by Jerry Feitelberg
The Stanford Cardinal lost the opening game of the Pac-12 season to the University of Southern California Saturday at Stanford Stadium by a score of 13-10. It snapped a seventeen game home winning streak that was the longest in the nation. The Stanford defense played well as they held the SC offense to just 13 points. They did their job but the offense just couldn’t cash in on their opportunities and mistakes killed the Cardinal. Two many penalties and miscues doomed them and it resulted in the first loss of the season for Stanford.
The SC Trojans kicked off to Stanford and the Cardinal held the ball for six minutes and were moving well but the drive was stymied by three penalties on the offensive line and an attempted field goal went wide. The Trojans then went 68 yards in 12 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Javorious “Buck” Allen had 2 key runs to help set up the TD. Justin Davis scored the touchdown. Stanford was on the move near the end of the first period but a bad snap from center killed the drive.
The Cardinal tied the game in the second quarter on an eleven play, 77 yard drive. Patrick Skov scored the touchdown for the Cardinal. Stanford was on the march again near the end of the second quarter but two penalties killed Stanford’s chance for a touchdown and they had to settle for a field goal to give them a 10-7 lead at halftime.
Stanford had chances in the third quarter as the Cardinal had consecutive drives inside the USC 10-yard line and fumbled in Trojan territory on the next series. Stanford had its chances in the fourth quarter,too. Kevin Hogan passed to a wide-open Austin Hooper in the end zone for an apparent 23 yard touchdown but the score was nullified by a Stanford chop block penalty.
The Trojans tied the game in the third period on a field goal and won it 2:30 left on a career high 53 yard field goal by Andre Heidari. Final score USC wins 13-10.
After the game this is what coach David Shaw had to say “So, bottom line, you don’t take advantage of opportunities, you lose games to good football teams. I said it earlier in the week and it rings true.You give a team like that so many opportunities, they’re going to take advantage. They’ve got good personnel. They’re good on offense, they’re good in the kicking game.
We had so many opportunities to win this football game. I give them credit, they made the plays and we didn’t. They made the calls and we didn’t.To miss two field goals and get turned away inside the five yard line, to go from a field goal position backed up to a punt position.Coaches and players, that’s everybody, which is veiled to say that’s me, that’s me.
My passion is for football of course, but individually, inside of football, it’s red zone and third down. We were solid on third down and not good enough in the red zone. When you’re not good enough in the red zone, you lose games.You got to make field goals, you got to take advantage of field position.We just did not.This is what happens. The charge is to our guys, our coaches and players, to be better. Not to scrap what we’ve done, not at all, but to be better than we were today.We have a lot of good football teams coming down the road that we got to try to find a way to beat.’
Stanford plays its third home game in a row next week as the Army pays a visit. Game time at Stanford Stadium will be at 2pm.