No. 5 Trojans stop Bruins to earn rosy victory

December 07, 2008|By From Sun news services

Mark Sanchez passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns, Southern California's hard-hitting defense stuffed host UCLA at every turn, and the No. 5 Trojans won, 28-7, yesterday to give them nine victories in the past 10 games between the crosstown rivals.

The win ensured USC (11-1, 8-1 Pacific-10) of an unprecedented seventh consecutive Bowl Championship Series bid, seven straight 11-win seasons and seven straight conference titles. The Trojans also will make a fourth straight appearance in the Rose Bowl, where they will meet No. 6 Penn State on New Year's Day.

The 33-point underdog Bruins (4-8, 3-6) took a 7-0 lead in the opening four minutes but made it past midfield only once after that.

Sanchez was 18-for-33 with one interception, and Joe McKnight gained 99 yards on 15 carries for the Trojans.

The Trojans had 33 first downs and 478 yards of offense. The Bruins had seven first downs and 157 yards.

No. 23 Pittsburgh 34, Connecticut 10: : Bill Stull threw for two touchdowns and LeSean McCoy ran for one to help Pittsburgh beat host Connecticut, giving the Panthers their first nine-win regular season since 1982 and a bid to the Sun Bowl. Pittsburgh scored 24 points in the third quarter to blow open a close game.

East Carolina 27, Tulsa 24: : Ben Hartman kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:43 remaining, and East Carolina took advantage of seven turnovers to beat host Tulsa (10-3, 7-1) in the Conference USA title game. The Pirates (9-4, 6-2) earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl.

Troy 35, Arkansas State 9:: Levi Brown threw for 181 yards and three TDs as host Troy (8-4, 6-1) beat Arkansas State (6-6, 4-3) to clinch its first outright Sun Belt title and earn a berth in the New Orleans Bowl.

California 48, Washington 7: : Washington (0-12, 0-9 Pac-10) concluded the first winless season in school history, with host California's Jahvid Best rushing for a school-record 311 yards and four TDs. California (8-4, 6-3) accepted an invitation to the Emerald Bowl.

West Virginia 13, South Florida 7: : Pat White threw a touchdown pass and host West Virginia mustered enough offense on a snowy field to beat South Florida. Afterward, West Virginia (8-4, 5-2 Big East) accepted a bid to the Meineke Bowl. South Florida (7-5, 2-5) accepted an invitation to the St. Petersburg Bowl.

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