Run, Reggie, run — all the way to the Rose Bowl. A step away from playing for an unprecedented third straight national title, Reggie...
LOS ANGELES — Run, Reggie, run — all the way to the Rose Bowl.
A step away from playing for an unprecedented third straight national title, Reggie Bush and No. 1 USC stomped into the championship game by overpowering their crosstown rivals Saturday.
Bush ran for 260 yards and two touchdowns in a 66-19 victory over No. 11 UCLA, the 34th consecutive win for the top-ranked Trojans and 16th straight against a ranked opponent.
Now only Texas stands between USC (12-0, 8-0 Pac-10) and a perfectly historic season.
“This is the type of season we wanted from Day One,” Bush said. “This is the type of season we envisioned. We were able to make it come true; it’s a great feeling.”
Just about the time the unbeaten and second-ranked Longhorns (12-0) were wrapping up a 70-3 victory over Colorado in the Big 12 title game that will send them to the Rose Bowl, USC was starting its own victory march to Pasadena.
The Bowl Championship Series will make it official today: Trojans vs. Longhorns on Jan. 4 in the national-title game.
The festivities at the Coliseum started with a warm farewell to a senior class that’s been part of one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart was last to be honored with a long standing ovation before USC and UCLA played for the 75th time.
From there, it was Bush’s day.
Against the 115th-ranked run defense in the country, USC made its intentions clear from the start. Keep it simple and let Bush put a punctuation mark on his Heisman campaign. No doubt both Bush and Leinart will be in New York next Saturday when the bronze trophy is handed out. And after the way Bush finished off the regular season, it certainly seems like it’s his turn to hold the hardware.
“Reggie’s got my vote,” Leinart said.
On the second play from scrimmage, Bush zipped off tackle for 28 yards. USC ended up driving 70 yards on 16 plays without completing a pass. UCLA (9-2, 6-2) held the Trojans to a 35-yard field goal by Mario Danelo. It was a small victory and one of the few UCLA would be able to chalk up in its seventh straight loss to USC.
Leinart started the game 0 for 5, looking overanxious in his final home game. He finished 21 for 40 for 233 yards with three touchdown passes. More importantly, though, he ran his record as a starter to 37-1 thanks to a running game that piled up 431 yards.
“We were just on fire,” Bush said. “We knew we can do whatever we wanted against these guys as long as we execute.”