There was little drama in the first game pitting longtime friends Pete Carroll and Walt Harris against each other as head coaches. No. 1 USC wouldn't allow...
LOS ANGELES — There was little drama in the first game pitting longtime friends Pete Carroll and Walt Harris against each other as head coaches.
No. 1 USC wouldn’t allow it.
USC scored on each of its seven first-half possessions to take an insurmountable lead, and Carroll’s Trojans went on to beat Stanford 51-21 Saturday night.
Matt Leinart passed for 259 yards and four touchdowns, Reggie Bush rushed for 113 yards and another score, and the Trojans (9-0, 6-0 Pac-10) had no trouble extending their conference-record winning streak to 31 games.
“It was easy for us,” Leinart said. “We pretty much did anything we wanted to do. We had great field position all game.”
The Trojans haven’t lost since dropping a 34-31 overtime decision at California on Sept. 27, 2003. They play the Golden Bears in Berkeley next weekend.
“The last time we were up there, we all know what happened,” Leinart said. “This is the fourth quarter of the season. We want to keep this thing going, keep pushing.”
USC, shooting for an unprecedented third straight national title, also has a 25-game winning streak at home and a 21-game streak against conference opponents.
Stanford (4-4, 3-3) hadn’t committed any turnovers in its previous four games. But the Trojans forced five, including three in the first half, setting up two touchdowns and a 21-yard field goal by Mario Danelo.
“We helped them early with turnovers and they dominated us in the first half,” Harris said. “The turnovers were huge. Not only are they costly, but they were uncharacteristic and hurt us emotionally as well as anything.”