No. 1 Trojans Stave Off Upstart Bears To Remain Undefeated
Oct. 9, 2004
By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California could only stop Aaron Rodgers andCalifornia when it counted most.
The top-ranked Trojans held the seventh-ranked Golden Bears out of the endzone after a first-and-goal with less than two minutes left and held on for a23-17 victory Saturday.
Before the final four plays, Rodgers was 29-for-31 for 267 yards and atouchdown.
But after Rodgers got Cal to first-and-goal at the 9 with just under twominutes left, the Trojans got a sack and forced three incomplete passes.Rodgers' final throw came with pressure coming up the middle and zipped by adiving Geoff McArthur in the end zone, sending most of the more than 90,000 atthe Los Angeles Coliseum into a frenzy and the Bears home with a hard-foughtloss.
Southern California (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) extended its winning streak to 14games and avenged its only loss in the last 26. The Bears' 34-31triple-overtime victory last season kept the Trojans from claiming anundisputed national title.
Matt Leinart tossed two touchdown passes for the Trojans, who had only twopossessions in the fourth quarter - both times going three-and-out.
Rodgers tied an NCAA record by completing his first 23 passes for the Bears(3-1, 1-1).