Week 2 College football upset picks No. 4: USC Trojans
Rank: 14 | Opponent: Stanford Cardinal | Time: Saturday, Sept. 11, 10:30 p.m. ET
When you look at the final score for USC’s win over San Jose State, it’s going to tell you a lie. Yes, the Trojans ended up winning 30-7 over the Spartans but they didn’t look wholly dominant. Kedon Slovis was good but far from great and the defense was simply too physical for a team like SJSU to handle for 60 minutes.
On the flip side, Stanford looked completely outmatched by Kansas State. But that might be overlooking the fact that the Wildcats are just a good team now that Skylar Thompson is back at quarterback. That’s not to say the Cardinal are world-beaters but they might be better than the Week 1 result would lead you to believe.
Furthermore, David Shaw’s team at least has a better chance physically of matching what USC has to offer. No, the team isn’t on the same level but they are still a Pac-12 team that has a history of success, even if not so much of late.
But what puts the Trojans fully on upset alert is the Clay Helton factor. The USC head coach has proven to be out of his depth time and again to this point, something that isn’t true of Shaw. Even if there is a talent discrepancy, perhaps it can be overcome with a coaching mismatch. That could be the case on Saturday night.