Suprise! Stanford, Gerhart Hands Trojans Biggest Loss Of Carroll Era

Joey GrissoContributor INovember 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Running back Toby  Gerhart #7 of the Stanford Cardinal carrries the ball against the USC Trojans on November 14, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Going into today's game, many people predicted Stanford would eventually pull out with the upset win over USC.

Not many people, however, predicted a blowout. At least not in favor of the Cardinal, who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history two years ago when a touchdown pass to Mark Bradford with 49 seconds remaining sealed the 24-23 win at the Coliseum.

There was not much drama to be found there today, however, as Stanford pummeled 9th ranked USC, 55-21.

Heisman long shot Toby Gerhart rushed for a total of 178 yards and three touchdowns, including 2 in the first half, Andrew Luck enjoyed 144 yards and two touchdowns on 12 for 22 passing, and three other players scored touchdowns as the Cardinal broke the record for the most points ever scored against USC. The previous mark? A 1966 51 point shutout at the hands of Notre Dame, who Stanford just happens to host in the last game of the season.

The Cardinal jumped ahead early, taking a 21-7 lead at halftime, but the Trojans would just not go away. Joe McNight's 28 yard touchdown rush late in the third quarter cut the Cardinal lead back to seven, 28-21, and gave the homecoming crowd some life going into the fourth quarter, where Stanford was all too notorious for blowing huge leads on the road this season.

It was not to be, however, as the Cardinal tacked on another four scores for 27 points in the final quarter of play to lift themselves to victory. The game was all but over when with 11:41 remaining in the fourth quarter Richard Sherman returned an interception for 42 yards, putting the Cardinal up 42-21. At that point, the majority of the 90,017 fans filed out of the stadium, disgusted at their teams second blowout loss of the season.

Stanford, meanwhile, improved to 7-3 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-10. It will take some losses by Oregon and Arizona, but Stanford could find themselves headed to their first Rose Bowl in 10 years.