Leinart Leads Trojans Past Huskies
Oct. 22, 2005
SEATTLE (AP) - One week after willing itself through an epic, last-play win at Notre Dame, top-ranked Southern California got back to normal Saturday.
Matt Leinart completed 20 of 26 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns, and Reggie Bush returned a punt 84 yards for another score to lead the Trojans to their 29th straight win, 51-24 over Washington.
One week after connecting for 61 yards on the revitalizing, fourth-down pass that led to victory over the Irish, Leinart and Dwayne Jarrett combined for three touchdowns for the second time this season. Jarrett caught seven passes for 95 yards and the three scores.
Bush's electric, spinning punt return and two Washington turnovers - two more than the undermanned Huskies (1-6, 0-4) could afford - propelled USC (7-0, 4-0 Pac-10) to a 37-point first half.
The Trojans' school-record road winning streak is at 14. They won a record-tying 19th consecutive conference game.
Leinart and Jarrett's first two scores were almost effortless pitches-and-catches. The third was astounding.
Nine minutes into the third quarter, Jarrett leaped over Washington cornerback Roy Lewis in the back corner of the end zone. Then, the super sophomore snared Leinart's lofted pass with his right hand, cradled the ball inside his elbow and simultaneously tapped his right toe tips just inside the back boundary line.
Jarrett now has 25 touchdown receptions in 20 collegiate games.
Washington actually stayed with college football's top team through the Huskies' highest-scoring opening quarter of the season. Marlon Wood's 92-yard kickoff return to the USC 8 helped Washington take a 3-0 lead 2:23 into the game. When sophomore Chris Chambers, with USC's Justin Wyatt nearly chest-to-chest with him, leaped to grab a 9-yard, Isaiah Stanback pass in the end zone with 1:28 left in the opening quarter, Washington actually led 10-7.
But then reality set in.
The Trojans scored four successive touchdowns. The first two came on three offensive plays. USC's mammoth offensive line - average size: 6-foot-4 1/2, 312 pounds - gave Leinart enough time to wait for Jarrett to make a double move into the middle of the field past two Huskies for a 24-yard score.
Then Bush took over. The nation's leader in all-purpose yards bowled through Washington safety Dashon Goldson for a 6-yard touchdown run and a 20-10 Trojans lead 1:14 into the second quarter. Then Bush spun out of a pack of six Huskies, stepped over another and outran the rest for an 84-yard punt return score and a 27-10 USC lead.
Leinart completed 14 of 17 throws in the first half for 145 yards. Three of USC's scoring drives lasted 31 seconds or less.