Williams caught 11 passes for 157 yards, including scoring plays
of 15, 22 and 26 yards, and didn't play the final 1½ quarters, in
the Trojans' 45-0 rout of Arizona on Saturday night.
His three TD catches tied a school record, and gave him 26 in
his 23-game college career, breaking the USC career record of 25
touchdown receptions by Kevin Williams from 1977-80.
"Mike was unbelievable. He had a great night again tonight, was
just strong, competitive on the ball. They weren't all easy catches
for him," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said. "You can see the
confidence that Matt has in him. There's a lot of chemistry that's
working for us right now."
Williams brushed aside the record. He has a bigger goal in mind.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," he said. "If I have the career
touchdown record and we don't finish the season out the way I think
we can, then it's not that big a deal."
His was one of several records broken as the Trojans (9-1, 5-1
Pac-10) took another step toward an appearance in the Sugar Bowl
for the national title.
Arizona (2-9, 1-6) was shut out for the first time in 146 games,
dating to a 54-0 loss at Washington on Oct. 5, 1991.
Leinart completed 22 of 30 passes for 296 yards and four
touchdowns before sitting down with 6½ minutes left in the third
quarter. He ran his streak of consecutive passes without an
interception to 165 and counting, breaking the school record of 147
set last season by Carson Palmer.
"It's a big deal for him. For the most part, I think people
were looking forward to him failing so they can see John David
(Booty) or whoever else they wanted at quarterback," Williams
said. "You can't say enough about Matt and how he's playing."
LenDale White ran 43 yards for a touchdown on the final play of
the third quarter, his 11th TD of the season, breaking Charles
White's freshman record set in 1976.
Ryan Killeen's six extra points gives him 49 for the season,
tying the school record with home games remaining against UCLA and
Despite the methodical thumping, Arizona's Clay Hart didn't
think the Trojans were the best team he's faced this year.
"I thought they were really good," he said. `But personally,
I? think LSU was the best team we've faced since we've been a
LSU pounded Arizona 59-13 the second game of the season.
All three of Williams' scoring catches came in the first half,
when he had 10 receptions for 150 yards and the Trojans built a
Williams didn't have the most spectacular catch, though.
That came from tight end Gregg Gentler Jr., who made a
one-handed grab of Leinart's 20-yard scoring pass while being hit
by two defenders for USC's final first-half touchdown.
"You can't beat a team like USC on will power alone," Arizona
interim coach Mike Hankwitz said. "We're not where we need to be
to beat a team like that."
The last time USC played Arizona was two years ago, when the
Trojans limped in 3-5 and won 41-34. Carroll's Trojans are 24-4
Leinart completed six of seven passes for 99 yards in directing
the Trojans on touchdown drives the first two times they had the
The Trojans added three touchdowns in the second quarter, the
last two in a span of 1:03. Facemask and personal-foul penalties,
on the same play, aided USC's five-play, 81-yard drive third
touchdown drive, Leinart throwing 22 yards to Williams to make it
21-0 with 10:59 to go in the half.
USC pinned the Wildcats inside their 1, and after the punt, got
the ball on the Arizona 26. Three plays later, Leinart threw to
Williams for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 28-0 with 4:42 left in
Arizona's Steve Fleming fumbled and USC's Marcell Allmond
recovered at the Wildcats 27 to set up Leinart's 20-yard TD pass to
Guenther and it was 35-0 2:59 before halftime.
The Wildcats were at the USC 6 and 4 on their last two
possessions of the first half but failed to score.
In the third quarter, the Trojans drove from their 6 to the
Arizona 1 but failed to score.
Will Poole intercepted two passes for USC in its second shutout
of the season. The Trojans beat Auburn 23-0 in their opener. USC
was inside the Arizona 10 three times in the second half without
scoring. The Trojans took a knee at the Wildcats 6 to end the game.
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