USC Football Tops Oregon State, 16-13
Nov 3, 2001
By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - On an afternoon when Carson Palmer spent much of his timetrying to scurry away from Oregon State's pass rush, the Southern Californiaquarterback found a bit of daylight when it really counted.
Already sacked six times, Palmer scooted around left end to score on a4-yard bootleg and give the Trojans a 16-13 overtime victory over Oregon Stateon Saturday.
'It was a great call because they were converging on the run with thatend,' Palmer said. 'I knew there was going to be somebody out there, but it'smy job to beat that one guy.'
He did, going 1-on-1 with cornerback Terrell Roberts, slipping out of hisgrasp, then diving just inside the goal-line pylon as linebacker Nick Barnettslammed into him.
'We got it down there, then Carson made the play,' USC coach Pete Carrollsaid of the second-down run.
Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson wasn't surprised.
'It was bootleg all the way,' Erickson said. 'We were in position for it.Our cornerback came up to make the play, but Carson Palmer broke the tackle.'
The victory gave USC (4-5, 3-3 Pac-10) its first two-game winning streaksince the third game of last season. The Beavers, 11-1 last year and ranked11th in the national preseason poll this year, slipped to 3-5 and 2-4.
Palmer's touchdown came after Ryan Cesca kicked a 29-yard field goal on theBeavers' overtime possession. Cesca had missed twice from 35 yards in thefourth quarter, the second time with 33 seconds left in regulation, to keep thegame tied at 10.
'This is a very disappointing loss,' Erickson said. 'We felt we hadopportunities in the second half, but our kicking game let us down, with theblocked punt and the missed field goals.'
He still defended Cesca, saying, 'Those things happen. No one feels worseright now than he does.'
Cesca, who hit a 24-yarder in the second quarter, missed from 35 with 6:17left in regulation, that kick a knuckleball that wobbled wide left. He was wideright on his attempt in the waning seconds of regulation.
Both teams' defenses were in control most of the game.
Oregon State's Noah Happe made four tackles for loss, with three sacks, andSeigler had 10 solo tackles. Mike Pollard had 11 tackles for USC, and TroyPolamalu made 10 solo stops and blocked a punt in the end zone.
Palmer completed 21 of 28 passes for 171 yards while the Trojans' runninggame netted only 33 yards.
Oregon State's Jonathan Smith was 20-of-30 for 203 yards. Steven Jackson, afreshman reserve tailback, gained 119 yards on 16 carries and scored on a4-yard reception. Starter Ken Simonton added 96 yards on 19 carries.
Oregon State, trailing since early in the first quarter, evened it 10-10 onSmith's touchdown pass to Jackson with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
David Davis' 30-yard field goal had given USC a 10-3 lead earlier in thequarter.
Polamalu helped stake USC to a quick lead when he blocked Carl Tobey's punton Oregon State's first possession of the game. With fourth-and-15 at theBeavers 9, Tobey had to jump to field the high snap, and Polamalu broke throughfor a clean block.
The ball bounced directly to USC teammate Steve Stevenson, who was standingin the end zone, for the TD.
Oregon State cut the lead to 7-3 midway through the second quarter onCesca's field goal.
The Trojans ran their winning streak at the Coliseum to 18 against theBeavers, who last beat USC in Los Angeles in 1960. Oregon State defeated theTrojans 31-21 at Corvallis last year, its first win over USC in 33 years. TheTrojans lead the series 54-8-4.