LOS ANGELES (AP)—Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush & Co. hit Arkansas with a first quarter the Razorbacks won’t soon forget.
And that was just the beginning.
Leinart passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another TD in less than three quarters, Bush scored the first two times he touched the ball, and No. 1 Southern California routed the Razorbacks 70-17 Saturday night, rolling up 736 yards in total offense.
“I guess they just didn’t have the answers for us today,” Bush said in a major understatement after the Trojans reached the 70-point plateau for the first time in nearly 35 years.
The win was the 24th straight for USC—one shy of the school and Pac-10 record and the longest active winning streak in the country. Playing their home opener before an ecstatic crowd of 90,411 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Trojans (2-0) won their 22nd consecutive home game.
“How much more can you ask of your offense? This was even more than we could have pictured,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “Arkansas always played such aggressive pass defense, we didn’t think it would happen like this.”
USC had the ball for only 1:32 in the first quarter, but gained 246 yards on eight plays—four of them touchdowns—for a 28-7 lead.
The Trojans did all that damage in the opening 10:16 with scoring drives of 94 yards on three plays, 29 yards on one play after a long kickoff return, 68 yards on two plays, and 70 yards on two plays.
Then, after Arkansas (1-2) ate up nearly 6 1/2 minutes on a field goal drive, the Trojans scored on their first two possessions of the second quarter.
Leinart, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, completed 18 of 24 passes before coming out of the game after throwing his fourth TD pass with 6:26 left in the third period, giving USC a 56-10 lead.
“We know what we’re doing on every play. It’s fun when you know what you’re doing,” Leinart said with a smile. “We out-prepared them—we worked really hard.”
The Trojans scored nine touchdowns on their first 10 possessions, and made quite an impression on Arkansas coach Houston Nutt.
“This is the best team I have seen,” Nutt said. “They have all the weapons you need or could hope for. They can score so fast, it messes you up.
“We had the score 7-7, the next thing we knew, it was 21-7. Leinart is a coach on the field, he is a true playmaker. We wanted to run, but we could not, being that far behind. I’m worried about the psyche of our defense, I hope we can get our confidence back.”
Bush, fifth in the Heisman voting last year, gained 125 yards on eight carries and had three receptions for 70 yards. Steve Smith caught four passes for 129 yards, Dwayne Jarrett had four receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns, and LenDale White ran for two scores.
Arkansas’ Robert Johnson was 8-of-16 for 91 yards and one touchdown with one interception before leaving late in the second quarter with a sore back. Marcus Monk scored the Razorbacks’ touchdowns on pass receptions, and Darren McFadden rushed for a 88 yards on 13 carries.
Arkansas entered as the nation’s top rushing team, having averaged 338.5 yards in its first two games. The Razorbacks gained 197 against the Trojans, but that was of little consequence.
Bush ran a simple dive play on his first carry, and it turned into a 76-yard scoring run when he found a big hole, made a couple quick moves to avoid potential tacklers and burst into the clear.
That was the first of four touchdowns in a span of 3:20.
The Razorbacks tied it on a 12-yard pass from Johnson to Monk three plays after Felix Jones’ 67-yard kickoff return to the USC 29.
Desmond Reed returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards, and Leinart threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Bush on the next play.
The Trojans scored again less than two minutes later on a 24-yard pass from Leinart to Jarrett, and made it 28-7 with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter on a 17-yard run by Leinart.
The Razorbacks moved 66 yards to get into position for a 31-yard field goal by Chris Balseiro before USC scored on a 3-yard run by White to cap an 85-yard, 16-play drive and an 8-yard pass from Leinart to Jarrett to complete an 80-yard, five-play drive.
USC picked up where it left off after halftime, moving 86 yards on four plays to make it 49-10. Leinart completed passes of 11 and 16 yards to Dominique Byrd and threw a 58-yarder to Smith before White scored on a 1-yard run.
USC went 59 yards on eight plays the next time they had the ball, scoring on a 21-yard pass from Leinart to David Kirtman. John David Booty threw a 21-yard TD pass to Patrick Turner in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, giving USC a 63-10 lead.
Alex Mortensen threw a 5-yard pass to Monk with 10:58 left, and USC’s Michael McDonald threw a 4-yard pass to Jimmy Miller with 1:25 remaining to complete the scoring.
Mario Danelo kicked a school-record 10 conversions for the Trojans.
The Trojans play their Pac-10 opener at Oregon next weekend. The Ducks (3-0) beat No. 23 Fresno State 37-34 on Saturday.