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PREVIEW \ Orange Bowl



Published: Mon, January 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



No. 1 Southern California (12-0)vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (12-0)

Time: 8 p.m. Tuesday

TV/radio: WYTV (33), WEWS (5), WTAE (4), WBBW-AM (1240)

Coaches: Pete Carroll (41-9 in fourth year at USC) and Bob Stoops (67-11 in sixth year at Oklahoma).

Payout: Each school receives $11-14 million.

Bowl records: USC is 27-15. Oklahoma is 23-13-1.

Last bowl appearance: USC beat Michigan, 28-14, in last year's Rose Bowl. Oklahoma lost to LSU, 21-14, in last year's Sugar Bowl.

Series history: USC leads, 5-2-1.

Last meeting: USC won, 20-10, in 1992.

Last game: USC beat UCLA, 29-24, on Dec. 4. Oklahoma beat Colorado, 42-3, in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 4.

Stat that matters: Over the course of the Trojans' school-record 21-game winning streak, USC has outscored opponents by average score of 46-18.

Game facts: Glittering, if somewhat controversial, BCS national title game, as Sooners and Trojans are a combined 70-7 over the last three years. USC QB Matt Leinart (252-of-378, 2,990 passing, 28 TDs, 6 INTs) tries to shake off Heisman jinx (five of the last eight Heisman-winning QBs have lost in bowl games). RB Reggie Bush (833 rushing, 6 TD runs, 41 catches, 7 TD catches, 2 TDs on kick returns) can score from anywhere. Led by DE Shaun Cody (third in Pac-10 with 9 sacks) and DT Mike Patterson, the defense (led the nation with 33 turnovers forced) must turn up the heat on the Sooners' 2003 Heisman-winning QB Jason White (2,961 passing, 33 TDs, 6 INTs), who was miserable in last year's loss to LSU in Sugar Bowl. This time, though, he can hand off to sensational freshman RB Adrian Peterson (1,843 rushing, 15 TDs), who finished second to Leinart in the Heisman voting and needs only 21 yards to set a new freshman rushing record. WR Mark Clayton (62 catches, 8 TDs) leads several downfield receiving threats. Defense hasn't given up a TD in the last three games but can be hurt by deep passes so S Brodney Pool (9 passes broken up, 2 INTs) must have a good game.

Scripps Howard




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