October 07, 2007

It's for Real: Stanford Stuns USC

LOS ANGELES -- Before the season, Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh called USC the best team in the history of college football. That's clearly not the case, but Stanford's 24-23 stunner over USC tonight serves as a landmark win in Cardinal lore and one of the biggest upsests in recent college football memory.

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October 06, 2007

Game Over... Stanford Stuns USC

LOS ANGELES -- I don't believe it. John David Booty just threw an interception on fourth down to seal USC's fate as Stanford will end the game with a 24-23 shocker, eliciting boos from the LA Coliseum fans. I'm going down to get interviews and will check back in with all the details. This is hands down the biggest upset I've ever witnessed in college football.

Un Freakin' Believable

LOS ANGELES -- Move over App State-Michigan. There may be a new upset king in town. Stanford just converted its second fourth-down of the drive with a fourth-and-goal from the 10 when Tavita Pritchard hit Mark Bradford to give Stanford a 24-23 lead with 49 seconds left.

USC has the ball at its own 42 yard-line to start its drive. I'll check back in when it's over. This is unreal.

Booty Interception Sets Up Big Ending

LOS ANGELES -- John David Booty just threw an interception on third and 23 with about three minutes remaining to set up Stanford on the USC 45 yard-line trailing, 23-17. This is much more exciting than it should be.

Stanford Takes Points off the Board, Loses Time

LOS ANGELES -- Trailing 23-14 with about seven minutes left, Stanford kicker Derek Belch hit a 45-yard field goal. But USC had jumped off sides to give the Cardinal a first down. Stanford elected to take the first down and drove to the nine-yard line, but couldn't get into the end zone. Belch eventually converted a field goal, but more than a minute ticked off the clock. Still needing a touchdown, that time could have come in handy for the Cardinal. Now they'll have to stop USC now for it to even be relevant. The Trojans lead 23-17 with 5:43 to go.

Yet Another Big Strike for USC

LOS ANGELES -- When he's not turning the ball over or being failed by his receivers, John David Booty is making the big play today. Just when things started to look desperate for USC, Booty came up with another deep ball -- this time to Ronald Johnson.

After feeding the Cardinal defense a steady diet of tailback Chauncey Washington on a drive that started on the 14 yard-line, Booty hit Johnson on a 47-yard bomb to increase the USC lead to 23-14.

But Stanford has the ball again, and its suddenly resurgent offense is driving. The Cardinal look to have come to far to just roll over in the fourth quarter.

Stanford Offense Wakes Up, Cuts USC Lead to Two

LOS ANGELES -- After depending on the defense to get on the board first, Stanford's offense finally woke up to wind down the third quarter. The Cardinal came up with three first-down conversions after starting on their own 25 and Tavita Pritchard hit Mark Bradford on a 37-yard strike to set up first-and-goal at the USC one yard-line.

Anthony Kimble converted to start the fourth quarter and cut the USC lead to 16-14. This crowd is noticeably nervous. And it should be.

Davis Comes up Big Again For USC

LOS ANGELES -- After turning the ball over on three straight possessions, John David Booty finally found some magic and hit Fred Davis for a career-long 63-yard touchdown pass on third and two from the USC 37. After struggling to make big plays for most of the young season, it seems that's all USC can come up with today. The Trojans lead 16-7.

Another Trojan Turnover

LOS Angeles -- USC turned the ball over on a third consecutive possession when John David Booty tried to throw the ball deep near the Stanford 20. The pass never had a chance and cornerback Nick Sanchez, who assisted on the tackle that kept USC out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal in the first half, picked the ball off.

Once again, Stanford couldn't do anything with the ball and turned it right back over when Taylor Mays intercepted Tavita Pritchard deep in USC territory. USC still leads 9-7.

Orange Alert: Cardinal Cut USC Lead to 9-7

LOS ANGELES -- If college football had a threat alert system, USC would be on orange alert approaching red. After ending the first half with a failed fourth-and-goal attempt, the Trojans opened the second half on even worse terms, turning the ball over for a Stanford touchdown.

After a three-and-out from each team to start the half, John David Booty stepped back to pass on third and one from the USC 28. Booty's pass ended up in cornerback Austin Yancey's hands and eventually in the end zone for a Stanford touchdown. To make matters worse, USC turned the ball over again on the next drive when Fred Davis fumbled the ball just past midfield.

Fortunately for the Trojans, their stout defense is shutting Stanford down and the offense has the ball again with about seven minutes left in the third quarter.

Best. Halftime. Ever.

LOS ANGELES -- As usual, the Stanford band brought the pain today and stuck it to USC during the halftime show. Led by their fearless and sometimes sober tree mascot, the Stanford band took the field to spell out UCLA while its announcer gave homage to the only respectable school in Southern California that he could think of. The announcer then went on to insinuate that USC made under-the-table payments to its recruits. Good times.

But USC was prepared with a response.

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Cardinal Come up With Huge Stop

LOS ANGELES -- Holding the ball on the one yard-line with a 9-0 lead and 13 seconds remaining in the first half, USC decided to go for a potential knockout blow. Stanford was having none of it.

Instead of opting for a field goal, Pete Carroll called for the touchdown attempt and gave the ball to Chauncey Washington a yard away from the end zone. Cornerback Nick Sanchez and safety Bo McNally stood him up as he tried to run through the tackles and the Cardinal took over to end the half with a 9-0 lead. So far this hasn't been the confidence-inspiring performance USC was hoping for today.

Turner Comes Through, Trojans take 9-0 Lead

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Turner did his best to make up for earlier struggles as the Trojans went to the big play again with a 31-yard pass from John David Booty to Turner setting up a one-yard touchdown run for Chauncey Washington. But the struggles continued for USC in special teams as the extra point was blocked to hold the Trojans lead at 9-0.

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Wildlife in the Coliseum

LOS ANGELES -- It's not the distraction that the bugs provided at last night's Indians-Yankees MLB playoff game in Cleveland, but three fearless pigeons have set up camp on the field at the Coliseum. They have yet to interfere too much with play, but they're following the ball and can usually be found within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. On the last punt, they flew up in the middle of Stanford's punt unit and I'd imagine they had freak out the players running through them. I'm keeping an eye on them to see if they play a bigger role.

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Turner Struggles, Davis Shines Early for USC

LOS ANGELES -- USC has taken a 3-0 lead over Stanford at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter, but things don't all look well with the Trojan offense. On the field goal drive, Booty hit tight end Fred Davis for a 56-yard gain that looked to really get the ball rolling. But the offense stalled in the red zone and the rest of the USC passing attack has been off -- primarily with top receiver Patrick Turner.

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Trojans Looking for Big Win Over Stanford

LOS ANGELES -- Awsesome. We just got a flyover and parachute drop into the L.A. Coliseum for today's USC-Stanford game. That's a nice surprise -- the last time I saw a flyover in L.A. was for last year's Notre Dame game. No offense to the Cardinal, but Stanford isn't exactly Notre Dame. Well -- maybe this year Stanford is a tougher matchup.

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