Trojan Force

Joe McKnight
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US Presswire
Joe McKnight had 206 all-purpose yards and one TD in USC's rout.
After a dominating 49-17 win over Illinois in the Rose Bowl, it's not a stretch to say that 11-2 USC is the best team in the nation -- and one that should be playing for the BCS championship. Mark Schlabach
Bowl Overview
It was over when... USC converted two Illinois third-quarter turnovers into TDs and extended an 11-point lead into a 35-10 score.
Gameball goes to... Joe McKnight. The USC freshman RB ran for 125 yards (1 TD) and also caught six passes for 45 yards.
Stat of the game... 1,078. Illinois and USC racked up over a thousand yards in total offense, lead by the Trojans' 633.
Rod Gilmore

As a former coach and a current analyst, I have to applaud what coach Pete Carroll has done at USC. In the past six years, he's won two national championships, has a 5-1 BCS bowl record and six consecutive Pac-10 titles. On Tuesday, we saw what a healthy Trojans team is capable of -- fast on defense and boasting so many different elements on offense. The Trojans have the ability to make plays happen. Against Illinois, USC finally looked like the team we expected to see in the preseason.

Illinois fought the jitters in the beginning of the game, but did a good job of fighting back. The Illini had a few opportunities, but it's tough to win when you turn the ball over four times against the Trojans. For a team that had won just four games in the two seasons prior to the 2007 season, the Illini have made leaps and bounds, and they showed heart and toughness against USC. Illinois will continue to improve, and this game will be a great learning experience for a young team.

-- Jim Donnan

Projections: Dec. 20-27 | Dec. 28-30 | Dec. 31
Jan. 1-6 | BCS

Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs1930
Total Yards445633
3rd Down Conversions4-146-13
4th Down Conversions0-10-0
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Bowls Individual Leaders
Illinois Passing
I. Williams21/3524502
USC Passing
J. Booty25/3725531
Illinois Rushing
R. Mendenhall17155179
USC Rushing
J. McKnight10125165
Illinois Receiving
A. Benn580156
USC Receiving
F. Davis787121