LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush & Co. hit Arkansas
with a first quarter the Razorbacks won't soon forget.
And that was just the beginning.
Leinart passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns and ran for
another TD in less than three quarters, Bush scored the first two
times he touched the ball, and No. 1 Southern California routed the
Razorbacks 70-17 Saturday night, rolling up 736 yards in total
"I guess they just didn't have the answers for us today," Bush
said in a major understatement after the Trojans reached the
70-point plateau for the first time in nearly 35 years.
The win was the 24th straight for USC -- one shy of the school
and Pac-10 record and the longest active winning streak in the
country. Playing their home opener before an ecstatic crowd of
90,411 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Trojans (2-0) won their
22nd consecutive home game.
"How much more can you ask of your offense? This was even more
than we could have pictured," USC coach Pete Carroll said.
"Arkansas always played such aggressive pass defense, we didn't
think it would happen like this."
USC had the ball for only 1:32 in the first quarter, but gained
246 yards on eight plays -- four of them touchdowns -- for a 28-7
The Trojans did all that damage in the opening 10:16 with
scoring drives of 94 yards on three plays, 29 yards on one play
after a long kickoff return, 68 yards on two plays, and 70 yards on
Then, after Arkansas (1-2) ate up nearly 6½ minutes on a field
goal drive, the Trojans scored on their first two possessions of
the second quarter.
Leinart, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, completed 18 of 24
passes before coming out of the game after throwing his fourth TD
pass with 6:26 left in the third period, giving USC a 56-10 lead.
"We know what we're doing on every play. It's fun when you know
what you're doing," Leinart said with a smile. "We out-prepared
them -- we worked really hard."
The Trojans scored nine touchdowns on their first 10
possessions, and made quite an impression on Arkansas coach Houston
"This is the best team I have seen," Nutt said. "They have
all the weapons you need or could hope for. They can score so fast,
it messes you up.
"We had the score 7-7, the next thing we knew, it was 21-7.
Leinart is a coach on the field, he is a true playmaker. We wanted
to run, but we could not, being that far behind. I'm worried about
the psyche of our defense, I hope we can get our confidence back."
Bush, fifth in the Heisman voting last year, gained 125 yards on
eight carries and had three receptions for 70 yards. Steve Smith
caught four passes for 129 yards, Dwayne Jarrett had four
receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns, and LenDale White ran
for two scores.
Arkansas' Robert Johnson was 8-of-16 for 91 yards and one
touchdown with one interception before leaving late in the second
quarter with a sore back. Marcus Monk scored the Razorbacks'
touchdowns on pass receptions, and Darren McFadden rushed for a 88
yards on 13 carries.
Arkansas entered as the nation's top rushing team, having
averaged 338.5 yards in its first two games. The Razorbacks gained
197 against the Trojans, but that was of little consequence.
Bush ran a simple dive play on his first carry, and it turned
into a 76-yard scoring run when he found a big hole, made a couple
quick moves to avoid potential tacklers and burst into the clear.
That was the first of four touchdowns in a span of 3:20.
The Razorbacks tied it on a 12-yard pass from Johnson to Monk
three plays after Felix Jones' 67-yard kickoff return to the USC
Desmond Reed returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards, and Leinart
threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Bush on the next play.
The Trojans scored again less than two minutes later on a
24-yard pass from Leinart to Jarrett, and made it 28-7 with 4:44
remaining in the first quarter on a 17-yard run by Leinart.
The Razorbacks moved 66 yards to get into position for a 31-yard
field goal by Chris Balseiro before USC scored on a 3-yard run by
White to cap an 85-yard, 16-play drive and an 8-yard pass from
Leinart to Jarrett to complete an 80-yard, five-play drive.
USC picked up where it left off after halftime, moving 86 yards
on four plays to make it 49-10. Leinart completed passes of 11 and
16 yards to Dominique Byrd and threw a 58-yarder to Smith before
White scored on a 1-yard run.
USC went 59 yards on eight plays the next time they had the
ball, scoring on a 21-yard pass from Leinart to David Kirtman. John
David Booty threw a 21-yard TD pass to Patrick Turner in the
opening minute of the fourth quarter, giving USC a 63-10 lead.
Alex Mortensen threw a 5-yard pass to Monk with 10:58 left, and
USC's Michael McDonald threw a 4-yard pass to Jimmy Miller with
1:25 remaining to complete the scoring.
Mario Danelo kicked a school-record 10 conversions for the
The Trojans play their Pac-10 opener at Oregon next weekend. The
Ducks (3-0) beat No. 23 Fresno State 37-34 on Saturday.
A university in Ohio has agreed to pay $712,000 to a former football player who says he had concussions that led to a permanent brain injury.
The SEC would benefit in many ways if conference divisions are eliminated, including making sure the best teams play for the league title each year.
In 2006, the Cardinal were 1-11 and a Pac-12 laughingstock. Ten years later, including three Rose Bowls in the last four years, they're on top.
We continue our Big 12 draft with rounds 8-14.
Though Alabama is off to a tremendous start, Georgia isn't far behind with eight commits, including six ranked in the ESPN 300.
Miami, Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina have 21 of the ACC's 24 verbal commitments from players in the ESPN 300 for the class of 2017.