Stanford Stumbles Against No. 9 USC

Oct. 11, 2003

By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Matt Leinart threw three scoring passes to Mike Williams as No. 9 Southern California built a big early lead and went on to a 44-21victory over Stanford on Saturday night.

Freshman LenDale White ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Trojans (5-1, 2-1Pac-10) passed and ran virtually at will in the first half to build a 41-14lead over the Cardinal (2-2, 0-2).

Leinart and Williams hooked up on scoring passes of 40, 18 and 3 yards, andWhite ran for touchdowns of 6 and 3 yards.

The Trojans outgained the Cardinal 413 yards to 91 in the first half, thenmostly kept the ball on the ground in the second.

John David Booty, an 18-year-old freshman quarterback who skipped his seniorseason of high school in Shreveport, La., to come to USC, made his collegedebut early in the fourth quarter. Booty finished 1-of-3 for 13 yards.

Leinart, picking the Stanford secondary apart, finished 18-of-27 for 260yards and the three touchdowns. Williams had seven catches for 129 yards, allin the first half. White carried 23 times for 108 yards.

Southern California's defense was just as impressive. Kenechi Udeze led theway with three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Williams' touchdowns came on a variety of receptions. On the 40-yard scoringplay, he sprinted down on a post pattern, sliced in front of a pair ofdefenders, caught the ball in stride and headed untouched to the end zone togive USC a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Just 2:29 later, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Williams caught a pass between twodefenders in the end zone, with Leinart drilling the ball to him. With 23seconds left in the half, Williams feinted outside, cut across the middle andhad a half-step on the defender as Leinart again threw right on target for the3-yard TD.

By halftime, Leinart was 16-of-23 for 249 yards, with Williams accountingfor 129 of those yards. Keary Colbert had five receptions for 87 yards.

White scored the Trojans' first touchdown on a tackle-breaking 6-yard runlate in the first quarter. Earlier, Ryan Killeen kicked the first of his threefield goals.

After falling behind 27-0, the Cardinal scored two touchdowns during a10-second span five minutes into the second quarter. David Marrero ran 15 yardsto score on a drive started by Nick Sebes' 51-yard kickoff return and helped bya personal foul penalty against USC on the play before Marrero's touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, Stanford's Oshiomogho Atogwe ripped the ball out ofthe grasp of USC returner Marcell Allmond and ran 22 yards to score.

The Trojans pulled away again on White's 3-yard TD run and Leinart's shortscoring pass to Williams.

The Trojans' win was their second lopsided victory in a row over Stanford ina series that dates to 1905. Carson Palmer, last year's Heisman Trophy winner,threw for four touchdowns in a 49-17 win at Palo Alto last fall. Williams hadone touchdown catch and Colbert had two.

Stanford scored its final TD with 22 seconds left in the game.

USC holds a 55-24-3 edge in the series.

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