Mon, Dec 06, 2004 - Page 19 News List

USC edges rival UCLA

NCAA FOOTBALL The Trojans completed the fifth perfect regular season in school history with their 21st straight victory as USC eyes a National Championship


Army cadets chase Navy fullback Kyle Eckel, center, as he carries the ball 23 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter in Philadelphia on Saturday. Navy won 42-13.


Reggie Bush had two long touchdown runs, Ryan Killeen kicked five field goals and No. 1 USC held off UCLA 29-24 on Saturday to virtually lock up a trip to the Orange Bowl for the Bowl Championship Series title game.

The final BCS standings and bowl pairings will be announced Sunday. The Trojans (12-0, 8-0 Pac-10) have been ranked No. 1 all season in both The Associated Press Top 25 and coaches polls and, most importantly, the BCS standings.

USC was the odd team out last winter, when it finished atop both polls after the regular season but third in the final BCS standings. The Trojans won the AP national championship and LSU beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl to win the BCS title.

The Trojans completed the fifth perfect regular season in school history with their 21st straight victory.

Bush gained a career-high 204 yards on 15 carries -- most on a 65-yard touchdown run on the game's second play and an 81-yard dash midway through the second quarter.

Matt Leinart completed his first 10 passes for 64 yards, but the Heisman contender didn't throw a TD pass for the first time in 25 career starts. He wound up going 24-of-34 for 242 yards with one interception.

Drew Olson completed 20 of 34 passes for 278 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions for UCLA (6-5, 4-4), which will play in the Insight Bowl or the Las Vegas Bowl.

No. 2 Oklahoma 42, Colorado 3

In Kansas City, Missouri, Jason White threw for three touchdowns and Adrian Peterson ran for three more to pace the Sooners in the Big 12 title game.

Barring a sudden change in the BCS, Oklahoma (12-0) will play No. 1 Southern Cal for its eighth national title Jan. 4 in the Orange Bowl.

White finished with 254 yards and threw all his touchdowns during the first 15:07. Two went to Mark Clayton, who made a sweet, reaching, fingertip catch on the second for a 21-0 lead. Clayton finished with eight catches for 108 yards.

Peterson surpassed the century mark in the second quarter for his 11th 100-yard rushing game, an NCAA record for a freshman. He finished with 172 yards and saved the best for last -- breaking six tackles for a darting, spinning 32-yard score and a 42-3 lead.

Colorado (7-5) didn't get a first down without the aid of a penalty until the 9:35 mark of the third quarter.

No. 3 Auburn 38,

No. 15 Tennessee 28

In Atlanta, Jason Campbell threw for three touchdowns and accounted for more than 400 yards, leading the Tigers to a 38-28 victory in the SEC championship game.

Campbell did all he could to get the Tigers to the Orange Bowl, but Auburn will probably have to settle for the Sugar Bowl. He completed 27-of-35 for 374 yards -- the first 300-yard passing game of his career. He also rushed for 57 yards, setting an SEC championship game record with 431 yards total offense.

Tennessee (9-3) rallied to tie the game at 21 on Gerald Riggs Jr.'s 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Then, Tennessee pulled to 31-28 with just over 10 minutes remaining when Riggs rumbled for a 9-yard TD.

Campbell would not be denied. He finished off the Volunteers with his final touchdown, a 43-yard pass to Ben Obomanu with 6:56 remaining.

Riggs gained 182 yards on just 11 carries for Tennessee, the first runner in 17 games to surpass 100 yards against the fearsome Auburn defense.

No. 4 California 26,

Southern Miss. 16

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, J.J. Arrington ran for 261 yards, Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Golden Bears scored on a bizarre special-teams play in their win over Southern Mississippi.

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