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No. 10 USC Football Opens Pac-12 Play At Stanford In Primetime Matchup

Sep 5, 2022


*No. 10 USC will play the first Pac-12 game of 2022 when it travels to challenge long-time foe Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. It's a nationally-televised primetime matchup on ABC.

*Stanford is USC's oldest rival, dating back to 1905. The Trojans have won 5 of the last 10 games against the Cardinal dating back to 2013 (the two teams did not meet in 2020 for the first time since 1945).

*USC has won just 1 of its last 5 meetings on the road at Stanford, dating back to 2010.


*USC ushered in a new era of USC Football under head coach Lincoln Riley with a 66-14 victory over Rice in Coach Riley's debut game in the Coliseum.

*Early Heisman contender QB Caleb Williams completed his first 5 passes and finished the day 19- for-22 for 249 yards and 2 TDs. His 86.3 completion percentage was the best by a Trojan quarterback with a minimum of 20 attempts since Matt Barkley had a 95.0 completion percentage vs. Colorado on Oct. 20, 2012. Williams also led USC in rushing with 68 yards on six carries.

*After much anticipation of seeing transfer WR Jordan Addison in cardinal and gold in the Coliseum, he had a team-leading 5 catches for 54 yards and 2 TDs (of 3 and 5 yards) in his Trojan debut. Returning WR Tahj Washington led USC with 65 receiving yards on 4 catches. In the run game, RB Austin Jones led USC with 2 rushing touchdowns in his Trojan debut. Jones now has 14 career rushing touchdowns. He had 4 carries for 48 yards, scoring on runs of 4 and 28 yards. True freshman RB Raleek Brown had a 14-yard TD run in the second quarter for the first score of his career. He finished the game with 6 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 2 passes for 40 yards.

*The offensive line led by C Brett Neilon allowed just one sack by the Owls and opened holes for the running game.

*On the defensive side of the ball, DB Calen Bullock returned an interception 93 yards for a TD in the second quarter. It was his third career interception and first returned for a TD. It was the first pick-six by a Trojan since Greg Johnson (37-yards) versus San Jose State in the 2021 opener on Sept. 4. His interception return for a TD was the longest by a Trojan since Cleveland Colter returned an interception 94 yards at California on Sept. 26, 1987. ILB Shane Lee also returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was his second career interception and first returned for a score. Lee led USC with 8 tackles. ILB Ralen Goforth also returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was his first career interception.

*USC's three interceptions returned for a touchdown against Rice ties the school single game record of three, which was also accomplished on Nov. 11, 1982 at Arizona. In the game at Arizona, one of the TDs was an intercepted fumble returned for a score which was categorized as an interception at that time (in 1982, you could not return a fumble unless it was in the air). USC's 3 interceptions returned for a touchdown also ties the Pac-12 record.

*DB Xamarion Gordon also had an interception to give the Trojans 4 interceptions total. The last time USC had 4 interceptions in a game was on Sept 23, 2017 vs. California.

*PK Denis Lynch saw his first game action for USC and went 9-for-9 in extra-point attempts and made a 25-yard field goal. Lynch came one extra point away from tying the USC record of 10-for-10 in extra points, set by Mario Danelo in 2005 vs. Arkansas.

*As Coach Riley has stated "This is the most unique roster in the history of USC Football", and 9 of the 22 starters were transfers.


*Head coach David Shaw (whose uncle was a USC All-American) saw his Stanford team defeat Colgate 41-10 in its season opener in Palo Alto, Calif. on Sept. 3. QB Tanner McKee (2021 Pac-12 Honorable Mention) was 22 of 27 for 308 yards passing with 2 TDs. Last season, McKee was 206-of-315 (65.4%) passing for 2,327 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played in 10 games with 9 starts. In his first career start last season at USC on Sept. 11, 2021, he became the first Pac-12 QB since Tavita Pritchard in 2007 to defeat a ranked opponent on the road in his first career start. His 19 total touchdowns (15 passing, 4 rushing) are the most by a Stanford freshman (true or redshirt) in school history. Andrew Luck (2009) and Steve Stenstrom (1991) both had 15.

*Stanford's top four wide receivers, Elijah Higgins (2021 PFF Pac-12 Honorable Mention), John Humphreys, Brycen Tremayne and Michael Wilson, plus tight end Benjamin Yurosek (2021 PFF Pac-12 First Team) all return. Those five combined for 147 catches for 1,870 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2021. Against Colgate, Humphreys had 88 yards receiving for Stanford, which was highlighted by a 53-yard grab down the Cardinal sideline. Wilson contributed with five catches for 82 yards.

*RB E.J. Smith, the son of former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith, returns to the Cardinal backfield. Against Colgate, he had career bests with 118 yards rushing and five catches while running for two touchdowns on 11 carries to help the Cardinal snap a seven-game losing streak that dated back to last season.

*Stanford's offensive line returns all five starters.

*On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinal made a scheme change in the offseason. They move from a 3-4 defense to a four-man front for the 2022 season. Against Colgate, ILB Levani Damuni led the team with 10 tackles, while ILB Tristan Sinclair, ILB Jacob Mangum-Farrar, S Kendall Williamson and ILB Ricky Miezan each recorded 5 tackles.

*In the Cardinal secondary, CB Kyu Blu Kelly, who led the Pac-12 with 13 passes defended a season ago (11 pass breakups, 2 interceptions), returns poised to make an impact.

*Against Colgate, Stanford committed 4 turnovers, including a McKee interception and had 3 fumbles on punt returns.

*During the game on Saturday (Sept. 10), Stanford will recognize its Hall of Fame Class, as well as Andrew Luck for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022.


*USC is ranked No. 10 in the Sept. 6 AP sports media poll and 12th in the USA Today coaches poll. Stanford is not ranked.


*USC holds a 63-34-3 lead over Stanford (Troy's 2005 victory was vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 64-33-3). USC has just 6 wins in the past 16 meetings. In its last 45 contests with the Cardinal, USC has gone 30-15-1 (and Troy is 45-18-1 in the past 64 games).

*Stanford is USC's oldest rival, with the series dating back to 1905.

*USC's record in games in Palo Alto is 34-12-2. USC has lost there just 7 times since 1972 (and only 8 times since 1956), but is 7-7 in the last 14 trips. Troy has dropped 4 of its last 5 games in Palo Alto, including 3-17 in 2018 in its most recent trip there.


*USC has won 69.6% (482-202-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (does not include 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 491-202-29, 70.0%).


*In conference openers, USC is 70-24-5 (.732) and Troy has won 32 of its last 51 (and 45 of its last 65). In conference openers on the road, the Trojans are 28-14-2 (.659), having won 23 of their last 36. (does not include 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original records: 71-24-5, .735 overall, 33 of 51, 46 of 65; and 29- 14-2, .668 on the road, 24 of 36.)


*USC has a 189-55-8 (.766) all-time record while playing in the month of September (does not include 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 192-55-8, .769).


*USC has 6 players who previously attended a Bay Area high school: DL De'jon Benton (Pittsburg HS), DB Mekhi Blackmon (Menlo-Atherton HS), OL Andres Dewerk (Los Gatos HS), RB Austin Jones (Bishop O'Dowd HS) and WR Danny Ryan (St. Ignatius HS), Devan Thompkins (Edison HS).

*RB Austin Jones played his first three years of college football at Stanford (2019-21).

*ILB Clyde Moore's uncle, Rob, was a fullback at Stanford (1980-83) who then attended USC for his JD and MBA. His grandfather, Robin, was the NCAA 50-yard freestyle swimming champion in 1956 for Stanford (he once set a world record).

*Graduate assistant Peyton Pelluer's uncle, Arnie, was a linebacker at Stanford (1985-89).

*USC swimming associate head coach Lea Maurer was the Stanford women's head coach (2006-12) and also swam for the Cardinal (1992-94).

*Stanford head coach David Shaw is the nephew of former USC All-American cornerback (1964-66) and assistant coach (1980-86) Nate Shaw.

*Stanford tight ends coach Morgan Turner is related to former USC assistant coaches Ron Turner (1985-87), his father, and Norv Turner (1976-84), his uncle.

*Stanford OLB Lance Keneley is the son of former USC defensive lineman Matt Keneley (1993-96), who was a 2-time Academic All-American, and Women of Troy volleyball player Antoinette Lindemann (Thomas), and the nephew of former USC football players Todd Keneley (1999) and Clay Hattabaugh (1991-95).

*Stanford OL Jaxson Moi's father Junior Moi was a OLB-DE at USC (1991-92).

*Stanford women's beach volleyball coach Andrew Fuller was an assistant at USC for 3 seasons (2013- 15) and Cardinal volunteer assistant Lauren Fendrick attended law school at USC.