Breakdown: The Nightmare on November 16

After making a few early adjustments, Stanford's defense was again spectacular. Offensive mistakes and mismanagement ended up blowing that effort, though, and the Cardinal suffered a brutal 20-17 loss at USC. Here's The Bootleg's postgame take.

Stanford controlled the tempo of the game, but questionable playcalling and mistakes in the passing department prevented them from ever grabbing control of the game itself. In fact, these gaffes ended up wasting another tremendous defensive performance and handing the reins of the contest to USC. The Trojans capitalized through Andre Heidari's 47-yard field goal with under 30 seconds remaining to play.

A positive note: Though their Rose Bowl hopes took a nearly fatal blow, the Cardinal still have a realistic shot to head back to the BCS, provided they're able to finish the regular season with wins over California and Notre Dame. If favorites from other conferences take care of business the rest of the way, the Farm Boys will be in solid position to nab an at-large invitation from either the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl.

That discussion, though, is for another time. Here's our full 30-minute breakdown of USC's win over Stanford, including a thorough analysis of the Cardinal's shortcomings.

David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.

Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with (sign-up)! Recommended Stories

Up Next