LOS ANGELES -- Stanford has had two weeks to study the Southern California Trojans. Coach Pete Carroll and his USC staff have been undergoing a crash course on the Cardinal.
"They're playing good football and they've changed a great deal from a year ago. We're kind of scrambling to catch up with all of their new stuff on offense and defense," Carroll said.
"They've changed their coordinators and their play-callers. They come out with a real interesting style on defense. Offensively, they've come out running the ball well. The quarterback has done very well."
The ninth-ranked Trojans (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) are coming off a 37-17 victory over Arizona State. Stanford (2-1, 0-1) is fresh off its second bye of the season.
"They only lost to Washington in Seattle and played a very competitive game," Carroll said, referring to Stanford's 28-17 loss on Sept. 27. "We're concerned that they're coming off a bye. I'm sure they're going to have new things prepared for us in an attempt to keep us off-balance.
"We're going to go in expecting the unexpected and we will have to make some adjustments as the game goes on."
Cardinal coach Buddy Teevens has a good idea what his 21-point underdogs will be up against Saturday night at the Coliseum.
"A very talented group. They are solid in every aspect of the game," said Teevens, in his second year at Stanford. "They play with enthusiasm and are obviously well coached.
"They do a very nice job with the defensive scheme and attacking with the offense. Their kicker and punter do a great job. So it's as good of a team as there is in the country."
The Trojans hope to get their running game cranked up again this week.
LenDale White, a powerful 6-foot-2, 227-pound freshman, came off the bench to rush for 140 yards on 21 carries in the Trojans' 37-17 win over Arizona State last weekend. USC totaled 198 yards on the ground against the Sun Devils.
Carroll has wanted the Trojans to balance their offense with the running game.
"We need to hammer the football to make our offense most effective," he said. "It was really clear last year and we've been waiting for this factor this season."
Stanford may be difficult to run against; the defense has allowed an average of only 56.3 rushing yards a game in its three contests.
"Guys have responded well and tackled well, but we haven't faced a team quite like USC," Teevens said.
USC quarterback Matt Leinart went out of the game against Arizona State in the second quarter with knee and ankle injuries, but he returned in the second half to help the Trojans score 27 unanswered points.
"I've been very impressed with him, especially his toughness," Teevens said. "He seems like a physical guy. He gets roughed up a bit and comes back to play."
John David Booty, the freshman who skipped his final year of high school in Louisiana to come to USC, may get his first playing time at quarterback for the Trojans. He was elevated to the backup spot during practice this week.
Stanford is a very young team, with half of the squad freshmen. Included is redshirt freshman Trent Edwards, who won the starting quarterback job in the first game and has gone 47-of-92 for 462 yards and four touchdowns. He has, however, already thrown six interceptions.
"Trent continues to develop as with most of the young guys," Teevens said. "He's not there yet, but each week he continues to make progress."
Wide receiver Luke Powell has 19 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinal this fall, and has averaged 8.9 yards on 16 punt returns. Kenneth Tolon has rushed for 259 yards on 67 carries.
Kickoff is 10 p.m. EDT.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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