It was a good day for the Bay Area NCAA football teams. For the second time in the last couple of years, the Stanford Cardinal celebrated on the USC Trojans' turf while the Bears took care of Arizona at home in Berkley.
The Cardinal rolled into Los Angeles and handed the Trojans their worse loss in decades, 51-22. The star of the day was once again Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 178 yards and 3 scores, and this game really put him right in the thick of things as far as the Heisman race goes. The Cardinal had control of the game for the most part, although USC made the score 28-21 at the end of the third quarter, making for a tight finish. However, Stanford made it anything but a close game. The Cardinal exploded for 4 TD's in the fourth quarter, while completely shutting the Trojans out. It's almost as if the two teams just swapped. Stanford looked like the powerhouse of the West Coast on Saturday, not the Trojans. They ran at will, and even burned USC through the air. Freshman QB Andrew Luck had himself a successful afternoon as well, throwing for 144 yards and 2 TD's while also rushing for 61 yards and a score. The Cardinal victory has bolted them into top fifteen to number 14 in the latest AP Poll, with USC dropping to 22, and coming dangerously close to becoming un-ranked.
Up the coast, the Cal Bears were playing host to the 18th ranked Arizona Wildcats. Cal was obviously without Jahvid Best, their top rusher and offensive player, but still managed to hold off the Cats, 24-16. Sophomore halfback Shane Vereen did his best Jahvid Best impression, as he rushed 30 times for a buck fifty-eight and a TD. Kevin Riley continues to struggle though, as he once again threw more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1). The real strength for Cal on Saturday though was their defense. They held a strong Arizona offense to just 16 points and 273 yards total offense. It's been a tough year overall for Cal, but they can finish strong as they get the surging Cardinal next week in Palo Alto, then head north to play Washington to end the regular season on December 5th.