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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC Upsets No. 4 Ranked Stanford 20-17

USC kicker Andre Heidari hits a 47-yard field goal securing the Trojans victory over Stanford for the first time since 2008.

USC fans storm the field after the Trojans' upset win over Stanford. (Sarah Bergstromm/Twitter)
USC fans storm the field after the Trojans' upset win over Stanford. (Sarah Bergstromm/Twitter)

USC upset the No. 4-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night, defeating them 20-17. Trojans kicker Andre Heidari kicked a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining. USC's defense stopped Stanford, and as time expired thousands of fans stormed the field.

The Trojans received a remarkable performance from their defense, especially in the fourth quarter. USC safeties Dion Bailey and Su'a Cravens each came down with crucial interceptions. Bailey intercepted Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan on a third-down pass, while Cravens intercepted Hogan on a tipped pass with three minutes to play. Hogan finished the day with 145 total yards and two interceptions. 

USC's defense kept Stanford to only 17 points, which is a season low for the Cardinal. USC also handed Stanford its second Pac-12 loss of the season.

With 1:20 left in the game, USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron decided to go for it on 4th-and-1. Wide receiver Marqise Lee converted on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Cody Kessler. Lee finished the game with six receptions for 83 yards.

USC's fourth-down conversion led to Heidari's game-winning kick. Heidari missed an extra point earlier in the game, but was able to hit the 47-yard field goal to take the lead.

Despite the Trojans' upset win, they struggled to control Stanford's running game. Stanford rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinal was led by running back Tyler Gaffney, who finished the day with 158 yards and scored Stanford's only two touchdowns.

USC's longest run of the night was for 16 yards by running back Javorius Alllen, who finished with 26 yards and a touchdown. USC struggled to get their run game going, rushing for only 23 yards. The average run for USC's running backs was two yards.

Their passing game was a different story. Kessler passed for 288 of the Trojans' 311 total yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor had eight receptions for 104 yards, while fullback Soma Vainuku had two receptions for 16 yards and one touchdown.

USC improves to 8-3 and 5-2 in the Pac-12. Under interim coach Ed Orgeron, USC has won five of its last six games and are 5-0 in conference play.

The Trojans will go on the road to face Colorado, before returning home to face cross-town rival UCLA.

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