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Stanford vs. USC: Cardinal Attack Starts With Offensive Line

For all the praise that Andrew Luck, Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney get for the fruitful Stanford Cardinal offense, just as much acknowledgement should go to the offensive line as well. 

Rick Eymer of  Palo Alto Online wrote a great piece Thursday about the Cardinal's front line and it's importance to the team's success, which was more than evident in last week's 65-21 beat down of the then No. 24 Washington Huskies. The O-line played a crucial part in the team setting a school record with 446 total rushing yards, with both Gafney and Taylor rushing for more than 100 individually. Even though that is really, really good, junior Jonathan Martin still thinks they can achieve more.

The perfect football game, according to Stanford redshirt junior Jonathan Martin, would be one in which the Cardinal takes a lead into the fourth quarter and then holds on by running the same play over and over again. There's one small thing Martin would add to this scenario: after the game, Andrew Luck's jersey would look like it was freshly laundered and his hair would be perfect.

There were points in Saturday's game against the Huskies that looked like this could be a reality, because they absolutely took over for a majority of the game. Andrew Luck has been sacked only twice all season by the way. 

"I always felt like we had a great offensive line here," Luck said. "I don't know how they compare across the nation but they do great things and they work hard every day."

Luck currently leads the Pac-12 with his mind-blowing 180.0 pass efficiency rating, as well as being fifth in yards per game in the conference. Not only that, he's completed 72 percent of his passes thus far, which is undoubtedly helped out by the long bouts of time afforded him by his linemen. The Cardinal's 15 game win streak hinders greatly on the play of the offensive line, which will have it's hands full with USC who's defense ranks second against the run in the Pac-12. Should be quite the showdown at the Coliseum this Saturday. 

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree