC by 9.

Series Record: USC leads 58-28-3.


One of the toughest road tests of the year for USC and Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley, who has beaten every Pac-12 Conference team but is 0-3 against Stanford. The Cardinal no longer have Andrew Luck, though that hasn't stopped them from an upset before. Stanford has won four of the last five against the Trojans, and often in dramatic fashion.


USC receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee vs. Stanford's secondary. Cardinal coach David Shaw called Woods and Lee the best college combo he's ever seen and it's "not even close." The All-American Woods has 16 receptions for 134 yards and four touchdowns and Lee has 21 receptions for 263 yards and four touchdowns already this season. The Cardinal start two new starting safeties, Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards, and returning cornerbacks Terrence Brown and Barry Browning struggled against the Trojans tandem in last year's 56-48 triple-overtime thriller.


USC C Khaled Holmes, or more likely, his replacement. The fifth-year senior left last week's victory over Syracuse on a cart with a right leg injury and his status against Stanford is uncertain. Holmes leads the protection and running scheme for the offensive line along with Barkley, who was not sacked by Stanford last season. If Holmes can't play, redshirt freshman Cyrus Hobb is expected to take his spot.

Stanford FB Ryan Hewitt. Fullback is not a major position at most schools. Stanford isn't one of them. Hewitt sat out the first two games with a right ankle injury and the running game struggled in his absence. The Cardinal had 92 yards rushing on 26 carries in a 50-13 rout of Duke last week, snapping Stanford's 49-game streak of at least 100 yards rushing. Hewitt, who is expected to start, also caught four passes for 28 yards and a touchdown against USC last year.


Stanford has never won four straight against the Trojans. ... USC is 5-9 against ranked Stanford teams. ... The USC-Stanford series dates back to 1905. ... The last time Stanford started 3-0 in three straight seasons was from 1970-72. ... The game is the first Pac-12 matchup of the year and the only meeting between conference teams this week.