USC football vs. Stanford: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Trojans battle Cardinal

Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown #8 celebrates with tight end Tyler Petite #82 of the USC Trojans after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the UNLV Rebels at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – No. 23 Stanford and USC will face off for the 99th time on Saturday night when they open Pac-12 Conference play at the refurbished Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Both teams grounded out wins in their season-openers but also suffered some key injuries in the process.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: USC -2.5

The Cardinal lost starting left tackle Walker Little, a first team All-Pac-12 choice in 2018, to an apparent leg injury in their 17-7 win over Northwestern and also could be without starting quarterback K.J. Costello who suffered a concussion late in the first half. "K.J. is still questionable right now," Stanford coach David Shaw said at his weekly news conference Tuesday. "We'll see how his injury progresses during the course of the week. We should hopefully make a decision by Thursday or Friday. It shouldn't be a game-day decision. We should know before game day." USC meanwhile lost starting quarterback JT Daniels for the season when he tore the ACL and meniscus in right knee in the team's 31-23 victory over Fresno State and will turn to true freshman Kedon Slovis. "Got all the confidence in the world in his ability, his ability to help our offense move the ball and score and compete against Stanford," Trojan coach Clay Helton said of Slovis who was 6-of-8 for 57 yards and an interception against Fresno State.


Costello was 16-of-20 for 152 yards and a touchdown before taking a forearm to the chin from Northwestern defensive end Earnest Brown IV that snapped Costello's head back and sent his helmet flying when he hit the ground. Sophomore Davis Mills replaced Costello and was 7-of-14 for 81 yards but lost two fumbles and the Cardinal didn't seal the victory until linebacker Casey Toohill sacked quarterback Hunter Johnson with 20 seconds remaining, forcing a fumble that linebacker Jordan Fox recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Stanford also got big games from fifth-year running back Cameron Scarlett who rushed for a career-high 97 yards on 22 carries and junior wide receiver Connor Wedington who caught seven passes for 69 yards.


Slovis, a three-star recruit from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., surprisingly beat out redshirt junior Matt Fink and redshirt sophomore Jack Sears for the backup role in new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell's Air Raid offense. "Any time you're thrown into that situation and you find a way to win a close ball game, you've done your job as a backup quarterback," Helton said. "Now his role changes to a starter and the preparation that comes with it." Slovis will have plenty of weapons to work with including one of the nation's top receiving corps featuring Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, who had 11 receptions for 150 yards in the opener, and the explosive duo of Amon-Ra St. Brown and Velus Jones Jr., the latter who returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.


1. Stanford is USC's oldest rival dating to 1905. The Trojans hold a 62-33-3 series lead over the Cardinal but have won just four the last 12 meetings.

2. NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner was Slovis' high school quarterback coach.

3. The Cardinal are 5-4 against the Trojans in Pac-12 openers.

PREDICTION: USC 17, Stanford 14

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