LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who has led his team to the brink of a third straight national title, won the 2005 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award on Wednesday.
Leinart is the second USC signal-caller in four years to win the
award, which is presented annually to the nation's top senior
quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational
Foundation. In 2002, Carson Palmer won the award, as well as
the Heisman Trophy, which Leinart received as a junior last
Leinart, who has thrown for 3,217 yards and 24 touchdowns, beat out Northwestern's Brett Basanez, Oregon's Kellen Clemens,
Alabama's Brodie Croyle, Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler, UCLA's Drew Olson and Georgia's D.J. Shockley.
A whopping 36-1 as a starter at USC, Leinart has thrown for
10,095 yards and 95 TDs in his career. With a win over UCLA on Saturday, USC would earn a spot in the Rose Bowl, likely against Texas, to play for the national championship on Jan. 4.