No. 1 Trojans Too Much For Cougars
Sept. 22, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) - After keeping him under wraps for the season's first two games, No. 1 Southern California turned quarterback John David Booty loose Saturday night.
The Trojans made a primary receiver of tight end Fred Davis as well.
Booty completed 28 of 35 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns before coming out early in the fourth quarter, and the Trojans opened their Pac-10 season by beating Washington State 47-14 for their 35th consecutive victory at home.
USC (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) is attempting to win at least a share of the conference championship for an unprecedented sixth straight season.
Booty, who passed for 350 yards previously this season, threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns to Davis in the first half, when the Trojans took a 27-7 lead. The outmanned Cougars (2-2, 0-1) didn't have a first down for six straight possessions after their opening drive.
Davis, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior who caught five passes for 87 yards in the first two games, had nine receptions for 124 yards against the Cougars, both career bests.
Several of Booty's completions came on quick passes to his wideouts, and Davis was open over the middle time after time.
The Trojans are 59-8-4 against Washington State, including 37-4-2 at the Los Angeles Coliseum where a crowd of 86,876 watched their latest triumph.
As successful as the Trojans have been in this series, the Cougars gave them all they could handle last year before losing 28-22. The game ended with Taylor Mays intercepting Alex Brink's pass at the USC 4-yard line.
It was a much different story this time, with Brink coming out early in the fourth quarter after completing 17 of 33 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Chauncey Washington rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries and Stafon Johnson and freshman Joe McKnight each gained 48 yards for the Trojans, who had 509 yards of total offense. The Cougars were held to 247 yards.
Dwight Tardy, who averaged 101 yards rushing in WSU's first three games, was held to 27 yards on 11 carries. Michael Bumpus and Brandon Gibson, the Cougars' standout wide receivers, made just three receptions each.
Booty completed 10 passes for 79 yards including a 6-yarder to Davis on fourth-and-2 that capped an 83-yard, 13-play drive following the opening kickoff.
Brink's 44-yard pass to Gibson on third-and-18 from the Cougars' 8-yard line triggered an 84-yard, 15-play drive that tied the game. The touchdown came on a 3-yard pass from Brink to Jed Collins.
The Cougars picked up five first downs on their opening possession. They wouldn't get No. 6 until the third quarter.
Desmond Reed returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the WSU 42, and the Trojans needed only seven plays to take a 14-7 lead on Stanley Havili's 1-yard run.
David Buehler kicked a 23-yard field goal on USC's next possession, and the Trojans then turned two WSU mistakes into 10 more points for their 20-point halftime lead.
First, punter Darryl Blunt mishandled the snap from center, and was tackled at the Cougars' 20. Booty threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Davis three plays later.
Then Brink, under heavy pressure, threw into a crowd and Kyle Moore picked it off, setting up a 29-yard field goal by Buehler.
The Trojans scored twice in the third quarter on a 7-yard run by Washington and a 4-yard pass from Booty to Allen Bradford. In-between, Brink threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Bumpus.
Booty's 20-yard pass to Vidal Hazelton with 11:28 remaining completed the scoring. That turned out to be Booty's final play of the game.