In what was a must win game on the road for the Stanford Cardinal against Southern California, it was turnovers that killed not only the match-up versus the USC Trojans, but Stanford’s shot at a National Title. Kevin Hogan was unable to deliver for the Cardinal, as he was held to 13 completions on 24 attempts, with only 127 yards, 2 interceptions, and no touchdowns. What was needed was not delivered, as Hogan was unable to provide the Cardinal offense with the balanced attack to take out the Trojans, and propel the Stanford Cardinal into a legit contender.
Tyler Gaffney had another stellar performance on the ground, running for 158 yards on 24 attempts, and two touchdowns, but in a tight game, where both defenses stiffened up, the passing attack failed to produce for the Cardinal and turnovers killed Stanford’s hopes of moving up the BCS ranks. With Oregon, Clemson, Alabama, Florida State, Baylor, Ohio State, Auburn, and South Carolina all winning Stanford looks doomed to fall out of the top ten. Even more importantly Oregon takes the reigns once again as the Pac-12 North Conference leader.
Things just did not fall Stanford’s way from the beginning, as dropped passes, penalties, turnovers and a pumped Southern California crowd effected the outcome of the game. Stanford was lucky to even be down only 17-10 at the half. Now the Cardinal need a lot of help to even get into the Rosé Bowl talks once again, a goal which once was in their line of site, but with their destiny in the hands of quarterback Kevin Hogan, the Cardinal fell short to a USC team that came ready to play. For all in Cardinal country, tonight’s game against USC was a devastating blow to a spectacular season thus far for the Cardinal. Just one week removed from the biggest victory of the season against Oregon, Stanford suffers its biggest loss of the season, one that killed all hopes of bringing a BCS Crown to Stanford. With Bay Area rival Cal Bears and Notre Dame left on the schedule, Stanford should win out. The Cardinal fate is no longer in their hands, as they can only hope Arizona or Oregon State will pull off an upset against the Ducks just a they did a little over a week ago. For now Stanford must go back to the drawing board and game plan for Cal, taking it one game at a time, as they wait and see what Bowl Game holds their 2013 destiny.