PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Even top-ranked Southern California can take
a little while to warm up.
The defending national champion Trojans were shut out in the
opening quarter for the first time in nearly two years, then
overwhelmed Brigham Young 42-10 on Saturday night for their 13th
"We're not perfect. We're a young team. We're going to make
mistakes. We still put up 21 points in the first half with a bad
start," said Reggie Bush, who scored twice for the Trojans in his
first 100-yard rushing game. "It shows how powerful and dangerous
Did it ever.
Matt Leinart passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns and even
ran for one -- the first of his career. LenDale White had 110
rushing yards and a touchdown for Southern Cal (3-0). Bush had 14
carries for 124 yards, topping the 89 he ran for last season
against Notre Dame.
"He's so versatile. He can run and he can catch. Him and LenDel
are two very special players," Leinart, who completed 22 of 35
passes. "I was happy we were able to run the ball because they
have a stingy run defense."
It was a near-perfect night for Southern Cal offensive
coordinator Norm Chow, who spent 27 years as a BYU assistant before
leaving after 1999. The Trojans handed Chow the game ball after the
huge win in his first return to Provo.
"This was a really awesome opportunity for us to play and
dedicate a game to Norm," Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll said.
"It was a special concern of ours."
The Trojans outgained the Cougars 527-221, getting 291 yards on
50 rushes and holding BYU to 27 yards on the ground. Southern Cal
also had the ball almost 14 minutes longer than BYU and forced four
"It was great to see our guys bust out in the second quarter
and take advantage of some good opportunities," Carroll said. "I
love the way our offense played. We really thought we were going to
come in here and run the football tonight."
Southern Cal's mistakes and a handful of big plays by the BYU
defense kept the game competitive for a while. The Cougars,
however, could only stop the Trojans so many times and didn't get
nearly enough help from their offense.
"You can see why they're the No. 1 team in the nation. They
have so much team speed and made some big plays," said BYU coach
Gary Crowton, who praised his defense for keeping it as close as it
was through three quarters. "They played well at times. They wore
out at the end but the effort was there."
John Beck completed 18 of 34 passes for 194 yards, including a
69-yard touchdown to Todd Watkins to pull BYU to 21-10 in the third
quarter, but also had three interceptions.
Penalties, Leinart's first interception of the season and a
missed field goal helped combine to hold the Trojans scoreless in
the opening period for the first time since Nov. 30, 2002, against
Southern Cal's ineptitude gave most of the 63,467 something to
cheer about through the first quarter. BYU even held a brief lead
after Matt Payne's 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter,
then Southern Cal came alive.
The Trojans opened their next drive at the 40 when BYU was
called for offside on the kickoff, then Payne kicked one out of
bounds. Bush caught a dump pass over the middle from Leinart and
rounded the corner for a 21-yard touchdown.
After a BYU punt, Bush scored again on a 66-yard run that
started as just a dive up the middle. Bush bounced it to the right
and streaked down the Southern Cal sideline -- right past coach Pete
Carroll as he threw his arms in the air when he saw nobody was
going to catch Bush.
Southern Cal made it 21-3 just 58 seconds later after recovering
a fumbled snap at the BYU 20. Leinart threw a 15-yard pass to
Dwayne Jarrett, who leaped near the back of the end zone for the TD
with 1:05 remaining in the half.
The Trojans had other chances, including first-and-10 from the
BYU 30 after Darnell Bing's interception -- one of three for
Southern Cal in the game -- but didn't capitalize. The Cougars
sacked Leinart, dropped White for a loss of two and got another
sack to knock Southern Cal out of field goal range.
An earlier drive by the Trojans ended when BYU's Jon Burbidge
intercepted Leinart's pass at the Southern Cal 28.
Leinart had three interceptions against the Cougars last season
in a 35-18, then threw only three more the rest of the year. He
hadn't thrown any in wins over Virginia Tech and Colorado State to
open the season.