Mon, Nov 01, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Tojans march on northwest territory

NCAA DIVISION I-A A hailstorm hit during warm-ups, and Cougars fans screamed their approval, hopeful the weather might even up the odds against Southern Cal


Chris McFoy, right, of the University of Southern California, stiff-arms Joe Lebendahn, center, of Washington State as his teammate, Jimmy Newell approaches, during the second half of their game in front of over 35,000 Cougars fans at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington on Saturday. The USC Trojans defeated the Cougars 42-12.


Top-ranked University of Southern California routed Washington State 42-12 in front of 35,117 at Martin Sadium.

The elements gave their best shot Saturday afternoon but were dispatche quicker than Washington State.

A hailstorm hit during warm-ups, and Cougars fans screamed their approval, hopeful the weather might even up the odds.

"I've never seen snow before," USC offensive tackle Sam Baker said.

Instead of shrinking, the Trojans embraced the freakish storm.

"I thought I was in New England," wide receiver Cris McFoy added.

USC coach Pete Carroll was thrilled his players reacted giddily to the hail and worried it might incite the fans.

"The crowd was trying to stick it to us there and we took the opposite approach," he said. "I think the Washington State fans thought that was going to do something to our guys. Instead, it was all these Orange County boys letting them know they could get out there and let them know it was going to be a fun night."

Unfortunately, the pregame storm departed before kickoff, perhaps bored at the prospect of what was about to ensue.

Wahington State (3-5, 1-4 Pacific-10 Conference) opened the game with a disastrous onside kick that traveled 2 yards. That gave the Trojans the ball on the Cougars' 37-yard lie and four plays later, Bush sprinted 19 yards around the right side for a touchdown.

USC kicker Ryan Killeen then pooched the kickoff, which an unprepared Washingtn State return unit failed to field, and Desmond Reed recovered at the 21-yard line. Two penaltes later, the Trojans were at Washington State's 4, and LenDale White eventually scored on a 1-ard run.

"We hadn't started playing, and it was 14-0," Carroll said. About this time, it apeared some fans were already heading home.

From there, the Trojans (8-0, 5-0) kept rolling as Matt Leinart (23 of 28, 235 yards, two touchdowns) calmly dissected the defense with short passes in the first half, compleing five passes to tailback Reggie Bush and four to tight end Dominique Byrd.

Bush returned a punt for a touchdown, undoubtedly reviving his Heisman Trophy hopes, and Leinart connected with Dwayne Jarrett on a 42-yard touchdown pass that gave the Trojans a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The only remaining question concerned USC's chances of posting a third consecutive shutout. But that disappeared abruptly when Carrol emptied the bench, and reserve quarterback Matt Cassel had a nightmarish third quarter. He fumbled the snap on his first play, and Washington State recoveed at USC's 24-yard line.

The Cougars scored on a 24-yard pass from Alex Brink to Micael Bumpus as Carroll chewed out Cassel on the sideline. Cassel's next play was a rollot, and his pass was tipped by fullback David Kirtman and intercepted by linebacker Pat Bnnett, who returned it 28 yards for a touchdown.

Cassel fumbled a snap on the next series, and Carroll had seen enough, bringing back Leinart to protect a 42-12 fourth-quarter lead.

No. 2 Oklahoma 38,

No. 20 Oklahoma St. 35

Adrian Peterson rushed for 249 yards and Oklahoma State kicker Jason Ricks missed a tying 49-yard field goal with 11 seconds left, allowing Oklahoma to barely avoid another season-spoiling upset by the Cowboys.

Mark Bradley caught a career-high three TD passes as the second-ranked Sooners won 38-35 over their pesky rivals on Saturday.

Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) has won two straight over the No. 20 Cowboys (6-2, 3-2) since losing two costly games in the Bedlam series in 2001 and 2002.

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