The USC Trojans had a seven point lead on Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal, and the way their defense had been pressuring the quarterback, it seemed like a win was within reach.
Not so fast, my friends.
Stanford got a huge penalty called in their favor, setting them up with fantastic field position and a chance to tie the game. It was the running game that has given the Cardinal their truly unstoppable offense all season, and of course it was Stepfan Taylor who rumbled into the end zone from two yards out on a huge drive by the Cardinal to tie the game at 34.
In overtime, it was a mixture of Luck’s passing and athleticism as well as that dominant ground game against a tired USC defense that got Stanford the victory, 56-48 after virtually identical statistical performances from Luck and USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
Luck’s line was 29-of-40 for 330 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. He also added some really nice plays on the ground, finishing with 36 yards rushing and another touchdown on the ground.
Barkley finished the game completing 28-of-45 for 284 yards, three touchdowns, and a lonely interception. Barkley was not great in the first half but had an excellent second half, all three of his touchdown passes coming in the second half.
There is a heck of a lot for NFL Draft fans to have been excited about for this game. The quarterbacks matchup, the Stanford offensive line, and even a future prospect in wide receiver Robert Woods who looks like a veteran receiver out there at only 19 years old.
Maybe he will convince Matt Barkley to return for a senior season?
That is another discussion for another day, but for now, this was one of the better college games of the year so far, and if you are a draft fan I seriously hope you recorded it and can further analyze it. There was a lot to like from this game.
Andrew Luck is the real deal, Matt Barkley appears to be the real deal though he’s obviously not as advanced as Luck, and I think Stanford has a couple of sure-fire first round picks along the offensive line.