The USC Trojans made a last second field goal, and the upset win over the Stanford Cardinal was in the books. The Trojans were not supposed to be in this game. Fourth ranked Stanford was riding in as hot as a team can be after defeating then second ranked Oregon a week earlier.
With the upset, a four game losing streak in the series was snapped.
Yes, the same USC Trojans that somehow gave up 62 points to Arizona State earlier this season and also lost to Washington State, scored one of the bigger upsets in the NCAA football season against Stanford on Saturday.
It’s incredible to see how just how much this team has turned around since firing head coach Lane Kiffin midway through the year. Interim coach Ed Orgeron is a player’s coach, and the team has responded in a big way. Emotions have been riding high for the Trojans, and the positive wave of energy has carried this team back towards the top of the PAC 12 Conference standings.
Orgeron won the game for his team with a huge coaching decision that paid off. It started with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter of a game tied at 17 apiece. Quarterback Kevin Hogan of Stanford tossed his second interception of the day near midfield.
Digging deep, the Cardinal defense stopped the USC offense three straight times to set up a fourth and two. Conventional logic says to punt and kill the last minute and a half to get the game to overtime.
Someone forgot to tell coach Orgeron what to do. Instead he put the game on the line and went for it on fourth down at the 48 yardline. The result, a 13 yard completion and a new set of downs. A clutch call that took guts. All that was left was a 47 yard field goal by Andre Heidari and the upset was in the books.
A few more decisions like that and USC may have a tough time not giving the full time coaching job to coach Orgeron. Since taking over for Kiffin, Orgeron is 5-1 as coach and the USC Trojans have climbed to within a game of Arizona State atop the Pac 12-South.