LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Regardless of the outcome back in the
Midwest, the Southern California Trojans knew they had to take care
of business at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
They did just that Saturday, scoring on their first four
possessions and rolling to a 47-22 victory over crosstown rival
As the second-ranked Trojans were taking the field, Michigan was
wrapping up a 35-21 victory over Ohio State. USC had slipped to
third in the BCS standings behind the Buckeyes last week.
"It was a great day for Michigan, a great win," Trojans coach
Pete Carroll said.
Not a bad a day for USC, either.
Matt Leinart threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Mike
Williams had 11 receptions for 181 yards and two scores, and the
Trojans' defense held UCLA to 11 yards rushing and also chipped in
with a pair of touchdowns.
"Everything was just right," Carroll said of the Trojans' play
as they took control early. "There was nothing we couldn't do. We
were in total command."
The Trojans (10-1, 6-1 Pac-10) have a regular-season game
remaining against Oregon State at the Coliseum on Dec. 6. If they
win -- and the BCS computers don't spit out something quirky at the
end -- the Trojans ostensibly will play in the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl for
the national title.
Oklahoma is the nation's only unbeaten team and No. 1 in both
the national polls and the BCS rankings.
Some of the Trojans learned of Michigan's win just before their
game against the Bruins began, and some apparently didn't know the
outcome until afterward.
"What was it? I'm asking you," said Williams, who sat out the
second half with a sore ankle. "I just found out. I'm sure a lot
of people knew."
Williams, who could have played in the second half if needed,
was most pleased about beating UCLA (6-6, 4-4).
"Man, the only thing I feel good about is today," the Trojans'
wide receiver said. "None of it, the BCS, the Sugar Bowl, matters.
I really don't like them (the Bruins), I don't like them at all."
Leinart also said the Trojans weren't thinking about the
Michigan-Ohio game or the BCS rankings.
"Our coaches never told us what the score was," he said. "We
still have one game left and that's what we have to worry about."
The loss was the fourth straight for UCLA and first-year coach
"We played a very good football team. We could not keep up,"
Dorrell said. "This game was a great measuring stick for us, and
we have a lot of work to do."
Bruins safety Matt Ware said, "Everything they did was right.
They hit all the seams. They played Williams in the right spots all
The Trojans led 33-2 at halftime, with Leinart passing for 273
yards. He left the game for good late in the third quarter.
The Trojans overwhelmed the Bruins by scoring touchdowns on
their first three possessions and adding a field goal for a 24-0
lead on their fourth en route to their fifth straight win over
Williams caught a 21-yard scoring pass from Leinart less than
three minutes into the game for a school-record 27th career
touchdown reception in a career that has spanned only 23 games for
the 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore.
LenDale White bulled over from a yard out seven minutes later,
then Leinart hit Williams with a 4-yard scoring throw on the first
play of the second quarter. Ryan Killeen added the first of his two
field goals less than four minutes later.
UCLA's Drew Olson was 21-of-39 for 266 yards and threw for two
second-half touchdowns. Under constant pressure, he threw one
interception, lost two fumbles and was sacked six times.
The game had some unusual moments, including USC's Reggie Bush
returning a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown on the last play of
the third quarter, and Maurice Drew answering with a 99-yard TD
return for UCLA on the ensuing kickoff.
There also were two long runs on botched PAT tries: the Bruins'
Matt Clark returned a blocked USC kick all the way to give UCLA two
points, and the Trojans' Shaun Cody intercepted a 2-point try and
made it down to the UCLA 5 before he was tackled.
The defensive touchdowns both came when Olson was sacked and
Trojans linebacker Kenechi Udeze scored when he recovered an
Olson fumble in the end zone after a wild scramble for the loose
ball. Mike Patterson, a 6-0, 285-pound defensive tackle, added
another score when he picked up another of Olson's fumbles and
rumbled 51 yards into the end zone.
Leinart, a redshirt sophomore who hadn't thrown a collegiate
pass before this season, has passed for 2,951 yards with 30
touchdowns and seven interceptions. Through 11 games last year,
USC's Carson Palmer had thrown for 3,214 yards, with 28 touchdowns
and eight interceptions on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy.
Leinart, a rangy left-hander, has thrown 194 consecutive passes
without an interception, four shy of the conference record.
"What a season he has had," Carroll said. "There is no other
quarterback in American that is playing as well as he is right
The five victories in a row over UCLA, which began after the
Bruins had won eight straight, is USC's longest win streak in the
The Trojans are averaging 41.3 points this year, and they became
the first team in Pac-10 history to score 40 or more points in six
Backup quarterback John David Booty was lost to USC for the rest
of the year when he broke his left wrist late in the game.
Will there be football in the Fall?
Tom Rinaldi headlines a number of others to call in to The Paul Finebaum Show as they all discuss whether there will be football or not in 2020.
Clemson early favorite to dominate ACC, win national championship
Oddsmakers expect Clemson's ACC dominance to continue this season but aren't convinced that coach Dabo Swinney's squad is the best in the nation.
Best SEC college football bets: The numbers our experts like
Is there value on Tennessee at 25-1 to win the Southeastern Conference this season? Our experts give their SEC value bets, including win totals.
How a former North Carolina OL helped build an app for college football playbooks
With coaches unable to see their players amid the coronavirus pandemic, they can build lessons and install schemes via an app developed by a former North Carolina offensive lineman.
Chris 'The Bear' Fallica's best bets for the 2020 college football season
With a multitude of college football betting odds now available, Chris "The Bear" Fallica offers up the numbers he likes most.
The art of faking injuries in college football
It's impossible to officiate. It drives offensive coaches like Stanford's David Shaw crazy. Can anything be done about it?