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Pac-12 championship game preview: USC vs. Stanford

Pac-12 championship game preview: USC vs. Stanford
USC Coach Clay Helton reacts after an interception by Trojans cornerback Iman Marshall against UCLA on Nov. 28. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

USC will get a second chance -- with a new head coach -- to defeat Stanford on Saturday in the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

The Cardinal eased to a 41-31 victory over the Trojans in September.

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Since then, USC has fired coach Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton has earned the permanent job.

Stanford, ranked seventh in the College Football Playoff rankings, is 10-2 overall and 8-1 in the Pac-12. A victory over USC would keep the Cardinal in the playoff discussion.

Last week, Stanford defeated Notre Dame, 38-36.

Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry preview the Pac-12 Conference championship game, USC vs. Stanford.

USC, ranked 20th, is 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-12. The Trojans are coming off a dominant 40-21 victory over UCLA, and a win against Stanford could send them to the Rose Bowl.

USC and Stanford are scheduled to kick off at 4:45 p.m. PST; the game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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