USC: Terrence Brown

Film study: Stanford

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
12:53
PM PT
Here’s the eighth post in our "film study" series.

Every other day from now until Aug. 25, we’re watching one of the games USC played last season and putting up a set of pertinent-to-this-year notes, going of course in chronological order from the Minnesota season opener to the UCLA season finale. At the end, we’ll have one last post with our overall takeaways from the re-watching. By then, it’ll be the week of this year’s opener.

We’ve already done USC’s 19-17 win over Minnesota, 23-14 win over Utah, 38-17 win over Syracuse, 44-23 loss to Arizona State, 48-41 win over Arizona, 30-9 win over Cal and 31-17 win over Notre Dame. Here, now, are our five notes -- four big things and a bunch of little ones -- from USC’s 56-48 triple-overtime loss to Stanford on Oct. 29, 2011.

Luck's attacks

The game was billed as a battle between Stanford's Andrew Luck and USC's Matt Barkley, and it largely lived up to that billing.

Stats sometimes lie, and they can almost always be manipulated to support a variety of arguments. But Luck and Barkley's numbers tell the exact story from this contest -- both were superb, and both had one key mistake, an interception. Luck was slightly more accurate than Barkley, as the numbers show, and significantly more effective running the ball, which really helped in the overtime periods.

The best single drive by either quarterback had to be Luck's rebound after his near-death pick-six to Nickell Robey late in the fourth. Not that Barkley's last-ditch effort beginning with 38 seconds to go wasn't valiant -- it was, and more on that soon -- but it wasn't effective.

But Luck led his team right down the field in just over two minutes and forced overtime. He was, however, helped significantly by T.J. McDonald's unlucky personal-foul penalty on Chris Owusu.

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