Stanford gets its desired -- and predicted -- rematch against USC

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The Trojans are 10-2 and the Cardinal is 9-3. "This is going to be the result of our season". He threw nine interceptions in his first six games this season but only three in the last six.

Entering this season, the Trojans were considered contenders to reach the College Football Playoff, a goal that now appears extremely remote, but they believe a Pac-12 title would be a clear indication of their improvement, especially compared to when they last took the field in Santa Clara. The Cardinal looked strong offensively last week in a 18-point victory against Notre Dame - the same Notre Dame team which beat USC, 49-14. Love is a beast and we learned that this year. In his last five games, he only went over 150 once. "The quarterback was as good as you can play the position".

Far from being discouraged, the Cardinal instead marveled at how well the Trojans played against them.

STATS THAT MATTER: Love is second nationally with 1,848 rushing yards, but is the FBS leader in 13 statistical categories, including yards per game (168.0), yards per carry (8.6, which would be an FBS record if it holds), 100-yard games (10) and 50-yard runs (11, an FBS record). Despite the constant negative press the Badgers are getting from experts and the college football nation, they rolled in at number four in this week's rankings, and a win would surely keep them there.

The Pac-12 North is 6-0 in Pac-12 championship games.

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For USC's defense, the memories of the 2015 Pac-12 title game remain stark because of McCaffrey, who broke Barry Sanders' single-season record for all-purpose yards with 461 against them.

"It was a gut shot", Shaw said. "We nearly handed one person the Heisman that day". According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, USC has just a 24 percent chance of making the playoff with a win, while Stanford's odds with a victory would sit at a meager six percent.

Schultz, like many of Stanford's other upperclassmen, knew better than to be too discouraged by an early-season defeat.

And if you're Alabama, you just have to sit back, take in the madness, and wait to see what transpires. They pitch it backward and let him use his eyes and his footwork to good use.

Love, who has rushed for 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns, could become the fourth Stanford player to finish second for the most prestigious individual award in college football since 2009, when Toby Gerhart was runner-up to Alabama running back Mark Ingram Jr.

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That leads to big plays, too.

K.J.'S GROWTH: Shaw didn't trust Costello to do much in his first game after taking over as the full-time starter. Stanford has won eight of nine following 1-2 start.

The star for the Trojans remains quarterback Sam Darnold, rated the No. 3 overall pro prospect by NFLDraftScout.com.

Stanford: QB K.J. Costello.

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