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6-Points: Stanford 56, USC 48

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A classic night at the Coliseum ends in Trojan heartbreak.

Click here to watch Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley and Nickell Robey at the post-game press conference.

The six moments that stand out from a wild game...

  • The Final Second.  Here's how Lane Kiffin described the final play of regulation and the official review:  The head coach's plan was to get 8 to 10 yards to set up a winning field goal, but Robert McNeal-Stan-LATimes.jpgWoods broke the play in a different direction.  The referees on the field ruled that Woods was out of bounds with no time remaining.  According to Kiffin, a referee explained to him that if Woods was ruled down with one second to go, which is what happened, they would honor USC's timeout.  After the review, they decided not to grant the Trojans a timeout saying they would not have had enough time to call a timeout.  "I am really disappointed in the officials," said Kiffin.
  • The Fumble.  Curtis McNeal led the second half charge.  After Marc Tyler aggravated his left shoulder injury on USC's first offensive play, McNeal (photo by LA Times/Wally Skalij) put the team on his back with 145 yards rushing and 2 TDs.  Of course, the junior running back coughed up the ball in triple overtime, which ended the game.  "No excuses," McNeal said.  "I just fumbled.  I feel like beating myself up.  I am going to face worse things in my life.  I just have to keep my head up."
  • The Pick-Six.  With 3:08 to play in regulation, Nickell Robey pushed the Coliseum to maximum decibel levels with an interception of Andrew Luck and the go ahead touchdown.  Robey explained that the Stanford QB has a tendency to look off a receiver and then come back to him.  After running a similar play earlier in the game, Robey knew Luck was going to come back his way and, "I just jumped the route," he explained.
  • Barkley-Stan-LATimes.jpgThe Penalty.  Yet again, USC played an exceptionally disciplined game drawing only three flags, but a targeting personal foul on T.J. McDonald nullified an incomplete pass that would have set up a 4th-and-6 on the Cardinal's game-tying drive at the end of regulation.  "I am not trying to be a dirty player," said McDonald.  "I am not trying to hit anybody in their head, which I feel like I didn't do, but they called what they called."
  • The Crowd.  Lane Kiffin: "Our crowd was electric.  It really helped us out.  It was great to have that back."  Matt Barkley (photo by LA Times/Wally Skalij): "As a player, it was the most energy that I've felt in the Coliseum.  I loved the way the fans responded.  I'm bummed we couldn't give them a win." 
  • The Future.  The last time USC lost an overtime game (triple OT at Cal in 2003), the Trojans ran off 34 straight wins.  While a repeat streak is unlikely, Kiffin's team can build on tonight's effort, which included huge contributions from the freshmen and sophomore classes.  "Once again, it's a young team," Kiffin put the game in perspective.  "A bunch of young guys making plays."  
Extra Point...

  • Kiffin's locker room speech was about moving forward.  He was extremely proud of tonight's effort and wants the team to refocus quickly with a short week coming up and an ESPN Friday primetime game at Colorado.
As a veteran leader, LT Matt Kalil answered all our questions after the game...


2 Comments

The Kiffins make around $6 million together which is ridiculous w/o a real signature win in two years. That is the bottom line. They find a way to lose while Carroll found a way to win in the close games against top opponents. It was Lane calling the key 4th down play vs. Texas in the Rose Bowl national championship game sitting Reggie down on the bench. Mr. go for two pt conversion Kiffin backs down after 1st score in O.T. when it was obvious defense was dead on their feet. Where was the great Special Team Coach Baxter when you needed him to earn his paycheck? Great move bringing in Tre Madden #13 even with injury to Dion Bailey completely lost out there who has no business on the field in his freshman year.

A WR screen pass to end regulation? seriously? open up the play book a little bit.

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