USC Football Drops Close One To Stanford, 21-16

Sept 29, 2001

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Randy Fasani passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns asStanford, off to its first 3-0 start since 1986, held off Southern California21-16 on Saturday.

Fasani, who completed 11 of 25 passes with one interception, threw a 34-yardscoring pass to Luke Powell and a 2-yarder to Brett Pierce, both in the secondquarter, to give the Cardinal (3-0, 2-0 Pac-10) a 21-0 lead.

Fasani, a fifth-year senior who also rushed for 43 yards on 10 carries, hasthrown 10 touchdown passes with one interception this season.

The Trojans (1-3, 0-2 Pac-10), who played a miserable first half, cutStanford's lead to 21-16 with 6:34 remaining when Chris Cash blocked MikeBiselli's 39-yard field-goal attempt and Kris Richard returned it 65 yards fora touchdown.

USC's attempt for a 2-point conversion failed.

The Trojans, who have lost three in a row, got the ball back at their 40with 5:20 to play, but were forced to punt without getting a first down.

Fasani's 23-yard run to the USC 39 gave Stanford a first down with 3:05left, and the Trojans then used their final timeout.

Kerry Carter, who gained 79 yards on 23 carries, picked up 12 yards on thenext play, helping the Cardinal run out the clock.

USC's Carson Palmer completed 22 of 42 passes for 240 yards with twointerceptions. Sultan McCullough was held to 32 yards on 16 carries.

Down by three touchdowns, USC got back in the game in the third quarter on a41-yard field goal by David Davis and McCullough's 8-yard run one play afterKevin Arbet's 47-yard punt return.

Stanford had the ball for over nine minutes while getting into position forBiselli's field goal attempt, which would have made it 24-10, but Cash came upthe middle to block the kick.

In the end, though, it didn't matter.

Stanford took a 7-0 lead on its second possession, scoring on a 4-yard runby Carter two plays after Fasani's 50-yard pass to Powell.

Fasani threw his TD pass to Powell on the first play of the second quartertwo plays after USC botched a flea-flicker.

McCullough, trying to return the ball to Palmer, lateraled it right toStanford's Brian Gaffney, who was unable to handle it, perhaps due to surprise,but teammate Anthony Gabriel recovered.

The Cardinal scored again six minutes later on the pass from Fasani toPierce four plays after an interception by Ryan Fernandez at the USC 40.

Palmer and Charlie Landrigan teamed up on a 63-yard pass play to theStanford 11 late in the second quarter, but the Trojans failed to cash in whenDavis missed a 26-yard field goal.

Many in the crowd of 53,962 at the Los Angeles Coliseum booed as the Trojansleft the field at halftime.

The Trojans blew two scoring chances in the first quarter, failing tocapitalize on a fumble recovery by Kenechi Udeze at the Stanford 46 and ablocked punt by Troy Polamulu that gave them possession at their 49.

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