No. 9 Trojans Take It To Stanford

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  • Post Game Press Conference

    AP Sports Writer

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Matt Leinart and Mike Williams had control of the air, and LenDale White took care of the groundwork.

    The No. 9 Southern California Trojans (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) built a big lead early and went on to a 44-21 victory over Stanford (2-2, 0-2) on Saturday night.

    "Everything was clicking - the run, the pass. It was real good to see that," said Leinart, who threw Williams three touchdown passes as USC built a 41-14 halftime lead.

    White ran for two TDs during the outburst.

    "I like the way the offense is moving the ball," coach Pete Carroll said. "We're running it well, and I'm really pleased with our balance."

    He should be.

    The Trojans had 249 yards passing and 164 rushing for 413 total yards in the first half alone, while holding Stanford to 91 yards. Playing conservatively and sticking to the ground most of the second half, USC finished with 493 yards to Stanford's 242.

    "They dominated us thoroughly," Stanford coach Buddy Teevens said. "We missed a lot of tackles we should have made. We did not cover Williams as well as we should have. But then again, how can you cover him?"

    Leinart and Williams hooked up on scoring passes of 40, 18 and 3 yards.

    "That Mike Williams, he had a beautiful game," Carroll said after Williams, a sophomore, caught the 21st touchdown pass of his 19-game career.

    "Everything was clicking - the run, the pass. It was real good to see that."

    White, a powerful 6-foot-2, 225-pound freshman, scored on runs of 6 and 3 yards as the Trojans took command.

    John David Booty, an 18-year-old freshman quarterback who skipped his senior season of high school in Shreveport, La., to come to USC, made his college debut early in the fourth quarter. Booty finished 1-of-4 for 13 yards.

    Leinart, picking the Stanford secondary apart, went 18-of-27 for 260 yards and the three touchdowns. Williams had seven catches for 129 yards, all in the first half. White carried 23 times for 108 yards.

    Southern California's defense was just as impressive. Kenechi Udeze led the way with three sacks and two forced fumbles.

    "I thought that all four of us (the defensive line) did a good job to get to the quarterback," Udeze said.

    Williams' touchdowns came on a variety of receptions. On the 40-yard scoring play, he sprinted down on a post pattern, sliced in front of a pair of defenders, caught the ball in stride and headed untouched to the end zone to give USC a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.

    Will Poole knocks the ball loose from Stanford's J.R. Lemon before he could make a catch during the first half.

    Just 2:29 later, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Williams caught a pass between two defenders in the end zone. With 23 seconds left in the half, Williams feinted outside, cut across the middle and had a half-step on the defender as Leinart again threw right on target for the 3-yard TD.

    By halftime, Leinart was 16-of-23 for 249 yards, with Williams accounting for 129 of those yards. Keary Colbert had five receptions for 87 yards by halftime and finished with six for 90 yards.

    White scored the Trojans' first touchdown on a tackle-breaking 6-yard run late in the first quarter. Earlier, Ryan Killeen kicked the first two of his three field goals.

    After falling behind 27-0, the Cardinal scored twice during a 10-second span five minutes into the second quarter. David Marrero ran 15 yards to score on a drive started by Nick Sebes' 51-yard kickoff return and helped by a personal foul penalty against USC on the play before Marrero's touchdown.

    On the ensuing kickoff, Stanford's Oshiomogho Atogwe ripped the ball out of the grasp of USC returner Marcell Allmond and ran 22 yards to score.

    The Trojans pulled away again on White's 3-yard TD run and Leinart's short scoring pass to Williams.

    Stanford didn't score again until there were 22 seconds left to play.