7:00 PM ET, September 24, 2005
Autzen Stadium, EUGENE, OR
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Easily shaking off a first-half Oregon threat, top-ranked USC did what it does best: Score.
The 24th-ranked Ducks built an early 13-0 lead but the Trojans dominated the rest of the way Saturday for a 45-13 victory, their 25th straight.
Southern California (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) has outscored its opponents 178-47 this season.
Matt Leinart threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns for the two-time defending national champions. The Heisman Trophy winner, completing 75 percent of his passes going into the game, didn't even make half of his attempts (12 of 25) in the first half against the Ducks, but he recovered to finish 23-of-39 with an interception.
"We know you can't win a game in the first three quarters," he said. "It's how you finish."
Reggie Bush caught a scoring pass and ran for another for USC, which has been No. 1 for a record 22-straight AP polls. He finished with 20 carries for 122 yards, and three catches for 43 yards.
Dewayne Jarrett added eight catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. LenDale White ran for 111 yards and two scores as the USC offense continued to look unstoppable after a few early gaffes.
"We were slowly rolling and slowly rolling and once we got the train moving there was no stopping it," Bush said.
Kellen Clemens made 15 of 30 passes for 168 yards and one TD for Oregon (3-1, 0-1). In 155 attempts this season, he has yet to throw an interception.
Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti said the second half took its toll on Clemens.
"Kellen got a little dinged. He answered our questions all right on the sideline, but I don't think he was the guy we've had out there playing for us," Bellotti said. "He was a little out of it there in the third quarter."
Bush said the rest of the Ducks seemed run down, too.
"They were getting tired, definitely, toward the end of the game," he said. "I think we really out-prepared them and out-conditioned them."
Paul Martinez kicked at 37-yard field goal to put the Ducks ahead 3-0 early in the game, thrilling the record Autzen Stadium crowd of 59,129.
On USC's subsequent possession, Leinart's pass intended for Jarrett was intercepted by Aaron Gipson in the end zone and returned 38 yards. Oregon capitalized on the turnover with Clemens' 36-yard touchdown pass Demetrius Williams.
Martinez added a 48-yarder to make it 13-0 before the Trojans got going with Leinart's 19-yard scoring pass to Bush. Mario Danelo kicked a 36-yard field goal to narrow it to 13-10 at halftime.
The last time USC played in Oregon, the Trojans fell behind 13-0 to Oregon State before coming away with a 28-20 win last season.
This time the Trojans didn't just get by, they blew away the Ducks.
Southern California took over early in the second half with Leinart's 11-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett. Oregon's offense and defense both stalled, and the Trojans scored again White's 1-yard plow into the end zone.
Despite two stubborn Oregon defenders, Jarrett pulled down a 6-yard pass from Leinart in the end zone to make it 31-13. Jarrett now has 20 touchdowns in 16 games.
Oregon appeared to score on Cameron Colvin's 6-yard run early in the fourth quarter. But the play was called back when officials penalized the Ducks for Terrell Jackson's below-the knees block, even though it appeared to occur after Colvin crossed the goal line.
The crowd that hadn't begun to stream out of the stadium booed when Bush scored on an 11-yard run to give the Trojans a 38-13 lead with 8:12 to go. White ran in a 2-yarder for the final margin.
"History has shown we're a really good second-half football team and particularly strong in the fourth quarter," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "We count on that."
Many expected the Ducks would be able to put up more points because of two key injuries on the Southern California defense. Linebacker and co-captain Dallas Sartz dislocated his shoulder against Arkansas, and cornerback Terrell Thomas is probably sidelined for the remainder of the season with torn knee ligaments.
Instead the Trojans tossed a shutout in the second half.
"A lot of people thought we were going to come into this game scared. Early on, we made plays. But in the second half, it was like the air went out of our balloon," Gipson said.
The two teams last met in 2002, when the No. 15 Trojans visited the No. 14 Ducks at Autzen.
USC won it 44-33 led then by Carson Palmer, who threw for a career-best 448 yards, and a school record-tying five touchdowns. Freshman receiver Mike Williams caught 13 passes for 226 yards and two scores.
Since that game the Trojans are 32-1. The Ducks are 17-16.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... the Trojans took the field in the second half at Autzen Stadium with something to prove.
Gameball goes to... USC's Matt Leinart, who threw for 315 yards and 3 TDs and led the Trojans to 35 unanswered points after halftime.
Stat of the game... 25: And the beat goes on for the Trojans, who have won 25 straight games.
The Fan Pick
94.8% of College Pick'em players picked USC to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||10-14||5-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-1|
|FG||12:07||PAUL MARTINEZ 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 20 yards.
|TD||8:24||DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS 36 YD PASS FROM KELLEN CLEMENS (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 62 yards.
|FG||9:00||PAUL MARTINEZ 48 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 11 yards.
|TD||5:08||REGGIE BUSH 19 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 70 yards.
|FG||0:07||MARIO DANELO 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 36 yards.
|TD||13:14||DWAYNE JARRETT 11 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||7:03||LENDALE WHITE 1 YD RUN (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||0:10||DWAYNE JARRETT 6 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||8:12||REGGIE BUSH 11 YD RUN (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 84 yards.
|TD||4:01||LENDALE WHITE 2 YD RUN (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 35 yards.