(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: (7) Southern California 30, (24) California 3
Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Joe McKnight ran for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns, pacing seventh-ranked Southern California to a 30-3 romp of No. 24 California, dealing the Golden Bears their second straight blowout defeat.
Matt Barkley connected on 20-of-35 passes for 283 yards and was picked off once for the Trojans (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10), who beat the Golden Bears for a sixth straight time. Damian Williams caught eight passes for 101 yards and ran back a punt 66 yards for a score.
Noticeably absent for the Trojans was running back Stafon Johnson, who continues to recover from reconstructive surgery after a weight bar fell on his neck.
"I thought it was a great victory," said Barkley. "I was really happy with how we came out and how we finished. I was also really happy that we could play this game for Stafon. He was in our hearts the whole time. It was a great victory for us and for him."
Kevin Riley went 15-of-40 passing for 199 yards and was intercepted once for California (3-2, 0-2), which was a 42-3 loser at Oregon last Saturday. Jahvid Best was limited to 47 yards on 14 carries.
"They (USC) played better than us, stopped the run and they put pressure on the pass," said Cal coach Jeff Tedford. "We didn't execute very well in the passing game. We had a chance to make some plays in the passing game and we didn't do a very good job of it."
Riley drove Cal to the USC six on the game's first possession, but Taylor Mays came up with the crucial interception in the end zone.
McKnight then capped USC's 80-yard drive with a 38-yard TD run, diving into the end zone on the right side. The play was reviewed and confirmed that McKnight stretched the ball across the goal line before his knee came down inside the five-yard line.
Jordan Congdon's 28-yard field goal with under five minutes left in the first made it 10-0, and Williams rumbled 66 yards on a punt return to the end zone in the opening minute of the second quarter.
Congdon's 25-yard field goal moved the lead to 20-0 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Vince D'Amato missed a 38-yard field goal try in the waning seconds of the half for Cal.
Congdon was good from 23 yards out on the opening drive of the second half and USC's defense denied the Golden Bears on a 4th-and-2 play when Riley's pass to Best fell incomplete.
D'Amato's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth represented the lone points for Cal, and McKnight scored from four yards away with nearly five minutes to go.
USC has a week off before playing at Notre Dame October 17...California also is idle next week before taking to the road against UCLA...USC head coach Pete Carroll has 34 wins over AP top 25 teams, including the past nine tries.
10/04 03:02:24 ET