LOS ANGELES -- It was a heavyweight fight between Stanford and USC on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but the Trojans landed the decisive blow.
Andre Heidari kicked a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining to give USC a 20-17 win over the Cardinal, breaking a four-game losing streak in what has quickly become the most physical and dramatic rivalry in the Pac-12. Thousands of USC fans poured onto the field and celebrated with fans after defensive end Leonard Williams recovered a fumble as Stanford attempted to re-enact its own version of "The Play."
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Marqise Lee caught a slant pass from quarterback Cody Kessler on 4th-and-2 for a 13-yard gain, setting up Heidari's kick six plays later. Lee, who caught six balls for 83 yards, hobbled off the field and had to be helped to the locker room after being kicked in the shin, but he was moving around fine afterward.
Kessler was 25-of-37 passing for 288 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Using only its 11 starters and two reserves, the USC defense held tough against a Stanford team that rushed for 210 yards and intercepted quarterback Kevin Hogan twice in the fourth quarter. Safety Dion Bailey intercepted Hogan on 3rd-and-goal at the USC 8-yard line and returned it 26 yards to negate a scoring threat.
USC also blocked a 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter to snuff out another Stanford drive.
The loss gives Oregon the advantage over Stanford in the Pac-12 North. The Ducks will host the Pac-12 championship game if they win their final two regular-season games, against Arizona and Oregon State.
USC is still alive in the Pac-12 South but needs to win its final two games and for Arizona State to lose its final two games. The Sun Devils are one game ahead of USC and hold the head-to-head tie-breaker because of their 62-41 win earlier this season that led to the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin.