No. 1 USC Blasts Stanford 51-21
Nov. 5, 2005
LOS ANGELES (AP) - There was little drama in the first game pitting longtime friends Pete Carroll and Walt Harris against each other as head coaches.
No. 1 Southern California saw to that.
USC scored on each of its seven first-half possessions to take an insurmountable lead, and Carroll's Trojans went on to beat Stanford 51-21 Saturday night.
Matt Leinart passed for 259 yards and four touchdowns, Reggie Bush rushed for 113 yards and another score, and the Trojans (9-0, 6-0 Pac-10) had no trouble extending their conference-record winning streak to 31 games.
USC, shooting for an unprecedented third straight national championship, also has a 25-game winning streak at home and a 21-game streak against conference opponents. The Trojans' last loss at the Coliseum was a 21-16 setback to Stanford on Sept. 29, 2001 - Carroll's fourth game as their coach.
The victory before a crowd of 90,212 boosted USC into undisputed possession of first place in the Pac-10. No. 7 UCLA lost at Arizona 52-14 earlier in the day to fall into a second-place tie with No. 15 Oregon.
Leinart completed 20 of 25 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, and wound up going 22-of-28 with no interceptions. He played just one series in the second half before being relieved by John David Booty, who went 7-of-10 for 86 yards.
LenDale White gained 60 yards on 13 carries, and Dwayne Jarrett caught eight passes for 101 yards for the Trojans.
Leinart threw a 16-yard scoring pass to White in the first quarter, and 19-yarders to Jarrett and Fred Davis and a 1-yarder to Jimmy Miller in the second period in leading USC to a 44-7 halftime lead.
The 44 points were the most scored by the Trojans in a half since they tallied 49 in the second half of a 55-24 victory over Notre Dame in 1974. USC has scored 50 or more points a school-record five times this season including each of its last three games.
The Trojans gained 395 yards in the first half and 529 overall. They entered as the national leader in scoring (49.75-point average) and total offense (601.63-yard average).
Carroll was one of the first players Harris recruited as a young assistant at the University of Pacific in the early 1970s. The two coached together with the New York Jets from 1992-94, with both being assistants the first two seasons and Carroll the head coach and Harris an assistant the third year.
Carroll is in his fifth year at USC; Harris his first at Stanford.
Stanford (4-4, 3-3) hadn't committed any turnovers in their previous four games. But the Trojans forced five including three in the first half, setting up two touchdowns and a 21-yard field goal by Mario Danelo.
Trent Edwards completed 21 of 35 passes for 245 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. Justin McCullum caught nine passes for 138 yards and one TD.
Edwards had thrown 113 passes without an interception before Thomas Williams picked off a pass in the first quarter. Frostee Rucker and William Buchanon also had interceptions for the Trojans.
USC took a 14-0 lead in the first four minutes. White scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive following the opening kickoff, and Bush, who carried 12 times, ran 42 yards for a TD one play after Lawrence Jackson recovered a fumbled lateral by Gerren Crochet.
That was just the beginning.
USC gained 216 yards in the first period to 11 for the Cardinal, who didn't get a first down until the first play of the second quarter. It was 37-0 before Edwards threw a 14-yard scoring pass to McCullum with 6:23 left before halftime.
Stanford's Jason Evans scored on a 1-yard run with 22 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 44-14. USC's Brandon Hancock scored on an 8-yard run with 6:44 remaining, and Gerald Commissiong's 1-yard TD run with 23 seconds left completed the scoring.