A Trojan Trouncing!|
Sept 13, 2003
By KEN PETERS
LOS ANGELES - Southern California coach Pete Carroll was eager to get the Trojans' running game going.
The fourth-ranked Trojans (3-0) got virtually everything going against Hawaii on Saturday, rolling to a 61-32 victory for their 11th consecutive win.
The defense held Warriors quarterback Timmy Chang in check most of the game, and even chipped in with a pair of touchdowns and a safety as USC built a 52-6 lead in the third quarter.
"I thought this was a particularly good game for the offense," Carroll said. "We wanted to establish some consistency in the running game, and to take a look at some of our young running backs. Matt Leinart had an excellent game.
"We played so well coming out of the half, it gave us a chance to get a lot of guys playing time. Those guys work so hard on the practice field, so it was a gift from the first two units of offense and defense to the rest of the guys."
Leinart completed 15 of 21 passes for 200 yards and didn't play after the third quarter. White had 58 yards on 10 carries, and Bush had 54 on nine carries as the Trojans netted 164 yards on the ground.
The Trojans took control against the Warriors (1-1) with four touchdowns in the second quarter - three in the final 4:29 before halftime - for a 31-6 lead.
Although Carroll was pleased to be able to substitute freely in the second half, he still cringed a bit as Hawaii began moving the ball late in the third quarter and again in the fourth.
"We suffered a little bit with every yard they picked up," he said.
Chang, who threw for 4,474 yards last year as a sophomore, went 32-of-54 for 306 yards, with two touchdowns. He threw two interceptions in what was his season debut; he sat out Hawaii's 40-17 opening win over Appalachian State because of an academic problem.
Chang said the Trojans lived up to their billing.
"They're as good as people say they are," he said. "They play hard in all phases."
The win was the Trojans' fifth in five games against Hawaii. They've outscored the Warriors 234-50 in the series that dates to their 52-0 win in 1930, the last time before Saturday that Hawaii had played in the Coliseum.
USC beat the Warriors 62-7 at Aloha Stadium in 1999, June Jones' debut as the Hawaii coach.
The Warriors didn't fare much better in the rematch.
"The defense played good at times, but missed a lot of tackles," Jones said. "Timmy Chang was sharp early. Toward the end, I kept him in to battle through the adversity. All in all, he did well."
Cornerback Ronald Nunn started the Trojans' outburst with a 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown 3:14 into the second quarter. After Hawaii's Justin Ayat kicked a 20-yard field goal, Bush scored on a 23-yard run 4:58 before halftime to make it 17-6, and Keary Colbert caught Leinart's 32-yard TD pass with 1:35 left.
The Trojans held the Warriors again and got the ball back on their own 36 with 1:05 left in the half. Leinart quickly took them down the field, hooking up with Mike Williams on a 33-yard scoring play with 29 seconds on the clock.
The first USC touchdown, Nunn's fumble return, came when Hawaii receiver Gerald Welch appeared to bobble the ball and then drop it, but it was ruled a completed pass and fumble.
"I got no clarification," Jones said. "Either he didn't have the ball and it's incomplete or he had the ball and lost it when his knee was down."
The second half was mostly mop-up time.
Bush scored on a 27-yard run, Jason Leach returned an interception off Chang 25 yards for another score, and White scored on a 5-yard run to open the 52-6 lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
Chang finally got the Warriors into the end zone with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chad Owens late in the third quarter. He threw a 14-yarder to Jeremiah Cockheran in the fourth.
White ran 21 yards in the fourth quarter for his second touchdown.
Ryan Killeen put the Trojans on the board with a 24-yard field goal midway through the first quarter after Hawaii had failed to pick up a first down on a fake punt at its own 46. Ayat kicked a 35-yarder to even it at 3 late in the period.
The Trojans' last loss was a 30-27 overtime defeat at Washington State on Oct. 5. Since then, they've scored 30 or more points 10 times, including a 38-17 Orange Bowl victory over Iowa.