Behind enemy lines: Stanford

USC is flying high after a monumental victory over rival Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Things don’t get any easier for the Trojans as the undefeated Cardinal head to Los Angeles for Halloween weekend.

Led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Andrew Luck, Stanford has been nothing short of amazing so far in 2011. The Cardinal have outscored their opponents 340 to 88 so far in 2011. Its closest margin of victory so far this year is 26 against UCLA. Let’s take a closer look at some statistics that show why Stanford is ranked fourth in the AP Poll and sixth in the BCS.

The Stanford offense has put up an average of 48.6 points per game, good for second in the country. That is due in large part to the Cardinal’s 25th ranked pass offense (284.7 yards per game) as well as its 17th ranked rushing attack (219.4 rush yards per game). USC has a prolific offense of its own, but the Trojans 30.1 points per game and 145.7 rush yards per game are considerably less than Stanford’s totals.

The Cardinal also get the job done on the defensive side of the ball. Coach David Shaw has his team allowing just 12.6 points per game, good for fourth in the country.

Despite the fact that Stanford has experienced a tremendous amount of success up to this point, there is a catch. Stanford opponents are just a combined 20-30 on the year, and USC will undoubtedly be the best team the Cardinal have seen so far in 2011. Even though Stanford has looked impressive while cruising to a 7-0 record, they’ve yet to see an offense as good as the Trojans’.

Unfortunately for USC fans, the same could be said when assessing the Trojans’ previous opponents. Stanford will roll into the Coliseum hotter than ever, and none of USC’s 2011 opponents compare to what Stanford brings to the table.

Look for a high scoring affair between two of the nations top offenses. Stanford will have a little Luck on its side, and his presence alone could create nightmares for USC all Halloween weekend long.