USC Blows Out UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. - Carson Palmer's accurate passing and UCLA'sdevastating mistakes helped No. 7 Southern California hand rival UCLA acrushing defeat.
Palmer threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns, and the Trojans scored inthe game's first 16 seconds and on their first three possessions in a 52-21rout of the 25th-ranked Bruins on Saturday.
The 52 points were the most scored by either team in the series since USCdefeated UCLA 52-0 in 1930 - the second meeting between the teams. The yearbefore that, the Trojans beat the Bruins 76-0.
USC got two touchdowns and a field goal following fumble recoveries andscored another TD after a bad snap from center in a punting situation resultedin a 34-yard UCLA loss.
UCLA committed five turnovers, and that doesn't include the errant centersnap. The Bruins had only 14 turnovers in their first 10 games.
The win was the sixth straight for the Trojans (9-2, 7-1 Pac-10) and theirfourth in a row over the Bruins after UCLA had won a record eight straight inthe rivalry.
The Bruins (7-4, 4-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Palmer, who completed his first seven passes for 128 yards, includingtouchdown throws of 34 yards to Kareem Kelly and 51 yards to Keary Colbert, was19-of-32 without being intercepted.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound fifth-year senior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., haspassed for 2,251 yards and 23 touchdowns with five interceptions in USC's lastseven games.
Palmer, who came in needing 76 yards to become the leading passer in Pac-10history, surpassed the record of 10,911 yards set by Stanford's Steve Stenstromfrom 1991-94 less than five minutes into the game - on his TD pass to Colbert.
Palmer, who also holds the career Pac-10 records for attempts andcompletions, finished the day with 3,214 passing yards this year and 11,090 inhis career.
The Trojans have one regular-season game left - against No. 8 Notre Damenext Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Bruins also have one game remaining - against No. 3 Washington on Dec. 7at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA's Drew Olson completed 8 of 17 passes for 121 yards with oneinterception, and fellow freshman Matt Moore was 7-of-11 for 64 yards and onetouchdown.
Tyler Ebell, who gained more than 100 yards in each of the Bruins' previoussix games, was held to 56 yards on 12 carries. USC hasn't allowed a player torush for 100 yards this year.
The Palmer-to-Kelly touchdown pass came on the first scrimmage play - afterTab Perry fumbled the opening kickoff and Grant Mattos recovered.
Palmer threw his TD pass to Colbert less than five minutes later to cap an85-yard, five-play drive.
UCLA moved to the Trojans 43-yard line before being forced to punt, butRusty Williams' snap sailed over Nate Fikse's head. Fikse ran the ball down butcouldn't get the punt away.
Palmer ran 22 yards before Justin Fargas scored on a 1-yard plunge to makeit 21-0 after only 9:18 of play.
The Bruins moved 89 yards on 10 plays early in the second quarter, scoringon a 7-yard run by Manuel White.
But Palmer threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Malaefou MacKenzie six playsafter Moore mishandled the snap from center, and Mike Patterson recovered atthe UCLA 14, making it 28-7 at halftime.
Colbert ran 34 yards for a touchdown, and Palmer threw a 3-yard scoring passto Gregg Guenther in the third quarter.
Ryan Killeen kicked a 27-yard field goal three plays after Pattersonrecovered a fumble by Olson, and Hershel Dennis scored on a 38-yard run in thefinal period to make it 52-7.
Moore threw a 10-yard TD pass to White, and John Sciarra threw a 14-yarderto Marcedes Lewis in the final three minutes for UCLA.
The 72nd game between the teams was played before a crowd of 91,084 at theRose Bowl. USC leads the series 38-27-7.
By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer
TOMORROW | 5:30pm PTLive