Oct. 11, 2003
By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Matt Leinart threw three scoring passes to Mike Williams as No. 9 Southern California built a big early lead and went on to a 44-21 victory over Stanford on Saturday night.
Freshman LenDale White ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Trojans (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) passed and ran virtually at will in the first half to build a 41-14 lead over the Cardinal (2-2, 0-2).
Leinart and Williams hooked up on scoring passes of 40, 18 and 3 yards, and White ran for touchdowns of 6 and 3 yards.
The Trojans outgained the Cardinal 413 yards to 91 in the first half, then mostly kept the ball on the ground in the second.
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-3 for 13 yards.
Leinart, picking the Stanford secondary apart, finished 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.
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.
Just 2:29 later, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Williams caught a pass between two defenders in the end zone, with Leinart drilling the ball to him. 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.
White scored the Trojans' first touchdown on a tackle-breaking 6-yard run late in the first quarter. Earlier, Ryan Killeen kicked the first of his three field goals.
After falling behind 27-0, the Cardinal scored two touchdowns 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.
The Trojans' win was their second lopsided victory in a row over Stanford in a series that dates to 1905. Carson Palmer, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, threw for four touchdowns in a 49-17 win at Palo Alto last fall. Williams had one touchdown catch and Colbert had two.
Stanford scored its final TD with 22 seconds left in the game.
USC holds a 55-24-3 edge in the series.