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Stanford Wins a Wild One Against USC

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There wasn't a whole lot for Sione Fua and the Stanford defense to celebrate most of the night, but the Cardinal came away with a 37-35 win.
There wasn't a whole lot for Sione Fua and the Stanford defense to celebrate most of the night, but the Cardinal came away with a 37-35 win.

If only the deciding points in No. 16 Stanford's 37-35 win over USC tonight at Stanford Stadium had been a two-point conversion. That certainly would've been a whole lot less stressful than how things actually unfolded. The Cardinal and Trojans traded touchdowns throughout the defense-optional game, as neither team built more than a 7-point lead.

USC freshman Robert Woods, who finished with an absurd 224 yards receiving on 12 catches, tied the game at 28 early in the fourth quarter when he caught his third touchdown pass from Matt Barkley. Andrew Luck (20-for-24, 285 yards, 3 TDs) answered with a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin less than 3 minutes later, but Nate Whitaker's extra point attempt sailed wide to the right.

It appeared Whitaker's miss might be the difference in the game after the Trojans marched deep into Stanford territory following a Stepfan Taylor fumble. Allen Bradford's 3-yard touchdown run and the ensuing extra point gave USC a 35-34 lead, but by scoring on 1st and Goal, the Trojans left 1:08 on the clock.

That was more than enough time for Luck, who benefited from a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the first play of the game-winning drive. Taylor made up for his fumble with a strong run to move the Cardinal into field goal range, and Whitaker drilled a 30-yard field goal three plays later.

Then Stanford fans rushed the field, which is somewhat curious. Then again, I was ready to rush the halls of my condo building. I'll have more on this game tomorrow. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments. Go Cardinal!