2007 Stanford vs. USC football game

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2007 Stanford vs. USC football game
Conference game
1234 Total
Stanford 00717 24
USC 3677 23
DateOctober 6, 2007
StadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum
LocationLos Angeles, California
FavoriteUSC by 41
National anthemSpirit of Troy
RefereeMichael Batlan
Halftime showStanford Band
Spirit of Troy
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersRon Thulin (play-by-play)
Kelly Stouffer (analyst)
Lewis Johnson (sideline)

The 2007 Stanford vs. USC football game was an NCAA college football game held on October 6, 2007, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. In a remarkable upset, the visiting Stanford Cardinal won 24–23 despite USC having been favored by 41 points entering the game.[1] This result was the biggest point spread upset of all time in college football (since surpassed by the Howard University Bison in 2017, who were 45-point underdogs heading into a road game against the UNLV Rebels). USC entered the game with a 35-game home game winning streak (its previous home game loss also happened to be to Stanford, in 2001) which included a 24-game home game winning streak in Pac-10 play. By contrast, Stanford had compiled a Pac-10 worst 1–11 season in 2006, which included a 42–0 loss to USC. To compound the situation, Stanford's starting quarterback T. C. Ostrander had suffered a seizure the week before and his replacement, backup quarterback Tavita Pritchard, had never started a game and had thrown just three passes in official play.

Game summary[edit]

The weather was sunny and 74 °F (23 °C) with a slight west wind. The game began at 4:09pm Pacific Daylight Time and ended at 7:36pm.


First quarter[edit]

Second quarter[edit]

Third quarter[edit]

  • 11:58 Stanford – Austin Yancy 31 yd interception return (Derek Belch kick) USC 9–7
  • 02:54 USC – Fred Davis 63 yd pass from John David Booty (David Buehler kick) USC 16–7

Fourth quarter[edit]

  • 14:54 Stanford – Anthony Kimble 1 yd run (Derek Belch kick) USC 16–14
  • 11:04 USC – Ronald Johnson 47 yd pass from John David Booty (David Buehler kick) USC 23–14
  • 05:43 Stanford – Derek Belch 26 yd field goal USC 23–17
  • 00:48 Stanford – Mark Bradford 10 yd pass from Tavita Pritchard on fourth down and goal (Derek Belch kick) Stanford 24–23.[2]

The game-winning drive featured a 20-yard pass from Tavita Pritchard to future NFL star Richard Sherman on fourth-and-20 from the USC 29.[3]


The final score was announced at the Rose Bowl, where USC's two arch-rivals, UCLA and Notre Dame, were playing each other. Irish and Bruins fans cheered in unison and celebrated together briefly.[4] At the same time, at Tiger Stadium, the #1 LSU Tigers were playing the #9 Florida Gators and the fans in the stadium celebrated when the USC score was announced there, too.[5] The Tigers would later come from behind to beat the Gators 28–24, making them #1 in both polls with USC dropping from #1 in the coaches poll due to the loss.

At the end of the regular season, Sports Illustrated chose the Stanford upset of USC as the second "Biggest Upset of 2007" after Division I FCS Appalachian State's 34–32 upset of #5 Michigan.[6]

In 1979, Stanford had pulled a similar feat by coming back in the last four minutes to tie USC 21–21 on October 13. This game, considered one of the greatest of the 20th century,[7] effectively cost USC a national championship.

In the 2009 season, Stanford would eclipse the point spread by handing USC its worst defeat ever. Stanford won 55–21, and USC was an 11-point favorite.[8][9] The next year in 2010, tenth-ranked Stanford defeated USC with a last-second field goal to win, 37–35. In 2011, Stanford would again defeat USC, continuing a 3-game streak of defeating USC at their home stadium. In a much closer game, Stanford defeated USC 56–48 in triple overtime. In the following year, the Cardinal again faced a second-ranked USC team and defeated them 21–14, earning a fourth consecutive win over the Trojans, a first in team and school history.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gimino: USC dynasty far from over | www.tucsoncitizen.com
  2. ^ Stanford shocks No. 2 USC with late 4th-down TD | www.espn.com
  3. ^ Kyle Bonagura, "How Jim Harbaugh and Richard Sherman pulled off an epic 40-point upset over USC", ESPN.com, September 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Chris Dufresne (2007-10-07). "You look upset, Los Angeles. Why the long fall from grace?". Los Angeles Times.
    Quote:"With the Rose Bowl game mired in 6–6 slog, UCLA and Notre Dame fans collectively erupted with 4:46 left in the third quarter at the Rose Bowl when Stanford's epic upset at the Coliseum was announced -- Pete Carroll's first home loss since Stanford beat the Trojans in 2001."
  5. ^ LSU vs. Florida 2007 youtube.com
  6. ^ Biggest Upsets of 2007: #2 Stanford 24, No. 2 USC 23, SI.com, December 13, 2007. Archived December 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Whittingham, Richard (2001). "6", Rites of autumn: the story of college football (in English). New York: The Free Press, 148-183. ISBN 0-7432-2219-9.
  8. ^ Stanford-Southern Cal Preview ESPN.com
  9. ^ Klein, Gary - USC's November reign ends with shocking 55-21 loss to Stanford. Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2009

External links[edit]