The seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal and No. 24 USC Trojans will face off in the Pac-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium, home stadium of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, in Santa Clara, Calif., on Saturday, December 5 at 7:45 p.m. ET, with the Cardinal as the favorites to win the Pac-12 title for third time in four years. It’s largely a home game as well for the Cardinal, whose campus is 14 miles from Levi’s Stadium.
The game is being shown by ESPN, but college football fans have one other easy and legal option to watch the Pac-12 Championship online without a pricey cable package — Sling TV (free 7-day trial). Read on for a complete preview of the game and to learn how you can watch a Stanford vs USC live stream this weekend.
Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans Preview
The winner of this game most likely will play in the Rose Bowl against the Big Ten runner-up, but Stanford could have more at stake. The Cardinal finished the regular season at 10-2 overall and 8-1 in the Pac-12 to win the North Division They are led by running back Christian McCaffrey, the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey. Christian McCaffrey can all but plan on a trip to New York City next weekend as a Heisman finalist, although Alabama’s Derrick Henry will win the award. McCaffrey has carried the ball 287 times for 1,640 yards (sixth among FBS players) and seven touchdowns this season. He also has 37 catches for 435 yards and three more scores. The sophomore leads the nation with 3,035 all-purpose yards, a Pac-12 record. He is only the third player in FBS history with more than 3,000 yards, joining former Western Kentucky star Antonio Andrews (3,161 yards in 2012) and Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (3,250 yards in 1988). McCaffrey would seem likely to break Sanders’ record against USC — Sanders’ son currently plays for Stanford.
The Cardinal still have an outside shot of sneaking into the four-team College Football Playoff, but they would have to blow out USC and likely need both No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama to lose on Saturday in the ACC and SEC Championship Game, respectively. Even that might not be enough. Stanford is 2-0 all-time in the Pac-12 title game, beating UCLA 27-24 in 2012 and Arizona State 38-14 the next year. The North Division winner has yet to lose in this game.
Southern Cal (8-4, 6-3) will be Rose Bowl-bound with a victory regardless. The Trojans, in their first Pac-12 Championship Game, won the South Division by beating UCLA 40-21 in the-regular season finale to end a three-game losing streak in that crosstown series. That win apparently influenced USC athletic director Pat Haden enough that he gave USC interim head coach Clay Helton the full-time job on Monday. Helton, formerly the team’s offensive coordinator, replaced the fired Steve Sarkisian following the Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington on Oct. 8. USC is 5-2 under Helton and has outrushed every opponent in that stretch even though the Trojans have one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Cody Kessler. He has completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 3,128 yards, 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Kessler goes against one of the Pac-12’s top defenses.
This is a rematch of a Sept. 19 game in Los Angeles, when then-unranked Stanford upset No. 6 USC 41-31. Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan passed for 279 yards and two scores, while McCaffrey rushed 26 times for 115 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards. Remound Wright rushed for three scores. Kessler threw for 272 yards and three scores in a losing effort. USC had won the previous two meetings with Stanford.
Sign Up for Sling TV to Watch the Pac-12 Championship Game Online
If you have plans on Saturday night and can’t be in front of your television to watch this matchup on ESPN, Sling TV is the only option to legally watch the Pac-12 Championship online without cable. Despite only being launched this year, Sling TV has become one of the nation’s top subscription streaming services for cable cutters due to its broad array of channels, including many broadcasting sporting events. With a subscription to Sling TV (review), customers can live stream ESPN’s broadcast on Saturday and watch Stanford vs USC live stream online. ESPN’s team of Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sideline) is on the telecast.
The basic package for Sling TV provides over 20 popular cable channels. Included are TNT, TBS, AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (through WatchESPN with your Sling TV login). With Sling TV, you can live stream your favorite TV shows or sporting events on your computer, tablet, phone or TV with a connected device. Sling TV’s basic package costs just $20 per month and does not require a contract, so you can cancel at any point if you’d like. There is also the option to purchase additional channels each month. Sling TV has add-on packages for $5 per month.
Sling TV is currently offering a free 7-day trial, so you could watch the Pac-12 Championship Game — and some of Saturday’s other college football conference championship matchups — with no obligation whatsoever.
And there is currently a limited-time offer that if you prepay for three months of Sling TV’s service, you receive either a free Roku Streaming Stick or 50% off a Roku 3 player. The devices will connect your live stream to your TV, letting you easily watch all the action on your big screen. Click here to learn more about these limited-time offers.
The Complete Guide to Watching College Football Online
For more info on watching all the big games online without cable, check out our full guide on how to watch college football online.
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