7:00 PM ET, November 4, 2006
Stanford Stadium, STANFORD, CA
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Southern California bounced back from its first regular season loss in more than three years in the best possible way -- with a dominating win reminiscent of its championship years.
John David Booty threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter and Terrell Thomas scored on a 71-yard blocked field goal return to help No. 9 USC rebound with a 42-0 victory over winless Stanford on Saturday.
"People thought that after that loss to Oregon State we'd just tumble and fall," linebacker Rey Mauluga said. "I feel like we came out and made a statement. We're coming and we're hungry."
The Trojans' most lopsided victory of the season got USC (7-1, 5-1 Pac-10) back on track following last week's 33-31 loss at Oregon State that snapped a 32-game regular season winning streak.
Booty went 12-for-21 for 203 yards, Dwayne Jarrett caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, and the Trojans finally had a laugher after sweating it out until the end the last four games.
Those games were all decided by seven points or fewer, including the loss to the Beavers. The Trojans hadn't won by more than 18 points since blowing out Arkansas 50-14 in the season opener.
"It's just good for us to win again and get back on that path," Booty said. "Stanford has struggled throughout this year so it's really good to come to their place and get a big win."
The close games were a far cry from recent years, when USC overwhelmed the opposition on the way to national championships in 2003 and '04 and a loss in the title game last season to Texas.
With Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart in the NFL, this year's offense isn't nearly as prolific as it had been the previous three years.
That was no problem against the Cardinal (0-9, 0-6), who predictably were no match for the Trojans, losing their 11th straight game to match a school record. Only a few of those defeats have even been close as Stanford has led in only one game all season -a 35-34 loss to San Jose State on Sept. 9.
This was the Cardinal's worst shutout loss since falling 49-0 to UCLA on Oct. 3, 1987.
"To me it looks like we're getting better every game but the scoreboard doesn't show it," Cardinal receiver Evan Moore said. "How much of an improvement is that? We're running better and passing better but we still didn't score. We need to get the ball into the end zone."
USC put the game away in a span of less than a minute early in the second quarter. After Booty connected with Steve Smith on a 10-yard pass on fourth-and-4 from the 31, he found Jarrett in the corner of the end zone for a 21-yard TD on the next play to make it 14-0.
Wopamo Osaisai, who was beat on the touchdown pass, fumbled the ensuing kickoff when Keith Rivers ripped the ball out of his hands, giving the Trojans the ball on the 7. Booty hit Smith on the next play to make it 21-0 with 13:14 to play in the half.
USC ended the half with a 98-yard drive capped by Booty's 2-yard TD pass to Fred Davis with 55 seconds left.
The Trojans' first score came on Chauncey Washington's 15-yard run on fourth-and-1 midway through the first quarter.
After forcing only one turnover the previous three games, USC came up with three against Stanford.
"Some things finally turned. We got the ball away from our opponent," coach Pete Carroll said. "We had to get our stuff done. Fortunately we were able to turn this thing back on track and feel good about a win and have fun."
The Cardinal once again struggled offensively and remained winless in four games at the renovated Stanford Stadium. They are on their longest losing streak since dropping the final game in 1959 and all 10 the following season - the school's last winless campaign.
Stanford has only four offensive touchdowns the past seven games and has only topped 10 points once all season.
The offense did show some signs of improvement. After gaining just 197 yards the previous two games, Stanford had 208 against USC. T.C. Ostrander was 16-for-30 for 178 yards, but threw two interceptions.
"We try to find something good in a bad situation," running back Anthony Kimble said. "I just want to win, somehow, some way."
The Cardinal's best chance to score against USC came on a good drive late in the third quarter. But Sedrick Ellis pushed through the middle to block Aaron Zagory's 33-yard field goal attempt. Thomas scooped it up and raced down the sideline for the score.
USC backup quarterback Mark Sanchez ran 4 yards for his first career score in the fourth quarter.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Stanford decided to suit up for another game.
Gameball goes to... John David Booty. The USC quarterback completed 12 of 21 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 11. Stanford lost its 11th straight game, matching a school record.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-13||5-16|
|4th Down Conversions||3-4||0-1|
|TD||6:45||CHAUNCEY WASHINGTON 15 YD RUN (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||13:31||DWAYNE JARRETT 21 YD PASS FROM JOHN DAVID BOOTY (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 85 yards.
|TD||13:14||STEVE SMITH 7 YD PASS FROM JOHN DAVID BOOTY (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 7 yards.
|TD||0:55||FRED DAVIS 2 YD PASS FROM JOHN DAVID BOOTY (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 98 yards.
|TD||2:24||TERRELL THOMAS 71 YD BLOCKED FG RETURN (MARIO DANELO KICK)||35||0|
|TD||5:33||MARK SANCHEZ 4 YD RUN (MARIO DANELO KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 57 yards.