Monday, July 4, 2022
No. 6 Ranked USC Loses to Stanford, 41 – 31, in Pac-12 Opener
By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw, Contributing Writer
Published September 20, 2015
USC Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 8 catches for 153 yards. Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

USC Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 8 catches for 153 yards. Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

The Trojan defense came up short on Saturday, September 19 as the Stanford Cardinal gave USC its first Pac-12 loss of the season. In front of a home crowd of 78,306 and a national television audience, the Trojans failed to live up to their Associated Press poll ranking, allowing the Cardinal to control the ball for nearly 40 minutes and giving up 474 total yards, 279 yards passing and 122 yards rushing.

A nine-point underdog, Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan completed 18 of 23 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Hogan’s accuracy was complimented by the play of Christian McCaffrey who ran for 115 yards, 26 carries and Remound Wright, 11 carries for 41 yards. Hogan, a fifth-year senior said they “made sure everyone stuck to the game plan and executed it.” Stanford improved to 2-1, its first loss coming in the season opener against Northwestern.

Lineback Su'a Craven made 13 tackles, a USC team high Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

Lineback Su’a Craven made 13 tackles, a USC team high
Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

The Cardinal converted 8 of 12 third downs (66.7 percent), scored touchdowns on 5 of 6 trips into the red zone, an amazing statistic considering the Cardinal entered the game 107th in the nation in third-down conversions. What a difference a day makes. “We had them in situations, but we didn’t execute and we couldn’t get off the field,” said USC linebacker Su’a Cravens. “They kept converting third downs.”  USC continued to struggle on third down conversions, going 4-for-16 in the first two weeks, and completing 25 percent against the Cardinal.

USC quarterback Cody Kessler completed 25 of 32 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Kessler continued to find wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, completing 88.9 percent of his passes to Smith-Schuster, who had eight catches for 153 yards, and one touchdown. “This one hurts obviously,” Kessler said. “You put work into something and it doesn’t work out, and it hurts.”

USC Fullback Soma Vainuku Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

USC Fullback Soma Vainuku
Photo Courtesy of Jordon Kelly

“Football is a humbling sport,” USC Coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Emotions can go from high to low pretty quickly. We have to do a good job as leaders of this program so we don’t lay in the weeks of ‘woe is me.’ We have to get back up.” For Sarkisian, the loss comes at a time when he is recuperating from an embarrassing personal performance at the annual Salute to Troy event, an outing that resulted in public chastisement from USC athletic director Pat Haden. Under Sarkisian’s tenure, the Trojans are 11-5, with three of those losses against unranked teams.


The Trojans travel to Tempe, Arizona to face the Arizona State Sun Devils, Saturday, September 26, 7:30PM, the ESPN network.

In other PAC-12 news:

Oregon defeated Georgia State, 61-28

Washington defeated Utah State, 31-17

Colorado defeated Colorado State, 27-24

California defeated Texas, 45-44


Oregon State defeated San Jose State, 35-21

Washington State defeated Wyoming, 31-14

UCLA defeated Brigham Young, 24-23

Utah defeated Fresno State, 45-24

Arizona defeated Northern Arizona, 77-13

Categories: Football | News (Sports) | Sports

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