USC Comes Off Smelling Like A Rose
by Mike Mitchell
USC got the Rose Bowl monkey off of its back with a convincing 32-18 win over Michgigan in the Rose Bowl as John David Booty threw for 390 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Dwayne Jarrett hauled in 11 passes for 204 yards and 2 TD's. Steve Smith added 7 catches for 108 yards and score for the Trojans.
The Rose Bowl had not been kind to USC. It was where the Trojans lost last year's national championship game to Texas in the final seconds, and where arch-rival UCLA knocked the Trrojans out of the BCS title picture in the last regualr season game this year.
Michigan running back Mike Hart, who ran for 1,515 yards and14 touhcodwns during the regular season, was held to just 49 yards on 17 carries and kept out of the end zone.
Michigan never led in the game and USC began to pull away after the first half ended in a 3-3 tie. Two field goals and a Jarrett TD gave USC a 19-3 lead heading to the final period. And when Michigan closed the gap to 19-11 on Adrian Arrington's 11-yard catch from Chad Henne, the Trojans responded six plays later with a 62-yard scoring pass to Jarrett.
The following Michigan drive was stopped on downs at the USC 22-yard line and the Trojans quickly put the nail in the coffin. Booty threw four consecutive completions, the last from 7 yards out to Smith, to give his team a comfortable 32-11 lead with 6:52 left in the game.
Steve Breaston's 42-yard pasas from Henne came with only 1:09 left on the clock and USC recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Henne was 27-of-42 for 312 yards, both Michigan touchdowns, and 1 interception at the Michigan 43 that USC converted into a touchdown four plays later on Chris McFoy's 2-yard touchdown catch from Booty.
Neither team could mount a running attack as Michigan had just 14 net yards on the ground and USC had 42. Including the bowl game, the Wolverines allowed just 558 rushing yards all season.