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Trojans struggle early

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

Those who have watched USC closely the past two years could not have been surprised by the top-ranked Trojans’ early struggles at Oregon on Saturday.

In each of the previous two seasons, USC opened Pac-10 play on the road, and both times it trailed heading into intermission. At Cal two years ago, the Trojans rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit to force overtime but lost. Last year, the Trojans bounced back from an 11-point halftime deficit at Stanford to win 31-28.

Saturday, USC trailed Oregon by 13 in the second quarter and 13-10 at halftime before waking up to clobber the Ducks 45-13.

“We’re not always going to come out firing and scoring 28 points in the first quarter,” USC tailback Reggie Bush said. “Sometimes, like today, it’s going to take us a little bit longer. It’s going to take us all four quarters to score 45 or 50 points.”

Saturday, it took 31 minutes, 7 seconds for USC to put up 45 on the Ducks, but who’s counting?

Arizona State, that’s who. The No. 14 Sun Devils host USC on Saturday.

The Trojans’ biggest problem may be discipline. They were penalized 11 times for 86 yards at Oregon.

ASU’s Hagan breaks mark

Derek Hagan is rewriting the record book at Arizona State.

The senior wideout added to his legacy in the 14th-ranked Sun Devils’ 42-24 win over Oregon State on Saturday when he became the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards.

He caught a 44-yard pass in the first quarter – his 33rd straight game with a reception – to move past John Jefferson (1974-77). Hagan finished with a personal-best 193 yards and now has 3,160 career receiving yards.

“We feel good,” Hagan said. “We know we’ve got a great team. It’s just getting better.”

That’s a good thing, with USC looming. USC beat the Sun Devils 45-7 last year on its way to its second national championship.

“We have to be ready,” said ASU quarterback Sam Keller, who threw for 365 yards against Oregon State. “They’re the No. 1 team for a reason.”

- The Associated Press

Huskies show spark

Washington coach Tyrone Willingham fell to his former team Saturday, but he knows enough about the Irish personnel to understand the way you can hurt Notre Dame is to throw deep against its secondary.

The Huskies lost to the Irish 36-17, despite Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback throwing for 353 yards.

Mistakes plagued Washington, including a fumble at the Irish 1, negating a chance to take an early lead and energize the 70,000-plus crowd.

After the game, Notre Dame players, most of whom Willingham recruited, sought out their former coach to offer best wishes.

“I expected … for them to at least say they knew me,” he said.

- The Associated Press


Team W-L W-L

California 1-0 4-0

USC 1-0 3-0

Arizona State 1-0 3-1

UCLA 0-0 3-0

Washington State 0-0 3-0

Stanford 0-0 1-1

ARIZONA 0-0 1-2

Oregon 0-1 3-1

Oregon State 0-1 2-2

Washington 0-1 1-3

• Last weekend: Cal 41, N.M. St. 13; Notre Dame 36, Washington 17; USC 45, Oregon 13; ASU 42, Oregon St. 24

• Saturday: ARIZONA at California, 3:30 p.m., TBS; USC at ASU, 12:30, ABC; Oregon at Stanford, 2 p.m.; Wash. St. at Oregon St., 1 p.m.; Washington at UCLA, 12:30 p.m.

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