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USC (12-0) The Season

January 03, 2006|Gary Klein

USC 63, Hawaii 17

Sept. 3 at Honolulu

* The Trojans began their quest for an unprecedented third consecutive Associated Press national title by routing the Warriors and extending their winning streak to 23 games. The offense did not get onto the field until 1 minute 24 seconds remained in the first quarter but quarterback Matt Leinart had no problems picking apart Hawaii coordinator Jerry Glanville's defense. The 2004 Heisman Trophy winner passed for three touchdowns, running back Reggie Bush rushed for two, and split end Dwayne Jarrett had three touchdown catches. "We're off and flying," Coach Pete Carroll said.


USC 70, Arkansas 17

Sept. 17 at Los Angeles

* Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and assistant head coach Steve Sarkisian showed the home crowd that the post-Norm Chow era would be different. Bush scored the first two times he touched the ball -- on a 76-yard run and a 29-yard pass play -- and the Trojans needed possession for only 1 minute 32 seconds to score four first-quarter touchdowns. USC rolled up 736 yards, the first time since 1972 that the Trojans eclipsed the 700-yard mark. Bush rushed for 125 yards in eight carries and Leinart passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns. "I definitely think we're starting to send a message about this offense -- that we've got a lot of weapons," Bush said.


USC 45, Oregon 13

Sept. 24 at Eugene, Ore.

* USC's recent history of struggling in Pacific 10 Conference openers continued, the Trojans falling behind by 13 points in the first half. But USC roared back with 45 consecutive points against the No. 24 Ducks. Bush rushed for 122 yards and scored two touchdowns and LenDale White ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Linebackers Keith Rivers and Oscar Lua each made eight tackles and end Frostee Rucker had three tackles for losses. "We knew the offense would come around," nose tackle Sedrick Ellis said.


USC 38, Arizona State 28

Oct. 1 at Tempe, Ariz.

* USC's winning streak looked as if it might end when the Trojans went into the locker room at halftime trailing the No. 14 Sun Devils, 21-3. With Leinart dazed after a late hit in the first quarter, USC turned to its running game. White rushed for 167 of his career-best 197 yards in the second half and scored twice. Bush also scored twice in the second half and finished with 158 yards rushing. Cornerback John Walker had two of the Trojans' five interceptions, his second securing the win with 53 seconds left. "These are games you like being in because it defines character and defines a champion," White said.


USC 42, Arizona 21

Oct. 8 at Los Angeles

* What USC lacked in style points, it made up for with production, generating 724 yards and 39 first downs. White and Bush each eclipsed 100 yards rushing for a school-record third consecutive game and White had 179 yards and four short touchdown runs. Leinart rebounded from a concussion suffered against Arizona State and passed for two touchdowns. "I was never nervous," said Leinart, who completed 26 of 40 passes for 360 yards. "It was probably a lot closer than most people thought, but we still won by three touchdowns."


USC 34, Notre Dame 31

Oct. 15 at South Bend, Ind.

* In one of the greatest games in the history of the series, USC drove 75 yards for a game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes. On fourth and nine from the USC 26-yard line, Leinart called an audible and connected with Jarrett for a 61-yard pass play. Four plays later, Leinart tried to scramble into the end zone but the ball was knocked out of bounds at the one, the clock continuing to run after the play, all the way to 0:00. After the clock was reset to show seven seconds left, USC went for the win instead of a field goal that would have tied the score. Leinart sneaked into the end zone with a push from Bush with three seconds left. "We just don't know how to lose," Leinart said.


USC 51, Washington 24

Oct. 22 at Seattle

* With the emotionally draining victory over Notre Dame behind them, the Trojans began the second half of the season with their fourth road game in five weeks. Kiffin and Sarkisian scratched the bombs-away approach in favor of shorter passes and USC extended its winning streak to 29 games. Leinart was 20 for 26 for 201 yards and four touchdowns -- three to Jarrett -- and Bush returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown. Leinart's longest completion was 26 yards on a day the Trojans had only 390 yards of offense. "We just got back to basics," said Leinart, who became the Pac-10's all-time leader in touchdown passes with 87.


USC 55, Washington State 13

Oct. 29 at Los Angeles

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