In an oddity, it doesn’t seem to matter where USC and Stanford tangle, because the Cardinal football team will find a way to win.
In what appeared improbable, Stanford, ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll, stunned the No. 2-ranked Trojans by the count of 21-14 in a Pacific 12 Conference matchup last Saturday atPalo Altoas quarterback Josh Nunes drove his club 79 yards on 10 plays for the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Nunes (15 of 32 for 215 yards and two interceptions) has been around, but was a backup to Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall selection in this April’s NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
A redshirt junior, Nunes located tight end Zach Ertz (71 yards and three catches) with a 37-yard strike and 10:20 left, and it sent shock waves around the nation.
The Trojans, who fell to No. 13, were looking for a spot in the national title game, seemed unbeatable having pounded Hawaii 49-10, then belting Syracuse 42-29, before falling to the Cardinal (3-0 and 1-0 in conference), who have beaten USC four straight seasons for the first time since these two schools began playing each other in 1905.
USC senior quarterback Matt Barkley was sacked twice in the Trojans’ final drive, and four times overall. The Trojans (280 total net yards) were shut out in the second half, something unthinkable as they punted four times and were held on downs two other times.
Barkley came into Saturday’s contest having thrown 10 touchdowns, but didn’t have any as the Cardinal held him to 254 yards, while hitting 20 of 41 attempts with two picks and a fumble.
USC sophomore wide receiver sensation Marqise Lee caught eight passes for 100 yards, and junior wideout Robert Woods (four catches for 38 yards).
PennStatetransfer Silas Redd (17 yards on 13 carries) did. Redd’s one-yard run with 9:40 showing in the opening quarter closed out a 50-yard march, and made it 7-0, while Redd’s one-yard run with 11:19 remaining in the second quarter capped a 14-play march that gave the Trojans (2-1 and 0-1 in conference) a 14-7 lead.
In what is turning out to be a real weakness, USC managed 26 yards on the ground, compared to 202 for the Cardinal (417 total yards), as Stepfan Taylor churned out a game-best 153 yards on 27 carries.Taylorgained 60 yards on five receptions.
Taylor’s 59-yard run with 6:43 left in the first quarter ended an 82-yard drive and knotted it at 7-7, and his 23-yard screen pass reception late in the third quarter tied it at 14-14.