Trojans Overcome Foggy Start Against Oregon State
Nov. 6, 2004
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Matt Leinart threw two touchdown passes to DominiqueByrd and top-ranked Southern California shook off the fog and an early OregonState threat to beat the Beavers 28-20 Saturday night.
Reggie Bush's 65-yard punt return for a touchdown and LenDale White's 5-yardscoring run in the fourth quarter assured the victory for the defendingnational champion Trojans (9-0, 6-0 Pacific-10). Southern California has won 18consecutive games overall, 13 in a row in the Pac-10 and 10 straight on theroad.
As fog rolled into Reser Stadium, the Beavers (4-5, 3-3) jumped out to asurprising 13-0 lead. But the mighty Trojans adjusted to the adverse conditionsand all but took over in the second half to snap a three-game Oregon Statewinning streak.
Leinart completed 17 of 31 passes for 205 yards. He was intercepted once.
Derek Anderson was 22-of-51 for 330 yards and two touchdowns for theBeavers, who could never get a running game started and finished with just 34yards rushing.
It started well for Oregon State. Alexis Serna's first-quarter field goalsfrom 25 and 33 yards were sure despite the obvious visual trouble caused by thefog - and the chilly 43-degree temperature at game time.
Joe Newton fumbled a long pass when he was forced down by Trojans safetyDarnell Bing, but the ball was scooped up by Beavers receiver Mike Hass, whogot it down to the Southern Cal 8.
A play later, Marcel Love caught Anderson's 8-yard scoring pass to make it13-0 for Oregon State.
Leinart narrowed it to 13-7 with a perfectly placed 18-yard scoring pass toDominique Byrd, who was well-covered by cornerback Brandon Browner.
When Byrd ran a 25-yard scoring pass from Leinart into the end zone early inthe third quarter, he raised the ball to Southern Cal's fan section.
Sophomore sensation Reggie Bush, who came into game ranked sixth in thenation in all-purpose yards, was virtually untouched on his punt return for atouchdown to make it 21-13 for the Trojans.
Bush finished with 11 carries for 88 yards and two catches for 6 yards.
After White's touchdown made it 28-13, Oregon State's Josh Hawkins caught a36-yard scoring pass from Anderson for the final margin.
The Trojans were the latest in a string of ranked team that Oregon State hasfaced this season. The Beavers opened on the road against then-No. 3 LSU, thedefending co-national champion. They've also faced Boise State, Arizona Stateand California.
Oregon State is the only team in the country with both reigning BCS championLSU and AP champion Southern Cal on its schedule.
The Beavers, who have not defeated a top-ranked team since 1967 - the famousGiant Killers who downed the O.J. Simpson-led Trojans 3-0.