Stanford Outlasts USC in Triple-OT Thriller

By GREG BEACHAM | October 30, 2011 | 12:25 AM EDT

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, center, carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Southern California in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stepfan Taylor ran for the tying touchdown with 38 seconds left in regulation and the go-ahead score in the third overtime, and Stanford's defense preserved its 16-game winning streak by forcing Curtis McNeal's end-zone fumble to end the No. 4 Cardinal's 56-48 victory over No. 20 Southern California on Saturday night.

Andrew Luck burnished his Heisman Trophy credentials by engineering four late scoring drives for Stanford (8-0, 6-0 Pac-12), which rallied after trailing for the first time all season.

But four years after Stanford stunned USC (6-2, 3-2) with a one-point victory as a 41-point underdog, the schools played another classic on a cool Coliseum night — and once again, the Cardinal ruled.

Both teams scored on the first two OT possessions. After Taylor's run in the third OT, Coby Fleener caught the 2-point conversion pass.

USC got near the goal line again, but McNeal fumbled into the end zone.