USC quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs for some daylight as defensive edge player Stephen Herron (15) gives chase at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto on Sat Sep 10, 2022 (AP News photo)
STANFORD, Calf.–The #10 “Men of Troy” from the University of Southern California did not need a Trojan Horse to invade Stanford Stadium, as they say Goodbye in dominating fashion, 41-28 over the Cardinal in front of a national television audience, 43, 813 fans and a few Stanford sports legends
As in the Cardinal game against Colgate, there was a quick score within the first minutes of play; however, this time it was the now conference foe getting into the endzone. Stanford’s junior captain quarterback, Tanner McKee, threw an interception to USC’s junior free safety, Max Williams.
The Trojans turned that gift into a touchdown in less than three minutes of game play, on a five-yard touchdown pass by sophomore sensation, quarterback, Caleb Williams, to freshman tight end, Lake McKee.
Nearly five minute later, Stanford and the Cardinal faithful thought the game was all tied up at 7, but the TD was overturned after review. After a defensive penalty on Stanford’s field goal attempt, the Cardinal brought the offense back on the field for a fourth down attempt to score a tying touchdown. That turned into a disastrous scenario, as McKee threw another interception in the endzone.
“So two tipped interceptions, both in scoring position, and then fumbled the ball inside the 5 yard line. I mean, that’s the ballgame. You don’t come back from that against a good football team. You’re taking away 21 points. At the minimum those are two touchdowns inside the 5 yard line and a field goal; at minimum it’s 17 points.” Said Stanford Head Coach David Shaw.
“Now we could’ve put 17 points on the board in the first half, a different ballgame. So those are momentum killers, and those are the fastest way to lose a football game is to turn the ball over,” added Shaw.
USC parlayed that miscue into another touchdown pass by their quarterback, this time on a 22-yard connection to junior wide receiver Jordan Addison.
After going down 14-0, still in the first quarter, Stanford gets on the scoreboard, on a 3-yard touchdown pass by McKee to junior running back, E.J. Smith, with less than a minute left in the initial quarter.
That was too much time for the Trojans, as they scored on a 75-yard bomb from Williams to Jordan Addison, for the second time. After one, 21-7 USC.
The second stanza opened on a downer for the Cardinal, because EJ Williams fumbled nearly three minutes into the quarter, and USC capitalized on this turnover too. Caleb Williams threw his fourth touchdown, this one to sophomore receiver, Mario Williams.
EJ Smith scampered into the endzone, redeeming himself, and cutting the Trojans lead in half, 28-14.
USC was not finished scoring, when Trojans’ senior running back, Travis Dye, ran into the endzone on a 26-yard carry, with about two and half minutes to go in the half. After 30 minutes, 35-14 Trojans.
The third quarter had less action, with the only scoring coming from Southern Cal’s freshman place kicker, Denis Lynch, converting 2/3 of his attempts, adding six more points to the Trojans tally. 41-14, USC.
The final fourth of the game, Stanford scored twice (two 2-yard TD’s), by junior Casey Filkins and McKee with a QB sneak.
After the final whistle, the Trojans from the South were the victors, with a 13-point margin over the Cardinal of the North. USC 41, Stanford 28.
Cardinal Running back E.J. Williams didn’t have the explosive game he had last week, but did gain 88 rushing yards and 26 receiving, while scoring a touchdown in each format; however, he fumbled twice in crucial possessions. QB Tanner McKee threw for 220 yard and scored on a passing TD and rushing TD, but gave the opponent two interceptions.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams dominated the game with gaudy numbers: 341 passing yards and 4 touchdown tosses. His favorite target was receiver Jordan Addison 8(7) targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns
Stanford has a bye next week, while USC hosts Fresno State.
USC and UCLA will be leaving the PAC 12 for the Big !0, so this marks the last visit for the Trojans on the Farm and/or Stanford Stadium as a member of the Pacific 12 Conference. A great deal of history was halted today, although they may still meet in non-conference games.
Cardinal greats, such as former quarterback, Andrew Luck, current Women’s basketball coach, Tara VanDerveer and former forward, Nneka Ogwumike were honored during the game.
Luck is going into the College Football Hall of Fame, while Ogwumike and VanDerveer are inducted into Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame.