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SPORTS EXTRA / COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Game Report

November 11, 2001|Larry Stewart

FIRST QUARTER

USC 7, California 7

THE SCORING: * California: Kyle Boller, five-yard run at 12:03. 75-yard drive, eight plays. PAT--Mark Jensen (kick). * USC: Chris Howard, 25-yard run at 2:04. 48-yard drive, eight plays. PAT--David Davis (kick)

TURNING POINT: Things were going Cal's way, even after USC quarterback Carson Palmer escaped a rush and broke loose on a 58-yard run down the right sideline, because Palmer fumbled at the end of the run when hit by Josh Beckman. Cal's Matt Nixon recovered, but the Trojans held the Bears to two yards on two runs and an incomplete pass. After a punt, USC got the ball at the Cal 49 and drove to the 25, from where redshirt freshman Howard scored on a nifty run around the right side.

NOT IN THE SUMMARY: Cal scored on its first possession, and the key play of the drive was a 44-yard pass from Boller to LaShaun Ward, which gave the Bears a first and goal at the five. The Trojans' Kris Richard missed a good chance to intercept. Boller scored two plays later.

STAT WATCH: The Trojans had 108 yards rushing to the Bears' 33 in the quarter, but 58 of USC's yards came on Palmer's run.

SECOND QUARTER

USC 28, California 7

THE SCORING: * USC: Kareem Kelly, five-yard pass from Palmer at 14:15. 32-yard drive, six plays. PAT--Davis (kick). * USC: Troy Polamalu, 58-yard interception return at 10:01. PAT--Davis (kick). * USC: Howard, 15-yard run at 3:39. 74-yard drive, six plays.

TURNING POINT: With USC leading, 14-7, the Bears were energized when Palmer lost another fumble. Three plays later, Polamalu intercepted a pass and went 58 yards for his second interception-return touchdown this season. Polamalu, a junior, has four interceptions in his career and has returned three for touchdowns.

NOT IN THE SUMMARY: USC had third and six at its 44 when Palmer completed a pass for 26 yards to Kelly. Another 15 yards were tacked on because of a roughing-the-passer penalty, giving USC a first down at the 15. Howard scored on the next play.

STAT WATCH: Although he lost two fumbles, Palmer was 11 for 19 for 134 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Boller was five for 14 for 82 yards.

THIRD QUARTER

USC 38, California 14

THE SCORING: * USC: Davis, three-yard run on fake field-goal attempt at 12:17. 73-yard drive, nine plays. PAT--Davis (kick). * California: Charon Arnold, eight-yard pass from Reggie Robertson at 5:23. 58-yard drive, eight plays. PAT--Jensen (kick). * USC: Davis, 33-yard field goal at 0:31. 47-yard drive, 12 plays.

TURNING POINT: The Trojans, who had struggled all season in the third quarter, came out strong against Cal, methodically driving downfield after taking the second-half kickoff. The third-quarter jinx appeared to return when USC, after a first and goal at the two, faced fourth down at the three. But instead of taking a sure field goal, the coaches called a fake and holder Mike MacGillivray pitched to Davis, who ran around the left side for a touchdown.

NOT IN THE SUMMARY: After Davis kicked a 33-yard field goal late in the quarter, David Newberry's kickoff was higher and shorter than usual. It functioned as an onside kick. USC recovered and after that nothing went right for Cal.

STAT WATCH: Boller threw only one pass in the quarter, on Cal's second possession, before being knocked out of the game on a play for which USC was assessed a roughing-the-passer penalty. Boller finished six for 15 for 92 yards.

FOURTH QUARTER

USC 55, California 14

THE SCORING: * USC: Davis, 26-yard field goal at 11:37. 26-yard drive, 10 plays. * USC: Eric Reese, 15-yard run at 5:45. 50-yard drive, eight plays. PAT--Davis (kick). * USC: John Cousins, 89-yard fumble return at 1:32. PAT--Davis (kick).

TURNING POINT: Although USC dominated the quarter, Cal appeared to be on its way to scoring another touchdown late in the game after third-string quarterback Eric Holtfreter, a transfer from L.A. Valley College, passed to Arnold for 13 yards and a first down at the four. But Holtfreter was sacked on the next play, the ball popped out and Cousins picked it up and went the distance.

NOT IN THE SUMMARY: USC had first and goal at the four on its first possession of the quarter. But after an incomplete pass, Palmer took a hard hit from Cal's Scott Fujita and was sacked for an eight-yard loss. He could have been injured on the play, which raises the question: Why was Palmer still in the game?

STAT WATCH: Palmer finished 18 for 35 for 230 yards, with no interceptions.

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