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#17 USC Trojans lose their first game of the season 17-3 to #10 Stanford Cardinal

In an embarrassing offensive display, the Trojans drop a critical early Pac-12 matchup

USC v Stanford Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This isn’t the USC offense we expected.

With only 332 total offensive yards, the Trojans dropped their first big Pac-12 matchup losing 17-3 to #10 Stanford—scoring the least amount of points in the series since 1941.

JT Daniels looked like a true freshman—and not in the Lamar Jackson way, but more in the 12-for-26 and 215 yards with two interceptions kind of way. Aca’Cedric Ware led the way for the three-headed Trojan running game racking up 66 yards adding to 121 total rushing yards USC collected.

The first half was uneventful as the Trojans were shutout—but not at the hands of a dominant defense. 21 carries in the first two quarters for only 73 yards not only stalled the game, but also the Trojan offense.

Daniels saw some success early with quick passes to Tyler Vaughns, but not much else. A minor hand injury saw Daniels out for some action in the first, but it wasn’t enough him out of the game.

USC v Stanford
Aca’Cedric Ware had a solid game for the Trojans, but the running game was good enough to score in this one.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Trojan defense did what it could in containing Bryce Love—giving up a score and over 30 yards to him on the opening drive but limiting him to 10 yards for the remainder of the half.

After a turnover on downs with under two-minutes left in the half, Stanford only needed 44 seconds to score as KJ Costello threw a 6-yard jumpball to Colby Parkinson—giving Stanford a 14-0 lead heading into halftime.

USC showed promise in the second half—opening things up with a 45-yard completion to Michael Pittman Jr. that got the Trojans into the redzone. However, the drive resulted in just a field goal, getting them on the board for the first time 14-3.

Inevitably, Love broke a huge 55-yard run on Stanford’s opening second half drive—silencing doubters from last week.

The second half went on as the first did—slow, inefficient offense with nothing to show.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Stanford
JT Daniels threw his first interceptions as a Trojan and looked every bit of a true freshman.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There was some glimmer of promise in USC’s final drive as Daniels pushed the ball up the field and found a rhythm with Amon-Ra St. Brown. However, the drive ended in Daniels’ first interception as a Trojan as pass intended for St. Brown in the endzone was picked off by Stanford’s Malik Antoine.

Stanford’s Love got back on track rushing for 136 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. KJ Costello didn’t have a notable night— 16-for-27 and 183 yards with one score, but did make the right passes at the right time.

The Trojans will look to rebound next week as they take on the Texas Longhorns in a much anticipated matchup.