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Leonard Williams dominant as USC upsets Stanford

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Cary Edmondson / USA TODAY Sports
Leonard Williams played through injury in USC's win over Stanford on Saturday.

An athletic director comes down to the field because he has been summoned by a coach during the game? That was just part of the weirdness Saturday surrounding USC's pulsating 13-10 upset of Stanford.

Stanford outgained USC 400-289 and moved inside the Trojans' 30-yard line nine times. But the USC defense bowed up when necessary and limited the Cardinal to two scores on those nine forays inside the 30. USC also forced two turnovers, including the clinching fumble in the final 30 seconds with Stanford at USC's 25. USC's lone touchdown came on its first drive of the game (at 68 yards, the drive accounted for 24 percent of the Trojans' offensive output); their last score -- the game-winner -- came on a 53-yard field goal by Andre Heidari with 2:30 left. They didn't do much in the time between those scores. And more weirdness: Stanford punted twice all game -- from USC's 32 and from USC's 29. Yes, you read that right: from the USC 32 and from the USC 29.

The weirdest thing, though: USC athletic director Pat Haden was interviewed on the field during the third quarter, and he told sideline reporter Heather Cox that he received a text to come down to the field because coach Steve Sarkisian wanted to talk to him.

USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams' status for the game was up in the air until kickoff because of a high ankle sprain, but he was dominant and showed why most observers think he is the nation's best defensive player. He had a key sack on Stanford's final drive and finished with 11 tackles. He was injured during practice on Tuesday and wasn't 100 percent during the game; indeed, he went to the sideline to have his ankle checked on Stanford's first drive of the game. In the end, though, the injury didn't seem to bother him.

While USC gave up 400 yards, its front seven did a solid job against Stanford's rebuilt offensive line. The Trojans lost star linebacker Hayes Pullard in the third quarter, when he was ejected for targeting Stanford's Ty Montgomery on a kickoff return.

Junior tailback Javorious "Buck" Allen ran for a career-high 154 yards, and junior Nelson Agholor had a career-high nine receptions for 91 yards to help the Trojans win at Stanford Stadium for the first time since 2008.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was 22-of-30 for 285 yards and also showed good mobility. But he was stymied at times by conservative play-calling, and the Cardinal also lack explosiveness at tailback.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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