Sixth-ranked Southern Cal dominated on both ends of the ball while cruising to a 49-17 win over Number-13 Illinois in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena.
Lawrence Jackson and Rey Maualuga set the tone on defense while the Trojans were allowing just 79 total yards in building a 21-3 lead. Jackson sacked Illinois quarterback Juice Williams on the game's third play, and Maualuga's first-quarter interception set up a touchdown. Maualuga also had three sacks in the second period, matching his regular-season total.
Illini had no answer for quarterback John David Booty or the USC
running game. Booty passed for 255 yards and three touchdowns as
the Trojans ended the year 11-and-2. Joe McKnight ran for 125 yards
and a touchdown, and Stafon Johnson added 105 yards on nine
Rashard Mendenhall was the Illini's offensive star, running for a 79-yard touchdown and finishing with 156 yards on the ground. Williams threw for 242 yards but had no touchdowns and two interceptions for the 9-and-4 Illini.