Los Angeles (AP) — Toby Gerhart rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns
and No. 25 Stanford emphatically followed up its 2007 upset at the
Coliseum by beating No. 11 Southern California on Saturday 55-21, the
most points ever allowed by the Trojans.
The loss was the
Trojans' worst since a 51-0 defeat at home against Notre Dame in 1966
and essentially ended USC's seven-year run as Pac-10 champions.
Luck threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score for the
Cardinal (7-3, 6-2 Pac-10), who followed up their surprising rout of
Oregon last week with a strong start and a big finish at the Coliseum,
where the Trojans (7-3, 4-3) haven't lost to any other opponent since
2001, going 47-2.
Richard Sherman returned an interception 42
yards for a score with 11:41 to play, part of a 27-point fourth quarter
for the Cardinal.
For the second time in three weeks, coach Pete Carroll endured the worst defeat of his nine seasons at USC.
24-23 victory as a 41-point underdog in 2007 was a major shocker, yet
this win barely even qualified as an upset — which might be the most
incredible thing of all about the Trojans' downward slide.
soundly outplayed fellow freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, while
Gerhart steamrolled the once-vaunted USC defense in another huge game
for his Heisman Trophy hopes. Stanford piled it on late, scoring four
touchdowns in the fourth quarter after leading 28-21 entering the
And the Cardinal did it on USC's homecoming, no less, in front of 90,071 awfully quiet fans.
weeks after USC's 47-20 loss at Oregon — previously the worst of
Carroll's tenure — the Trojans again struggled with an offense that has
rarely clicked this season. When Sherman jumped on Barkley's short pass
and returned it down the USC sideline to put the Cardinal up 42-21,
Coliseum fans headed for the exits with unfamiliar emotions.
went 21 of 31 for 196 yards with three interceptions in his third
straight unimpressive game for the Trojans. Carroll has stuck with the
freshman all season, but Barkley made turnovers on USC's first two
drives to put the Trojans in an early hole, while Luck scarcely made a
Joe McKnight rushed for 142 yards and a score for the
Trojans, who fell behind 21-7 at halftime without top receiver Damian
Williams, who has a sprained ankle. Freshman Brice Butler caught a
scoring pass among his six catches for 96 yards, but USC's offense
rarely found a rhythm after its first drive ended in a fumble by
Barkley deep in Stanford territory.
Although USC kept it close
through three quarters, the fourth was a long celebration for the
Stanford band, a small cheering section and the players who already are
bowl-eligible for the first time since 2001. After Gerhart's third
touchdown, Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh even attempted a 2-point
conversion, but USC stopped the try at the goal line.
shaking hands, the Cardinal raised their helmets and raced to the
Coliseum corner in front of their cheering section for a raucous
Few of the Cardinal's key players from that 2007
upset. Tavita Pritchard, the backup quarterback who led that 2007
victory, watched most of this game wearing a headset before playing the
final minutes of the blowout.
The 2007 Cardinal couldn't even manage a winning season. These Cardinal still have a shot at the Rose Bowl.