Top-ranked USC turns back rival
Sunday, December 5, 2004
Reggie Bush had two long touchdown runs, Ryan Killeen kicked five field goals and No. 1 USC held off UCLA 29-24 on Saturday to virtually lock up a trip to the Orange Bowl for the Bowl Championship Series title game.
The final BCS standings and bowl pairings will be announced Sunday. The Trojans (12-0, 8-0 Pac-10) have been ranked No. 1 all season in both The Associated Press Top 25 and coaches polls and, most importantly, the BCS standings.
USC was the odd team out last winter, when it finished atop both polls after the regular season but third in the final BCS standings. The Trojans won the AP national championship and LSU beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl to win the BCS title.
The Trojans completed the fifth perfect regular season in school history with their 21st straight victory.
Bush gained a career-high 204 yards on 15 carries -- most on a 65-yard touchdown run on the game's second play and an 81-yard dash midway through the second quarter.
Matt Leinart completed his first 10 passes for 64 yards, but the Heisman contender didn't throw a TD pass for the first time in 25 career starts. He wound up going 24-of-34 for 242 yards with one interception.
No. 3 Auburn 38, No. 15 Tennessee 28
Jason Campbell threw for three touchdowns and accounted for more than 400 yards, leading the Tigers to a 38-28 victory in the SEC championship game.
Campbell did all he could to get the Tigers to the Orange Bowl, but Auburn will probably have to settle for the Sugar Bowl. He completed 27-of-35 for 374 yards -- the first 300-yard passing game of his career. He also rushed for 57 yards, setting an SEC championship game record with 431 yards total offense.
Tennessee (9-3) rallied to tie the game at 21 on Gerald Riggs Jr.'s 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Then, Tennessee pulled to 31-28 with just over 10 minutes remaining when Riggs rumbled for a 9-yard TD.
Campbell would not be denied. He finished off the Volunteers with his final touchdown, a 43-yard pass to Ben Obomanu with 6:56 remaining.
No. 10 Virginia Tech 16, No. 9 Miami 10
Virginia Tech capped its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference season with a championship, getting two touchdown passes from Bryan Randall and holding Miami's high-powered offense to 190 yards.
Eddie Royal caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Randall with 11:29 remaining, putting No. 10 Virginia Tech (10-2, 7-1) ahead to stay.
Virginia Tech will learn Sunday to which BCS bowl it's headed; the probable choice is the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3. Miami (8-3, 5-3) -- which was the only team to play in the BCS each of the past four seasons, and would have extended that streak with a win Saturday -- will play Florida in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve.
Randall completed 11 of 18 passes for 148 yards, and Cedric Humes added 110 rushing yards for the Hokies, who were picked to finish sixth in the ACC before the season and won their final eight games to cap a surprising title run.
No. 7 Louisville 55, Tulane 7
Stefan LeFors, who played high school ball in nearby Baton Rouge, threw for one touchdown and ran for another to lead Louisville to its fifth straight game of at least 55 points.
The nation's top-rated passer completed 19 of 27 for 247 yards before leaving the game late in the third quarter.
The Cardinals (10-1, 8-0 Conference USA), ranked first nationally in scoring, were averaging nearly 50 points a game.
No. 4 California 26, Southern Miss. 16
J.J. Arrington ran for 261 yards, Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Golden Bears scored two points on a bizarre special-teams play in their win over Southern Mississippi.
No. 19 Pittsburgh 43, South Florida 14
Tyler Palko threw for a career-high 411 yards and five touchdowns and the Panthers virtually assured themselves the Big East's spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
Palko completed 19 of 28 passes.
No. 2 Oklahoma 42, Colorado 3
Jason White threw for three touchdowns and Adrian Peterson ran for three more to pace the Sooners in the Big 12 title game.
-- From wire reports