By Tim Peterson
(Los Angeles) – USC raced out to a 49-3 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way in a 56-10 rout of Stanford before 67, 213 fans Saturday night at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
USC head coach Lincoln Riley emptied his bench in the second half. Caleb Williams threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, all in the first half. Miller Moss came on to replace Williams to start the third quarter.
The Trojans won the toss, elected to receive and were off and running on the opening possession.
USC marched 75 yards on 8 plays on the first drive. Williams capped it going 21 yards for a touchdown running over a man at the goal line in the process for a 7-0 lead.
A Max Williams interception set up the Trojans at the Stanford 19 yard line on the next series. MarShawn Lloyd rumbled into the endzone for a six-yard score to finish a quick 3-play drive for a 14-0 lead.
After forcing a Stanford punt the Trojans went on a 12-play, 93 yard drive. Austin Jones was the third Trojan to score as he plunged in from a yard out. USC led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Zachariah Branch opened the second quarter with a 75-yard dash on a punt return to put USC up 28-0. Branch looked like he was running the 100 meters leaving Cardinal defenders in his wake.
Three minutes later USC struck again. Tackett Curtis recovered a Stanford fumble at the SC 45. Four plays later Williams danced out of trouble, rolled right and fired a 19-yard touchdown strike to Dorian Singer. There was still 10:42 left in the second quarter and the Trojans were up 35-0.
Stanford finally got on the board on a 38-yard field goal by Joshua Karty with 6:57 left in the second quarter. But on the very next play Williams hit Brenden Rice in stride behind the Stanford secondary for a 75-yard touchdown. The Trojans were cruising 42-3.
USC tacked on another one just before halftime. Williams threw his third touchdown pass of the night. Denis Lynch added his seventh extra point of the night and the Trojans went into the break leading 49-3. Game. Set. Match.
Muir’s own Calen Bullock broke up a pass in the endzone on fourth and goal and the Trojans defense held midway through the third quarter.
Each team scored in the fourth quarter. Stanford backup quarterback Justin Lamson scored on a one-yard run with 3:35 left. USC had one last response when Moss kept the ball and scampered 15 yards for a touchdown with just 58 ticks on the clock.
The Cardinal was unable to get anything going offensively. Lamson completed 8 of 18 for 121 yards to go along with his rushing touchdown.
Williams finished 19 of 21 for 281 yards and three scores and the rushing score. Moss went 11 of 15 for 112 yards in the second half. Lloyd led the rushing attack with 77 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. 12 different players caught passes for USC as the Trojans piled up 573 total yards.
USC improved to 3-0 with the victory and has now scored 178 points in the three games. The Trojans have a bye next week and will face Arizona State on the road on September 23. Stanford fell to 1-1.