LOS ANGELES (AP) -- There was little drama in the first game
pitting longtime friends Pete Carroll and Walt Harris against each
other as head coaches.
No. 1 Southern California saw to that.
USC scored on each of its seven first-half possessions to take
an insurmountable lead, and Carroll's Trojans went on to beat
Stanford 51-21 Saturday night.
Matt Leinart passed for 259 yards and four touchdowns, Reggie
Bush rushed for 113 yards and another score, and the Trojans (9-0,
6-0 Pac-10) had no trouble extending their conference-record
winning streak to 31 games.
USC, shooting for an unprecedented third straight national
championship, also has a 25-game winning streak at home and a
21-game streak against conference opponents. The Trojans' last loss
at the Coliseum was a 21-16 setback to Stanford on Sept. 29, 2001 --
Carroll's fourth game as their coach.
The victory before a crowd of 90,212 boosted USC into undisputed
possession of first place in the Pac-10. No. 7 UCLA lost at Arizona
52-14 earlier in the day to fall into a second-place tie with No.
Leinart completed 20 of 25 passes for 245 yards and four
touchdowns in the first half, and wound up going 22-of-28 with no
interceptions. He played just one series in the second half before
being relieved by John David Booty, who went 7-of-10 for 86 yards.
LenDale White gained 60 yards on 13 carries, and Dwayne Jarrett
caught eight passes for 101 yards for the Trojans.
Leinart threw a 16-yard scoring pass to White in the first
quarter, and 19-yarders to Jarrett and Fred Davis and a 1-yarder to
Jimmy Miller in the second period in leading USC to a 44-7 halftime
The 44 points were the most scored by the Trojans in a half
since they tallied 49 in the second half of a 55-24 victory over
Notre Dame in 1974. USC has scored 50 or more points a
school-record five times this season including each of its last
The Trojans gained 395 yards in the first half and 529 overall.
They entered as the national leader in scoring (49.75-point
average) and total offense (601.63-yard average).
Carroll was one of the first players Harris recruited as a young
assistant at the University of Pacific in the early 1970s. The two
coached together with the New York Jets from 1992-94, with both
being assistants the first two seasons and Carroll the head coach
and Harris an assistant the third year.
Carroll is in his fifth year at USC; Harris his first at
Stanford (4-4, 3-3) hadn't committed any turnovers in their
previous four games. But the Trojans forced five including three in
the first half, setting up two touchdowns and a 21-yard field goal
by Mario Danelo.
Trent Edwards completed 21 of 35 passes for 245 yards and one
touchdown with three interceptions. Justin McCullum caught nine
passes for 138 yards and one TD.
Edwards had thrown 113 passes without an interception before
Thomas Williams picked off a pass in the first quarter. Frostee
Rucker and William Buchanon also had interceptions for the Trojans.
USC took a 14-0 lead in the first four minutes. White scored on
a 2-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive following the opening kickoff,
and Bush, who carried 12 times, ran 42 yards for a TD one play
after Lawrence Jackson recovered a fumbled lateral by Gerren
That was just the beginning.
USC gained 216 yards in the first period to 11 for the Cardinal,
who didn't get a first down until the first play of the second
quarter. It was 37-0 before Edwards threw a 14-yard scoring pass to
McCullum with 6:23 left before halftime.
Stanford's Jason Evans scored on a 1-yard run with 22 seconds
left in the third quarter to make it 44-14. USC's Brandon Hancock
scored on an 8-yard run with 6:44 remaining, and Gerald
Commissiong's 1-yard TD run with 23 seconds left completed the
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Co. started doing their thing, which was early.
Gameball goes to... Leinart, who passed for 259 yards and four touchdowns against the Cardinal.
Stat of the game... 50: The Trojans have scored 50 or more points a school-record five times this season.