Hostile environment at USC helped Stanford this season

Published Dec. 1, 2015 3:27 p.m. ET

After losing its season-opener to Northwestern, the Cardinal needed to learn how to play their best in a hostile environment. 

Stanford's third game of the season, against USC, provided exactly the type of environment head coach David Shaw was looking for. 

Stanford beat the Trojans 41-31 at the Coliseum and came away feeling like they could be one of the best teams in the entire country.

Now, as Stanford prepares to play the Trojans again, this time for the Pac-12 title, Shaw believes that that mid-September game against USC could pay huge dividends. However, he won't discuss what he learned from that game. 

David Shaw is not showing his cards. Not this week.