Scores

Final

Oregon State 28

(7-5, 4-4 Pac-12)

(1) USC 52

(11-1, 7-1 Pac-12)

4:30 PM ET, December 6, 2003

Los Angeles Coliseum, LOS ANGELES, CA

1 2 3 4 T
ORST 7 7 7 728
#1USC 14 14 21 352

Leinart throws five TD passes

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Having made their points on the field, the USC Trojans stated their case for a trip to New Orleans and a shot at the national title.

"We deserve to go. We're 11-1 and we've been playing well the last couple of months. I think we've done as much as we can do. But it's not in our hands," Matt Leinart said Saturday after throwing for five touchdowns in the second-ranked Trojans' 52-28 victory over Oregon State.

The Trojans (11-1, 7-1 Pac-10) find out Sunday whether they go to the Sugar Bowl for the national title showdown, or stay home to play in the Rose Bowl. The national championship picture was thrown into chaos Saturday night, when top-ranked Oklahoma lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship and No. 3 LSU beat Georgia in the Southeastern Conference title game.

Southern Cal was No. 2 behind Oklahoma in the BCS rankings heading into the Trojans' regular-season finale against Oregon State. The top two teams in the final BCS standings will meet in New Orleans on Jan. 4 for the national championship.

"We have everything you want for a national championship game," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "You have a big, exciting offense and a tough defense."

Leinart believes the Trojans are in a no-lose situation.

"We get to go to the Rose Bowl; that's the worst that could happen to us," the quarterback said.

Sugar Bowl chairman John Busenlener won't have any say in who plays in the game, but he obviously wouldn't mind having the high-scoring Trojans there.

"They're a team with a lot of talent," said Busenlener, at the Coliseum to watch the win over Oregon State. "I'm really impressed with their receivers, and their balanced offense, defense, and tonight, special teams.

"We had a lot of people asking us today about hotel reservations and places to eat in New Orleans."

Oregon State (7-5, 4-4) will play New Mexico in the Dec. 24 Las Vegas Bowl.

The Trojans' depth and versatility on both sides of the ball were more than the Beavers could handle.

"I do believe USC belongs in the Sugar Bowl," said Oregon State coach Mike Riley, a former Trojans' assistant. "I'd love to see them in it."

USC scored 40 or more points for the seventh game in a row and finished the regular season with a Pac-10 record 506 points. Leinart established a conference single-season mark with 35 touchdown passes.

Mike Williams had two touchdowns catches, one a leaping, one-handed grab in the back of the end zone. He also got a hand on an Oregon State field-goal try that fell short, and made a crushing block on a run by Reggie Bush.

Bush, a freshman, also caught two touchdown passes. Steve Smith, another freshman, had 136 yards on five catches, including a 73-yard touchdown.

Defensively, Will Poole made two interceptions, returning one 67 yards for a touchdown, and Lofa Tatupu had USC's other two interceptions.

Leinart went 22-of-38 for 278 yards and threw scoring passes of 14, 30, 9, 3 and 73 yards.

In the first quarter, he threw his first interception in two months, ending a Pac-10 record streak of 212 passes without being picked off. He threw another interception in the third quarter, which Brandon Browner returned 31 yards for a touchdown.

A redshirt sophomore who hadn't thrown a collegiate pass until this fall, Leinart finished the regular season with 3,229 yards passing, with 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Carson Palmer threw for 3,639 yards and 35 TDs, with 10 interceptions last season when he won the Heisman.

Derek Anderson completed 34 of 60 for 485 yards and two touchdowns, but threw four interceptions for the mistake-prone Beavers. Mike Hass had eight receptions for 208 yards.

Steven Jackson, averaging a conference-high 121.3 yards rushing per game, was held to 62 yards on 22 carries.

The Trojans led 28-14 at halftime, with the Beavers closing the gap on Anderson's 22-yard scoring pass to Tim Euhus six seconds before halftime to cap an 80-yard drive that took only 1:02.

Oregon State got no closer in the second half.

Leinart and Williams accounted for two of the Trojans' first-half touchdowns. Williams made his leaping catch on a 9-yard pass for a 28-7 lead with 1:08 left in the second quarter.

In the first half, the Beavers committed three turnovers, had two field goals and a punt blocked in the first half.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ORST
USC
1st Downs2617
Total Yards543388
Passing485278
Rushing58110
Penalties9-1015-49
3rd Down Conversions11-218-15
4th Down Conversions2-40-1
Turnovers52
Possession35:2524:35

Passing Leaders

Oregon StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Anderson34/604858.124-
USCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Leinart22/382787.352-

Rushing Leaders

Oregon StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson22622.8111
Wright Jr.7213.006
USCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bush67111.8032
White10343.4113

Receiving Leaders

Oregon StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Newson1010410.4125
Hass820826.0090
USCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams7598.4214
Smith513627.2173

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERORSTUSC
TD13:48STEVEN JACKSON 1 YD RUN (KIRK YLINIEMI KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 87 yards.
70
TD11:14MIKE WILLIAMS 14 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.
77
TD10:54REGGIE BUSH 30 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 30 yards.
714
SECOND QUARTERORSTUSC
TD4:58WILL POOLE 67 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)721
TD1:08MIKE WILLIAMS 9 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 26 yards.
728
TD0:06TIM EUHUS 22 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON (KIRK YLINIEMI KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
1428
THIRD QUARTERORSTUSC
TD11:12REGGIE BUSH 3 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 65 yards.
1435
TD8:47BRANDON BROWNER 31 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (KIRK YLINIEMI KICK)2135
TD7:49STEVE SMITH 73 YD PASS FROM MATT LEINART (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 76 yards.
2142
TD1:39LENDALE WHITE 1 YD RUN (RYAN KILLEEN KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 38 yards.
2149
FOURTH QUARTERORSTUSC
FG6:36RYAN KILLEEN 29 YD FG
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yards.
2152
TD1:31JAMES NEWSON 3 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON (KIRK YLINIEMI KICK)
Drive info: 13 plays, 77 yards.
2852