Stanford Falls To No. 10 USC 49-17
Nov 9, 2002
Stanford, Calif. - Carson Palmer threw four touchdown passes to break a school career record and lead 10th-ranked Southern California to a 49-17 victory over Stanford on Saturday.
Palmer threw two scoring passes to Keary Colbert, one to Mike Williams and another to Alex Holmes to give Palmer 61 career TD passes, breaking the mark of 58 set by Rob Johnson. Palmer has thrown 13 TD passes in his past three games.
Palmer completed 22-of-32 passes for 317 yards, with eight of his completions to Williams for 94 yards. Williams broke the Pac-10 freshman record for receptions in a season with 58, eclipsing the mark of 55 set by Washington's Reggie Williams last year.
USC had lost three straight to Stanford (2-7, 1-5) by a combined 11 points, but the Trojans were determined to keep their surge going following the team's bye week. In October, USC beat California and Washington at home, then won at Oregon. The Trojans' only loss was by three points in overtime at Washington State.
Matter completed all 14 of his passes in the first half, but his team only managed just 10 points, despite controlling the ball for nearly 21 of the 30 minutes.
Matter completed his first pass of the third quarter before throwing an interception midway through the period. His short pass was deflected and caught by defensive end Kenechi Udeze. Two plays later, Palmer connected with Holmes for a 22-yard score that gave the Trojans a 35-10 lead.
Matter finished 23-for-35 for 165 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
The Cardinal put pressure on Palmer on USC's first offensive series and forced the Trojans to punt, but then the problems started for Stanford.
Tom Malone's punt hit the foot of Stanford's T.J. Rushing, and USC's Justin Wyatt recovered at the 17. Palmer hit Colbert on the next play for the game's first score. Colbert later had a 13-yard scoring catch.
After Stanford tied it on Matter's 6-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Wells in the first quarter, USC took advantage of two Cardinal penalties to regain the lead. Leigh Torrance's pass interference on third down prolonged the Trojans' drive, and Stanford was flagged for having too many players on the field.
Palmer got USC in scoring position with a 27-yard pass to Holmes beforehitting Williams for an 8-yard score.
Justin Fargas added a 7-yard TD run midway through the second quarter tomake it 21-10.
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer