The Pac-12 title will be on the line Friday night, as No. 12 Stanford and No. 10 USC meet at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Though there aren’t likely to be many playoff ramifications stemming from this one, it’s still a highly compelling matchup between a pair of red-hot teams that have combined for just two losses since the start of October.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Live Stream Info
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game for free:
DirecTV Now: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are included in all four channel packages. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are all included in the “Sling Orange” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are part of every bundle. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
Unlike in years past, the motivation behind this game won’t be a spot in the college football playoff. 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.
Nevertheless, there’s still plenty on the line. For Stanford, not only is this an opportunity to avenge an early-season 42-24 drubbing at the hands of the Trojans, but it’s a chance for a fourth Pac-12 title in six years, extending what has been a quiet dynasty under David Shaw. For USC, it’s a spot to finally, officially, re-take the Pac-12 with what would be their first conference title since Pete Carroll was roaming the sidelines in 2008. Additionally, a win for either side means a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl, likely the Fiesta.
With both teams averaging over 30 points per game, and with an over/under of 58 points, this one shouldn’t fail to entertain. In USC’s 42-point outburst against Stanford back in early September, it was a balanced effort from the Trojans, who had a 300-yard passer (Sam Darnold, 316 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions), a 100-yard receiver (Deontay Burnett, nine catches, 121 yards, two touchdowns) and two 100-yard rushers (Stephen Carr 119 yards; Ronald Jones 116 yards and two touchdowns).
“We’ve got to limit their explosive plays,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said. “We missed a lot of tackles in the first USC game.”
Fortunately for the Cardinal, they have a propensity for explosive plays on offense, as well. Heisman candidate–and likely winner if it weren’t for Baker Mayfield–Bryce Love has 1,848 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on a ridiculous 8.6 yards per tote this season, while K.J. Costello has added some much needed balance to the offense since entering the starting lineup five games ago, throwing for 7.4 yards per attempt with a 9:2 TD:INT ratio.
“He’s got fire. He’s got passion,” Shaw said. “He’s got a strong am and he’s accurate.”
USC, coming off a bye week and as healthy as they’ve been in a while, are four-point favorites against a Stanford team that will have to play on a short week after beating Notre Dame last Saturday, but don’t be surprised if this one comes down to the final possession.