USC Football Squad Drops To Stanford In Disappointing 32-30 Fourth Quarter Fall
Oct. 21, 2000
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - For the second time this season, Stanford backupquarterback Chris Lewis showed an astonishing flair for the dramatic.
Lewis threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jamien McCullum as time expired,giving Stanford a 32-30 victory over USCifornia on Saturday.
Lewis only entered the game with 55 seconds to play when quarterback RandyFasani was injured while scrambling on Stanford's deciding 50-yard drive.
The redshirt freshman gave the Cardinal an improbable come-from-behindvictory - just as he did five weeks ago in Stanford's 27-24 win over then-No. 5Texas.
Lewis moved Stanford (3-4, 2-2 Pac-10) to the Trojans 10 with a scramble anda short pass, but threw three incompletions into tight coverage. With 4 secondsleft, the Cardinal were hit with two penalties that moved the ball back to the20.
On fourth down, Lewis evaded a strong pass rush and lofted a perfect pass toMcCullum, who was unguarded in the right corner of the end zone.
The Stanford bench charged across the field and buried McCullum under a pileof scarlet jerseys. The jubilant Stanford crowd then briefly quieted as theofficials gathered in the end zone, but the result was only an unsportsmanlikeconduct penalty for the celebration.
Lewis beat the Longhorns with a last-minute TD pass to DeRonnie Pitts, buthe went 0-3 as a starter while Fasani recovered from cartilage damage to hisknee.
Fasani (18-of-36, 196 yards, two second-half interceptions) had afrustrating day, but he led the Cardinal to 1 1/2 late scoring drives - and Lewisdid the rest. There was no immediate word on the nature of Fasani's injury.
Kerry Carter tied a Stanford record by rushing for four touchdowns, andPitts had a career-high 13 catches for 176 yards. Stanford had just one rushingTD in its first six games.
It was a gut-wrenching loss for USC (3-4, 0-4), which scored 22 straightpoints in the second half and appeared headed to a convincing victory. Instead,USC lost its first four conference games for the first time in schoolhistory.
In a meeting of once-promising teams with three-game losing streaks andfading postseason hopes, the Trojans had a clearly superior offense thatamassed 420 total yards and pounded Stanford's defense throughout the secondhalf.
A 69-yard run by backup tailback Malaefou MacKenzie set up John Wall's22-yard field goal with 12:08 left, and another long run by McCullough putPalmer in position for a 1-yard TD keeper with 8:16 to play that put USC up30-20 - and appeared to put the game away, given Stanford's offensive troublesafter halftime.
But Stanford came back with a 78-yard drive capped by Carter's 20-yard TDrun, and after USC punted, Stanford the got the ball at the 50 with3:42 to play.
Stanford jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first half, but USC's relentlessblitzing of Fasani ground the Cardinal's offense to a halt after halftime.
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer