LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: Head caoch Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans complains to an official in the game with the Stanford Cardinal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Stanford won 56-48 in three overtimes. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

USC Falls To Stanford In Three Overtimes, 56-48

Curtis McNeal ran for 145 yards, two touchdowns, and one costly fumble.

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USC vs. Stanford: Lane Kiffin 'Disappointed' With Officiating At End of Regulation

The word "disappointed" was probably not the first one that came to USC head coach Lane Kiffin's mind when asked about the officiating during their triple overtime loss to the Stanford Cardinal Saturday night. And he may have good cause to feel that way. 

Kiffin's main beef was during the final seconds of regulation as USC had the ball on the Cardinal 40 with about 9 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 34. Robert Woods caught a short pass from Matt Barkley in the middle of the field, darting his way to the sideline but was tackled as the clock was expiring. Officials ruled the end of regulation came as Woods went down before the sideline, even though the clock clearly had one second left. Kiffen was even seen calling a timeout in front of a referee and nothing happened. 

"I'm really disappointed in the officials. Extremely disappointed. I communicated to them, they communicated to me exactly the situation," Kiffin said. "I called timeout with 1 second left on the clock. They said he was out of bounds which he wasn't out of bounds.

One thing Kiffin's argument did not take into account was the fact that calling a timeout can't immediately stop the clock. There is a bit of delay once the play ends and the clock is officially stopped.

"Any coach can ask for a timeout but he doesn't get one until an official grants or signifies it," head referee Michael Batlan said. "I was not part of any conversation with regards to a requested timeout.''

Even if Kiffin was to get the timeout in time, they would have still had to make a 50-yard field goal to win the game, which just so happes to be kicker Andre Heidari's career best, so no guarantees there. But at least they would have had a shot to end it before overtime. 

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: A Triple Overtime Loss, By The Numbers

The USC Trojans nearly pulled off an upset on Saturday night, but ultimately succumbed to the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal 56-48 in a thrilling three-overtime game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. With three overtimes and a score that large, there are bound to be some notable numbers from the game. Here is a look at the trivial side of Saturday's college football contest:

  • The 56 points scored by Stanford on Saturday is the most they have ever scored against USC, beating the infamous "What's your deal?" game featuring Jim Harbaugh vs. Pete Carroll in 2009, by a single point.
  • The Trojans have lost three straight games to the Cardinal at the Coliseum, and have lost three straight and four of their last five overall to Stanford.
  • This was the 10th time USC and Stanford faced each other with both teams ranked in the AP top 25. The Trojans are 4-6 in those games.
  • USC's leads in the third and fourth quarters and overtime are the only times Stanford has trailed this season.
  • Curtis McNeal ran for two touchdowns, the first USC running back to do so in a game this season. McNeal's 145 yards is the second-highest rushing total by a Trojans' running back this season; had McNeal ran the ball into the endzone on the final play instead of fumbling, he would have tied Marc Tyler's 149 yards against Arizona St. on September 24.
  • Matt Barkley after halftime completed 14 of 20 passes for 161 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
  • Marqise Lee (seven catches, 94 yards) and Robert Woods (nine catches, 90 yards) both had over 75 yards receiving in the same game for the second time this season. They also combined for 22 catches and 399 yards against Arizona on October 1. Tonight was the third game in which both Woods and Lee caught touchdowns this season.
  • With his nine catches on Saturday, Woods now has 81 catches for 992 yards and nine touchdowns in eight games this season. He is tied with Mike Williams (2002) for fifth-most receptions by a Trojan in a single season.
  • The personal foul by T.J. McDonald on Stanford's tying drive in the final minutes of the fourth quarter was a killer for USC, but overall the Trojans were a disciplined bunch with just three penalties for 35 yards. In their last four games, USC has only been penalized 13 times for a total of 126 yards.
  • The 39 passing attempts were a season high for Andrew Luck, who completed 28 of those passes for 302 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.
  • The 213 rushing yards by the Cardinal was the most allowed by the Trojans this year, surpassing the 169 yards on the ground gained by Arizona St. on September 24.
  • Luck's pass to the back of the end zone into the hands of tight end Coby Fleener in the third overtime was the first two-point conversion attempt by Stanford this season.
  • With 93,607 people in the stands at the Coliseum, USC had their largest home crowd since September 1, 2008 against Ohio St. Buckeyes.
  • Zero is the number of Pac-12 conference wins by the Colorado Buffaloes, who are 1-8 on the season. The Trojans travel to Boulder Friday night to battle Colorado, their next opponent.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Trojans Fall In Three Overtimes, 56-48

Curtis McNeal had a career-high 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns, but he also fumbled on the four-yard line in the third overtime, ending the game as the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal recovered the ball in the endzone, pulling out a 48-41 win over the No. 20 USC Trojans in three overtimes in front of a season-high 93,607 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday night. It was the largest home crowd for USC since the same amount came to watch the Trojans beat the Ohio St. Buckeyes on September 1, 2008.

The loss by USC was the 16th consecutive win by Stanford, the longest active streak in the nation.

The game was a defensive battle in the first half, as Stanford took a 10-6 lead going to the break. But the second half was a back-and-forth affair, beginning with USC finding its offensive identity in the third quarter. McNeal ran for 110 yards on six carries in the quarter, including touchdown runs of 61 and 25 yards to give USC a 20-10 lead. It was the first time Stanford trailed all season.

Andrew Luck bounced back with two long touchdown drives of his own, giving Stanford a lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Matt Barkley found Marqise Lee for a 28-yard touchdown and a 27-24 lead. The Cardinal tied the game with a field goal, then got the ball back with under four minutes remaining to try for the go-ahead score.

But USC cornerback Nickell Robey had other ideas, intercepting Luck and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown, giving the Trojans a 34-27 lead with 3:08 remaining. But Luck had an answer, a 76-yard game-tying drive to make it 34-34 with 38 seconds remaining.

The Trojans drove into Cardinal territory and had a pair of timeouts remaining, but Robert Woods had a brain cramp, trying to get out of bounds on a pass catch at the 33-yard line rather than go down and use a timeout to stop the clock. The clock ran out, putting the game into overtime, rather than give Andre Heidari a chance at his second 50-yard field goal of the game.

Both teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes, then Stepfan Taylor ran for a five-yard score to give Stanford the lead. Beginning with the third overtime, by rule, each team must go for a two-point conversion, and Stanford hit theirs with a pass to a wide-open Coby Fleener.

USC had a chance to answer after Lee caught a pass and ran to the four-yard line for first and goal, but McNeal's fumble was recovered in the endzone by linebacker A.J. Tarpley to end the game.

The Trojans next battle the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday night in Boulder.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Trojans, Cardinal Tied At 34-34, Headed To Overtime

After 60 minutes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the No. 4 USC Trojans and No. 20 Stanford Cardinal have waged a heck of a battle. But there is no victor...yet, as the teams are tied at 34-34 after four quarters, and we are headed for overtime in Los Angeles.

The Trojans were driving for a potential game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds but Robert Woods tried to run to the sideline after a catch rather that remain in bounds, as USC still had two timeouts remaining. The clock ran out with no field goal attempt and the fourth quarter ended.

Sophomore cornerback Nickell Robey intercepted a pass from Andrew Luck and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown with 3:08 remaining, giving the USC Trojans a 34-27 lead. But Luck responded, leading a 76-yard drive in 10 plays that culminated with a two-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left to tie the game.

After Luck and Stanford responded with two long touchdown drives to take the lead in the third quarter, USC opened the fourth quarter with a drive of their own. Matt Barkley hit Marqise Lee for a 28-yard touchdown to cap a 73-yard drive that gave the Trojans a temporary 27-24 lead.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford Score Update: Curtis McNeal Runs Wild, But Andrew Luck Responds; Cardinal Leads 24-20 After Three Quarters

The USC Trojans found offensive life in the third quarter, and his name was Curtis McNeal. The junior tailback ran for 110 yards and a pair of long touchdowns in the quarter giving the Trojans a lead, but Andrew Luck responded with two touchdown drives of his own, giving the Stanford Cardinal a 24-20 lead over USC heading into the fourth quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

McNeal had touchdown runs of 61 and 25 yards, giving him four touchdown runs on the season.

Trailing 20-10 Luck, as great players tend to do, led a great response by Stanford, a nine-play, 75-yard drive to pull to within 20-17. On the drive, Luck completed five of six passes for 71 yards, including a five-yard touchdown pass to fullback Ryan Hewitt.

Then after a three-and-out by the Trojans, Luck led another long touchdown drive, marked by two huge plays. The first was a reverse flea flicker out of the wildcat formation which resulted in Luck throwing for 62 yards to Chris Owusu. A few plays later, Stanford had a fourth down at the USC four-yard line, needing less than a yard for the first down. Jeremy Stewart got the first down with a two-yard run, then Luck ran it into the end zone on the next play for a Stanford lead.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Curtis McNeal 61-Yard Touchdown Gives Trojans 13-10 Lead; Stanford Trails For First TIme All Season

At the very least, the USC Trojans have done something no other team has done this season. They have a lead on the Stanford Cardinal. Curtis McNeal took a handoff from Matt Barkley, ran to the outside then ran 61 yards to the end zone, giving the Trojans a 13-10 lead with 13:54 left in the third quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Take a look at the run; McNeal was freed by a pair of key blocks, one by lineman Matt Kalil and another by wide receiver Robert Woods.

McNeal only had three yards on five carries on the night before his touchdown run, as the Trojans have been primarily passing the ball with both Marc Tyler and George Farmer out. The Coliseum is as loud as it has been in a few years tonight, especially with the Trojans having a chance to snap Stanford's 15-game winning streak, the longest in the nation.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford Halftime Score: Trojans Contain Andrew Luck, But Trail 10-6 Thanks To Sluggish Offense

The USC Trojans used a strong defense to contain Andrew Luck for most of the first half, but a poor offensive performance still left them trailing the Stanford Cardinal 10-6 at halftime at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Andre Heidari drilled a 50-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the second quarter, pulling the Trojans to within four points heading into the break.

The Trojans begin the second half with the ball.

Luck began the game by completing all five passes on the opening drive for 74 yards and a touchdown. However, since then, under constant pressure from Nick Perry and the defensive line, Luck completed just four of nine passes for 24 yards in four drives.

USC and their defense made Stanford do things they haven't been used to this season. Per Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:

USC forces another punt. First time Stanford has had to punt on back-to-back series in three games.

USC forced Stanford into three different three-and-out drives, something the Cardinal only did three times in seven games before tonight, per Feldman's colleague Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports. But while the defense has been good news for the Trojans, the offense has been sluggish all night.

Matt Barkley completed just 14 of 25 passes for 125 yards, while Robert Woods had a few uncharacteristic drops on potentially big plays. On the Trojans' third drive, Barkley locked in on tight end Randall Telfer on third down, and his forced pass was intercepted by linebacker A.J. Tarpley.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford Game Score: Marc Tyler Injured, Trojans Trail 7-3 After First Quarter

The USC Trojans took the opening punch from the Stanford Cardinal and lived to tell about it. Andrew Luck led Stanford to a touchdown on the opening drive for the Cardinal, but USC responded by forcing a three-and-out on their next drive. Andre Heidari kicked a 22-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining in the opening stanza cutting Stanford's lead to 7-3 after the first quarter.

Tailback Marc Tyler, who ran for 67 yards on 13 carries last week against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish despite a dislocated shoulder the week before, ran for three yards on the Trojans' opening play from scrimmage. But Tyler left the game after that and went to the locker room with an apparent injury.

Luck completed all five of his pass attempts for 74 yards on Stanford's opening drive, including a pair of third-down conversions. The final conversion was a pass to running back Tyler Gaffney on third-and-six from the 10-yard line. Linebacker Hayes Pullard had a chance to stop Gaffney short of a first down, but failed to wrap up the running back, who dove for the pilon in the corner of the end zone.

The Cardinal are 39 for 39 when in the red zone this season, with 31 touchdowns and eight field goals.

USC took advantage of Stanford kicker Eric Whitaker kicking out of bounds on the kickoff after the touchdown, getting the ball at the 40-yard line on their opening drive. The Trojans drove to the Stanford 37, but Matt Barkley threw three straight incompletions to Robert Woods. The first one had a chance to be a big gain, possibly 25 yards or more down the middle, but an open Woods dropped an easy first down.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: RB George Farmer Out For Game, In Walking Boot

The USC Trojans will be without freshman wide receiver turned tailback George Farmer on Saturday night as they battle the undefeated and fourth-ranked Stanford Cardinal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Farmer has battled an ankle injury all week. Per the school's athletic department:

USC RB George Farmer is in a walking boot. He is OUT for the game.

Farmer had only played in two games, carrying the ball five times for 15 yards, and caught two passes for 23 yards. Farmer also returned three kickoffs for a total of 59 yards. Considered one of the fastest Trojans if not the fastest, Farmer's speed has made him a growing part of the team. He was converted from wide receiver to tailback to find more ways to get him the ball. Farmer has a personal best of 10.4 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.22 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

Saturday's 5 p.m. PDT game will be televised nationally by ABC. For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC vs. Stanford Injury Report: Robert Woods Questionable, Expected To Play

If the USC Trojans hope to pull off the big upset on Saturday night, Robert Woods needs to have a monster game. Matt Barkley has relied on Woods all season as his go-to receiver and that will not change assuming he is able to play.

Most reports have indicated the star wideout will be ready to go at the 5 p.m. kickoff, but as Ted Miller tells us, he is questionable for the showdown. Who else is on the injury report for the game? We have it here:

USC:

WR Robert Woods, undisclosed, questionable
RB Dillon Baxter, personal, left team
CB Torrin Harris, shoulder, out
K Andre Heidari, ankle, questionable
RB George Farmer, ankle, probable

Stanford:

S Delano Howell, hand, doubtful
CB Wayne Lyons, foot, out

Look for the Barkley-Woods connection early and often tonight and expect some fireworks from the two. It should be a raucous atmosphere in SoCal tonight and.

For more on the game, check out Conquest Chronicles and Rule of Tree.

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USC Vs. Stanford Football: Game History

The No. 20 USC Trojans look for their fourth straight victory on Saturday night, but will have to face the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, owners of the longest winning streak in the nation at 15 games. Stanford has beaten USC in their of their last four meetings, including two in a row at the Coliseum. This is only the 10th meeting between the two schools when both were ranked in the Associated Press college football poll top 25.

Here is a look at the nine previous meetings when both USC and Stanford were ranked:

  • 2009 (at Los Angeles): No. 25 Stanford 55, No. 11 USC 21 (the infamous "What's your deal?" game after which Pete Carroll didn't appreciate Jim Harbaugh and the Cardinal running all over the Trojans and lighting up the scoreboard)
  • 1992 (at Palo Alto): No. 21 Stanford 23, No. 11 USC 9
  • 1972 (at Palo Alto): No. 1 USC 30, No. 15 Stanford 21
  • 1970 (at Palo Alto): No. 12 Stanford 24, No. 4 USC 14
  • 1969 (at Los Angeles): No. 4 USC 26, No. 16 Stanford 14
  • 1968 (at Palo Alto): No. 2 USC 27, No. 18 Stanford 24
  • 1953 (at Los Angeles): No. 17 USC 23, No. 11 Stanford 20
  • 1951 (at Los Angeles): No. 7 Stanford 27, No. 6 USC 20
  • 1940 (at Palo Alto): No. 9 Stanford 21, No. 17 USC 7

USC is 4-5 against Stanford when both teams are ranked. In those situations, the higher ranked team is 4-5.

Saturday's 5 p.m. PDT game will be televised nationally by ABC. For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Start Time, TV Coverage, Radio And More

This is a huge game for the USC Trojans and Stanford Cardinal. Should Matt Barkley's Trojans come away with a victory, they would upset Andrew Luck and the Cardinal's hopes for a national championship and could potentially knock them out of the Pac-12 championship game in December.

Should Stanford win on the road this weekend, it would only boost their resumé going forward and would allow the team to control their own destiny in conference play. Luck and Co. just dismantled a good Washington Huskies team and will be looking to do the same on Saturday night.

Here is all of the game day coverage you need:

Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. PDT

TV Coverage: ABC will air the game nationally. Brent Musburger will handle the play-by-play duties, Kirk Herbstreit will serve as the analyst and Erin Andrews will report from the sideline. 

Radio: 710 ESPN Radio (KSPN-AM) will carry the game locally. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN radio across the country.

Weather Forecast: Expect a great night football in Los Angeles. Temperatures will be in the lower-70's at kickoff and will hang in the mid-60's throughout the game. No rain nor clouds are in the forecast.

Opening Line: USC enters as 8-point underdogs.

This should be a great game, folks. Get your popcorn ready.

For more on the Trojans, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford Football: Underdog Trojans Have A Chance

For the first time in the history of the rivalry, the USC Trojans are underdogs at home to the Stanford Cardinal. According to Bodog, the Trojans are underdogs by eight and a half points in their battle Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and rightfully so.

The Cardinal have been magnificent so far this season, carrying the nation's longest winning streak at 15 games, dating back to last year. Stanford has beaten 10 straight opponents by 25 or more points, the longest such streak since 1936. But don't count out the Trojans just yet, as Conquest Chronicles noted:

So, who is Stanford really? Yes, it is entirely possible that Luck and Co. could come into the Coliseum tonight and shred USC but I think the game will be a little closer than that. This is going to be a very tough game tonight but lets not go too crazy here. If Andrew Luck does over the next five games what we have seen so far then ALL the accolades are well deserved but lets not get too far ahead. This will be Stanford's toughest game to date.

I am not saying a USC win is a lock, but USC has a chance.

Matt Barkley and Robert Woods will need to be at their best to keep up with Andrew Luck and the gang, but it's a winnable contest for the Trojans. Last year's contest in Palo Alto was a back and forth affair that was decided by a last-second field goal. Stanford is a better team this year, but so are the Trojans.

It should be an exciting game at the Coliseum on Saturday night.

Saturday's 5 p.m. PDT game will be televised nationally by ABC. For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Keys To The Game (Hint: Matt Barkley & Robert Woods Are Involved)

The USC Trojans have a monumental task at hand on Saturday night, facing the undefeated Stanford Cardinal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a nationally televised game on ESPN. Along with No. 9 Michigan St. battling No. 13 Nebraska and No. 11 Oklahoma facing No. 10 Kansas St., the battle in Los Angeles between the No. 4 and No. 20 teams in the nation is a top college football game of the day. Here are the keys for the Trojans to beat the Cardinal:

Barkley To Woods

This should come as no surprise. The connection between quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods has been prolific this season. Woods has 72 catches through just seven games for 902 yards and eight touchdowns this year. Even though there are five games remaining in the season, Woods is already sixth all time in catches by a Trojan in a single season. Woods is nine catches behind Mike Williams (81 catches in 2002) for fifth place.

Last season in Palo Alto, Barkley and Woods hooked up 12 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Barkley threw for a then career-high 390 yards as USC led late in the fourth quarter, only to lose 37-35 on a last-second field goal. Barkley this season has cut down on the mistakes, throwing just four interceptions against 19 touchdowns. He has completed 68.2% of his passes after a 61.3% completion rate during his first two years.

The Ground Game

Andrew Luck is a given, a true superstar at quarterback that will likely get his numbers no matter what the Trojans do. Last year Luck completed 20 of 24 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns, but USC was able to hang around in the fourth quarter. In 2009, Stanford ran all over USC for 325 yards in a 55-21 romp at the Coliseum, the most points ever allowed by the Trojans. Stopping the Cardinal running attack is paramount for the Trojans.

This season, Stanford ranks 17th in the nation in rushing, averaging just over 219 yards per contest. They rushed for a school record 446 yards last week against the Washington Huskies. However, USC ranks 11th in the country in rush defense, allowing only 91 yards per game on the ground. But, as Scott Allen noted at Rule of Tree, Washington came into last week's game 17th in the nation in rushing defense, and are now ranked 57th.

First Half

USC has trailed just once at halftime this season, falling behind 21-9 at Arizona State, and that was their only loss in seven games. In the first half, the Trojans have outscored their opponents by an average of 17-8 this year. As noted by Nikil Selvam earlier this week, the Cardinal have been magnificent in the opening 30 minutes this year.

Stanford, winners of their last 15 games, have not trailed at halftime since November 28, 2009 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a span of 21 games. USC was tied with Stanford 14-14 at halftime last season. Stanford has outscored their last 20 opponents 453-145 in the first half.

Saturday's 5 p.m. PDT game will be televised nationally by ABC. For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Lane Kiffin On The Cardinal: 'They Have No Weaknesses'

As the No. 20 USC Trojans look to upend the undefeated No. 4 Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin has channeled his inner Lou Holtz. The former Notre Dame coach was notorious for propping up his opponents of all caliber, not wanting to provide any bulletin board material for his opponent. Much as Kiffin did earlier this week, he had nothing but praise on Friday for Stanford and Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck.

"I think you can argue that they're the best team in the country. You're going to talk about a team that plays great defense, the longest winning streak in the county, they've beaten everyone by 25 points," Kiffin told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. "They have no weaknesses. They stop everybody on defense, they set the school record last week in rushing, and they have the best quarterback to maybe ever play football. Do you have any answers?"

Then again, Kiffin wasn't shy about propping up USC either. He noted that when the Trojans beat Notre Dame by 14 points last week, they only used 45 scholarship players. "Look at our roster, it's dominated by players in their first or second year," Kiffin said. "You start to get excited, thinking we really can do this thing."

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC vs. Stanford Injury Report: Robert Woods Practicing, George Farmer Still Out

It’s already going to be an uphill battle at the Coliseum this weekend when the USC Trojans host the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal in a Pac-12 showdown, that’s why Lane Kiffen is trying to get his boys as healthy as possible before their meeting with Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck and the potent Cardinal attack.

Wide receiver Robert Woods practiced with the team on Wednesday after taking the previous two days off to give his sore ankle some time to heal. Scott Wolff pointed out that Woods is a bit more injury prone than most receivers due to the fact that he catches a lot of balls behind the line of scrimmage, causing him to fight through more would be tackles around his legs. Regardless, Woods is a guy the Trojans offense needs, so any possibility of him returning to action this weekend is a plus.

Tailback George Farmer remained on the sideline on Wednesday with a protective boot on his foot, his status is still questionable for Saturday. Cornerback Torin Harris’ nerve damage in his shoulder continues to be an issue, forcing him out of practice as well. Coach Kiffin said Harris is tested every day by team medical personnel but can not be cleared until the nerve responds to treatment. Kicker Andre Heidari was limited in practice with a sprained ankle, though is considered probable this weekend at the Coliseum.

For more on USC Football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Trojans Must Contain Cardinal In First Half To Secure Win

The USC Trojans take on the Pac-12's top team, the Stanford Cardinal, this weekend. Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck has led his team to a 7-0 record and a No. 4 ranking the AP Poll this week, presenting the Trojans with arguably their toughest opponent of the season (though the Oregon Ducks may have something to say about that in a few weeks).

The key to containing Stanford will be slowing down the offense in the first half. The Cardinal have outscored opponents 75-28 in the first half of their last three games and have gone on to blow open even bigger leads in the second half of games.Good teams do not give up leads, and Stanford has proven just that this year. 

USC has the ability to break Stanford's streak with its strong passing attack. Quarterback Matt Barkley and star wide receiver Robert Woods have proven to be a deadly combo, but the talented tandem may not be enough to pioneer a second-half comeback against a stingy Stanford defense if the situation arises. The Cardinal defense ranks fourth in the nation in points allowed, surrendering just 12.6 points per contest.

USC will have to do something that no team has managed to do against Stanford this season: go into halftime with an advantage on the scoreboard. Though it hasn't been accomplished yet, the Trojans may be in the best position to do so of any team on Stanford's schedule so far. With their fans present at Memorial Coliseum, the Trojans can give themselves the opportunity to spring the upset by feeding off of the crowd early and not giving the Cardinals a halftime advantage.

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USC Vs. Stanford: Lane Kiffin Calls Andrew Luck ‘Pretty Much Perfect’

The USC Trojans take on the Stanford Cardinal this weekend in a highly anticipated college football match-up. Both teams have strong offenses, and the Trojans defense will have to contend with the play of Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck once the game begins. USC head coach Lane Kiffin is well aware of Luck's skill set and knows what his team is going up against. Kiffin thinks Luck is "pretty much perfect," according to a report by Pedro Moura of ESPN LA.

Here's Kiffin's full quote: "I don't know how you could find a more efficient quarterback that's ever played college football. If you put his numbers up, what he's done, wins and losses and red-zone production...He's pretty much perfect."

Luck has been very good this season: through seven games, the junior quarterback has passed for 1,888 yards with a 71.8% completion rate while throwing 20 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

The Trojans defense will have to slow Luck down in order to give themselves a chance at pulling the upset this weekend. The Trojans have been solid at limiting opponents after their bye week, allowing a total of 26 points in the two games since.

The competition this time around, however, won't be Zach Maynard of Cal or Tommy Rees of Notre Dame. It will be Luck, arguably the best quarterback in the nation at this point.

Kiffin understands Luck's skills and knows that his defense needs to step up in a big way this weekend. If he can get his Trojans to do that, USC can make Saturday's game very interesting for Luck while giving itself a chance to pull off the upset. 

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Stanford Vs. USC: Inside The Numbers

Stanford and USC square off this weekend in one of the Trojan's biggest games of the year.

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USC Vs. Stanford Odds: Matt Barkley, Trojans Approximately Touchdown Underdogs To Andrew Luck, Cardinal

The USC Trojans have been on a roll since losing to the Arizona St. Sun Devils. They poured on the points against the Arizona Wildcats, used their defense to shut down the California Golden Bears, then were exceptional against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish before taking advantage of their opportunities to win that one. USC is probably just as hot as their opponents the Stanford Cardinal coming into their Halloween matchup, which could give them hope for an upset.

Vegas seems to believe that USC has a good chance too. USC is currently installed as 7.5 to 8.5 point underdogs (depending on which sportsbook you look at) against Stanford. Remember that USC gave Stanford everything they could handle last season in Palo Alto before losing in the last seconds. With the Trojans sporting an improved defense and the home field advantage, can Matt Barkley derail the dream season of Andrew Luck and his Cardinal?

For more on USC football, hit up Conquest Chronicles. For more on Stanford football, check out Rule of Tree.

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