Andre Heidari broke the hearts of Stanford football fans for a second straight year, connecting on a 53-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining to play to lift visiting USC to a 13-10 victory over the 13th-ranked Cardinal in the Pac-12 opener for both teams on Saturday.
The loss snapped Stanford's national-leading 17-game win streak.
Kevin Hogan did his part, throwing for 285 yards and Ty Montgomery produced yet another terrific game, catching nine passes for 83 yards.
Montgomery became Stanford's all-time return yardage leader with 2,133 yards, surpassing Chris Owusu's mark of 2,132.
"Bottom line, you don't take advantage of opportunities, you lose games to good football teams," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We had so many opportunities to win this football game. To miss two field goals and get turned away inside the five yard line, to go from a field goal position backed up to a punt position. Coaches and players, that's everybody, that's me."
Penalties and turnovers cost Stanford against the 14th-ranked Trojans, especially Hogan's second fumble with 19 seconds remaining.
"He's elusive," USC linebacker J.R. Tavai said. "He did a great job of running away from me. He didn't run away from me on the last play. I didn't know he fumbled. It felt like a regular play. I heard everybody screaming and the coaches were hugging me. I figured something good happened."
The Cardinal offense had no trouble moving the ball, driving inside USC's 30-yard line on each of its possessions. It just had trouble getting into the end zone.
"We were bad in the red zone," Shaw said. "It has nothing to do with being conservative or not. We have to score. Against a good football team, we held them to 13 points, which is great. We have to score more than 10. We didn't give ourselves those opportunities."
Jordan Williamson, who gave Stanford the first half advantage with a field goal, also missed attempts of 49 and 26 yards.
Another drive was stalled at the USC 3-yard line when Stanford failed on a fourth-down run. The Trojans responded by driving the other way and tying the score on a field goal.
"We had a lot of great drives," Cardinal receiver Austin Hooper said. "We didn't finish. We've got to put it all together."
Montgomery returned the ensuing kickoff 31 yards, with an additional 30 yards of penalties against the Trojans tacked onto the play. Hogan was charged with a fumble after a bad handoff on the first play (to Remound Wright) and the ball was recovered on USC's 28-yard line.
Stanford's defense stopped the Trojans on downs following the fumble. The Cardinal took over with 11:24 remaining to play.
Stanford appeared to have scored on a 23-yard play from Hogan to Hooper, but a 15-yard penalty nullified the play and Stanford was forced to punt.
"I was disappointed," Hooper said. "Score and put the game out of reach. Sometimes plays don't go your way. You have to deal with it."
Stanford could not get out of its own way in the first half after getting itself into scoring position several times.
"The problem in the red zone right now is me," Shaw said. "I've got to get back to work and make sure we're doing things that our guys can do, put them in positions to be successful."
The Cardinal penetrated into USC territory on its first drive, getting as far as the 21-yard line before mistakes and penalties pushed the ball back and Williamson missed a 49-yard attempt.
The next drive also stalled inside Trojans' territory, resulting in a 29-yard punt from Ben Rhyne.
The offensive line, with its new starters still trying to get in synch, was called for clipping, a false start and holding on the first drive. The unit added another false start, a bobbled snap, and a ball snapped over Montgomery's head in a wildcat formation.
Patrick Skov scored his first career touchdown, with Casey Tucker (6-6, 305) leading the way in Stanford's jumbo package. Stanford scored midway through the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
Williamson gave the Cardinal a 10-7 lead with 11 seconds left in the first half with a 33-yard field goal.