Defense Puts Clamps on SC Offense

In Stanford's first two games, it was the offense that was getting all of the credit. But, against USC, it was the defense that delivered the win. For the first time since 1986, Stanford is 3-0 after garnering its third consecutive win against USC. The team of Troy has fallen while Stanford continues to roll.

In the first two games, it was the offense that was getting all of the credit. But, against USC, it was the defense that delivered the win.  The offense and special teams had many lapses, but fortunately the defense was able to pull through in the 21-16 victory.  The better team definitely won, but there is still much room for improvement.

Stanford jumped out to an early 21-0 lead.  Kerry Carter started the scoring in the first half with a short TD plunge.  On the first play of the second half, Randy Fasani found Luke Powell with a 44 yard pass (which was set up by a forced fumble by Austin Lee, which was recovered by Anthony Gabriel). After a Ryan Fernandez interception, Stanford scored again when Fasani found Brett Pierce from two yards out.  USC tried to capitalize after Stanford fumbled late in the second half, but David Davis missed a chip shot field goal.  The Stanford defense shut down the Trojan running game in the first half, limiting them to just one yard.

However, in the second half, the offense became stagnant.  The Trojan offense, working with a short field, scored 10 points to cut the lead to 21-10.

Pinned back at their own two-yard line, Stanford then went on a considerable drive, eventually taking the ball to the USC eight yard line.  After a botched running play, several incompletions, and a penalty, Mike Biselli was brought in to kick a field goal.  Then, something unexpected happened.  The kick was blocked and Kris Richard returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.  The two point conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the score 21-16.

Stanford, with their backs to the wall for the first time all game, was forced to punt.  The defense was again stopped by the Trojans.  After punting the ball away, USC was unable to stop Stanford from running out the clock. Stanford picked up a key first down when Fasani kept the ball on a perfectly run BOOTLEG.  After that, Kerry Carter proved to be too much as Stanford was able to hold on to win 21-16.  Stanford is now 3-0 for the first time since 1986.

Three key stats:
Time of possession- Stanford 35:48, USC 24:12
Penalties- Stanford 4-35, USC 9-93
Sultan McCullough- 32 yards on 16 carries

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