After surviving thriller, Stanford pushes forward

By Antonio Gonzalez

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 1 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is shoved out of bounds by Southern California cornerback Nickell Robey during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Stanford won 56-48 in triple overtime.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. — Everybody turned to Andrew Luck after he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter at Southern California, wondering how Stanford would react when finally faced with real pressure.

Luck provided an emphatic answer.

The moment might not only come to symbolize Luck's Heisman Trophy run but also Stanford's season. The calming influence of the nation's premier college quarterback lifted the program to a 56-48 triple-overtime victory for the ages and gave teammates reason to believe any obstacle could be overcome.

While USC's speed exposed flaws in pass protection and on defense, the No. 4 Cardinal (8-0, 6-0 Pac-12) cleared their biggest road test and will need to regroup quickly heading to Oregon State (2-6, 2-3) on Saturday.

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