PASADENA, California (Ticker) -- Top-ranked Southern California
can secure a berth in the Orange Bowl with a victory at city
rival UCLA in a Pac-10 Conference showdown on Saturday.
The Trojans (11-0, 7-0 Pac-10) extended their winning streak to
20 games - the second-longest in school history - with a 41-10
rout of Notre Dame last week.
In a Heisman Trophy-worthy performance, quarterback Matt Leinart
threw for a career-high 400 yards and matched a school record
with five touchdown passes for the Trojans, who set a school
record with their 21st straight home win.
USC has a comfortable lead atop the Bowl Championship Series
standings and merely needs to finish in the top two when the
final poll is released Sunday to earn a berth in the title game
in Miami on January 4.
UCLA (6-4, 4-3) should be well-rested, having not played since a
34-26 victory at Oregon on November 13.
Freshman Chris Markey, getting extra reps due to an ankle injury
sustained by Maurice Drew the previous week in a loss to
Washington State, ran for 131 yards and had five catches for 84
yards for the Bruins, who became bowl eligible with the win.
The Trojans have won a five straight games over the Bruins -
their longest winning streak in the series.
Last year, USC jumped out to a 30-0 lead en route to a 47-22
victory. The Trojans scored on their first four possessions.