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.
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