McNeal fumbled into the end zone in the third overtime, where it was recovered by Stanford to end the game and escape with a 56-48 win, overshadowing a career-high 145 rushing yards.
He also added two touchdown runs in the third quarter as USC opened up a 20-10 lead.
"I just fumbled," McNeal said "No excuses. I got to hold on to the ball in that moment, especially in a game like that. Third overtime, you got to hold on to the ball.
"I feel like beating myself up, but I just got to keep my head up and keep pushing. I'm going to face worse things in life. I just got to keep my head up."
Big Game, Big Crowd
The game lived up to the atmosphere.
A sellout crowd of 93, 607 witnessed the thriller between USC and Stanford, the Trojans' first home sellout since a 2009 win over Oregon State and largest crowd since a 2008 win over Ohio State.
Players and coaches both raved about the setting, for USC a refreshing return to the good old days.
Crowd noise even helped lead to two delay of game penalties against Stanford.
"It's what SC football games is supposed to be like," defensive end Devon Kennard said. "Packed stadiums and electric. That's what it was and we fed off of that a lot."
"I mean it was something different," said freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson, who finished with four tackles in his most extensive action since injuring his ankle against Syracuse. "I wasn't used to it, but it was nice. It was a great atmosphere."
"It was great to have that back," head coach Lane Kiffin said. "I think that's been gone for a while. Unfortunately, we didn't finish for them."
ESPN's popular "College GameDay" also originated from outside the Peristyle for the first time since last October against then-No. 1 Oregon.
"It's what we come here for," safety T.J. McDonald said. "We come here to play in these environments, play in these type of games, these "College GameDay" games with big teams and a great opponent."
Wide receiver Robert Woods had nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The sophomore now has 991 yards and nine touchdowns on 81 receptions this season.
Woods has now tied Mike Williams for the fifth-most catches in a single season.
Redshirt senior running back Marc Tyler reinjured his dislocated shoulder on his only carry.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Dion Bailey suffered an apparent concussion in overtime and did not return.
Freshman running back George Farmer (ankle) did not play.
By The Numbers
The 104 combined points was the highest total ever in a USC game, surpassing the 103 points in a 70-33 win over Washington State in 1970.
When USC took a 13-10 lead with 13:54 left to play in the third quarter, it marked the first time Stanford trailed this season.
Stanford has now won 16 consecutive games, but had a streak of 10 straight victories by 25 points or more snapped.