USC Blows Past Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. - Carson Palmer threw for 448 yards and matched a schoolrecord with five touchdown passes as No. 15 Southern California handed No. 14Oregon its second straight loss, 44-33 Saturday.
After an upset loss to Arizona State last Saturday, any aspirations Oregon(6-2, 2-2 Pac-10) had for the Rose Bowl are likely dashed.
However, Southern California (6-2, 4-1) stays in the conference title huntfor a trip to Pasadena. The Trojans snapped a four-game losing streak againstOregon.
Palmer's five touchdown passes tied Rodney Peete's mark in 1987 againstStanford. Palmer completed 31 of 42 attempts with one interception.
Freshman receiver Mike Williams caught 13 passes for 226 yards and twotouchdowns for the Trojans. It was his fifth straight game with a TD reception.
Oregon's Jason Fife, who came in completing 60.9 percent of his passes torank No. 2 nationally in passing efficiency, went 20-of-45 for 336 yards andtwo touchdowns. He was intercepted twice.
Oregon was hurt by its pass defense and offensive problems getting into theend zone. The Ducks had to settle for four field goals.
Ducks receiver Keenan Howry and Trojans wideout Kareem Kelly each set aPac-10 record with at least one reception in 43 straight games.
They broke the previous record of 42 games, set by Arizona's DennisNorthcutt from 1996-99.
Howry punctuated his record-breaking catch in the first quarter with a54-yard TD reception on the next play, giving Oregon a 10-7 lead. Howryfinished with seven catches for 147 yards and two scores.
USC went up 14-10 on Palmer's 35-yard touchdown pass to Williams with 5:08left in the first.
After Oregon answered with Jared Siegel's 41-yard field goal, Palmer put USCon the Oregon 5-yard line with a 42-yard pass to Keary Colbert.
But Palmer's next pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Oregonlinebacker David Moretti and intercepted in the end zone by Rasuli Webster.
Oregon went up 16-14 on the ensuing series with Siegel's 45-yard field goalto open the second quarter. Siegel added a 31-yarder to make it 19-14.
Oregon had success early by forcing turnovers. Haloti Ngata blocked RyanKilleen's 22-yard field-goal attempt before the end of the first half.
After the Trojans went up 20-19 to start the second half with Palmer's31-yard pass to Kelly, Oregon tackle Igor Olshansky blocked Killeen'sextra-point attempt.
It didn't matter. Southern California padded the lead with Justin Fargas'15-yard scoring run and Palmer's 15-yard TD pass to Williams before the closeof the third quarter. Palmer hit Malaefou MacKenzie with an 8-yard scoringstrike in the fourth.
Killeen added a 48-yard field goal to close out the scoring for the Trojans.But the Ducks weren't done - Terrence Whitehead scored on a 1-yard TD dash andHowry added a 31-yard scoring catch on a pass from Fife as the game wound down.
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer