USC needs just a half to dominate Stanford

LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – For the third week in a row, the USC Trojans defeated their opponent by the no-contest rule. This week’s opponent was Stanford, a Pac-12 Conference staple and always a thorn in the side of the Trojans.

It played out to be a different story for the Cardinal this time around. This was not a far matchup. The Trojans rolled out 21 first-quarter points. USC then used the second quarter to drop an avalanche of points on the Cardinal.

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) scrambles to make a play against Stanford during a 56-10 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 9, 2023. Photo by Sammy Saludo/News4usonline

With quarterback Caleb Williams doing just about whatever he wanted to do, USC scored 28 more points in the second period to walk into their halftime locker room with a 49-3 lead. The Trojans let up considerably in the second half to come away with an easy 56-10 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 9.

“We’re just kind of running our offense,” USC head coach Lincoln Riley said. “We’ve got some skill guys out there that we think are good players. And we’re trying to be efficient. We were able to get the run game going. I thought the O-line really controlled the game in the first half and that was the key. And I could say the same thing about the defensive line. We really won the game on the heels of how well we played on both fronts.”

Williams, who has thrown for 12 touchdowns through the first games of the season, produced another efficient, don’t-lose-the-Heisman performance. College football’s Heisman Trophy winner for his play last season, Williams completed 19 of 22 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns against Stanford. Williams put up those numbers in just one-half of action.  

“I prepare each week for each team the same,” Williams said. “I prepare to play four quarters plus, for whatever goes on within games. It’s hard to win football games. Sometimes it looks easy, but it is hard. You go through weeks and summers and springs of training and things like that just to get to this point. So you treat everything the same. You treat everyone the same. I’m not pacing myself at all. I’m going out there trying to kill. It’s what we’re trying to do.”

USC wide receiver Tahj Washington (16) looks for yards after the catch against Stanford in the Trojans’ 56-10 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 9, 2023. Photo credit: Sammy Saludo/News4usonline

This was not a football game. It was a walkover contest. Stanford had no business playing on the same field as USC. Stanford ran one more play than USC, yet the Cardinal didn’t score their lone touchdown until the final quarter.

USC has now scored 50 points or more in its first three games of the season, the first time that’s happened in the school’s history.  One of the staples of the Trojans since Riley took over the head coaching reins last is piling up the yardage. USC gained 573 yards against Stanford. The number of yards gained by the Trojans against Stanford marks the 12th time out of the 17 contests under Riley that the Trojans have racked up 500 yards or more.

Stanford head coach Troy Taylor talked admirably about his team being caught up in the Trojans’ scoring onslaught.

“We played an incredible football team,” said Taylor. “They’re very well coached, have great talent, just an impressive team. Obviously, we didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but we have to give them credit – they played a huge part of that. We didn’t get off to a great start, but our guys did compete in the second half, and I was proud of that.”

USC running back MarShawn Lloyd (0) looks for room to run against Stanford during the Trojans’ 56-10 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 9, 2023. Photo by Sammy Saludo/News4usonline

Fueling the rout was USC’s defense, which came up with several forced turnovers during the night game and roughed up Stanford’s quarterbacks.

“When everybody does their job it’s an elite defense,” said USC safety Max Williams. “Everybody does their job, everybody communicates. Guys are in the right position. D-line did a great job. The front seven did an amazing job. I want to shout out the D-line because when they get pressure like they’ve been doing it makes our job in the secondary a lot easier.”

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