Matt Leinart Named <i>The Sporting News</i> National Player Of The Week

Oct. 18, 2004

USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Leinart today was named The Sporting News National Player of the Week for his performance last Saturday in No. 1 USC's 45-7 win over then-undefeated and No. 15 Arizona State.

Leinart, a junior, threw four touchdown passes and ran for another--all in the first half. Overall, he completed 13 of 24 passes for 224 yards with no interceptions.

On the season, Leinart has completed 65% of his passes for 1,411 yards, with 14 touchdowns passing, 3 touchdowns running and just 3 interceptions. His pass efficiency rating is 157.40.

Despite the loss of All-American wide receiver Mike Williams and second-round NFL draft pick Keary Colbert from the Trojan offense and with a re-build offensive line, Leinart is statistically ahead of where he was through six games last season, when he ended up throwing 38 touchdown passes to lead USC to a share of the national championship.

In his 19-game USC career, Leinart has accounted for 55 touchdowns running and passing, with just 12 interceptions. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 19 games he has started for USC (and at least two touchdowns 17 other times), while guiding the Trojans to an 18-1 mark during that span. During USC's current 15-game win streak, he has 44 touchdown passes, 3 touchdown runs and just six interceptions.

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