SPORTSTICKER NCAAF RECAP
(ADDING INFORMATION, QUOTES)
*Booty, USC pull away from Arkansas in season opener*
(6) USC 50, ARKANSAS 14
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas -- Southern California no
longer has Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush at
its disposal. It did not forget how to win.
John David Booty and the sixth-ranked Trojans pulled away in the
second half to defeat Arkansas, 50-14, in the season opener for
Behind Leinart and Bush, the Trojans routed the Razorbacks,
70-17, in their season opener last year.
USC did not look nearly as sharp in the beginning of this
meeting, holding just a 13-7 lead before Mario Danelo booted a
44-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
But the Trojans pulled away thereafter behind Booty, who tossed
touchdowns to Patrick Turner and Fred Davis in the third quarter
and another to Ryan Powdrell early in the fourth to push the
advantage to 37-7.
"Early on, I was playing too fast," Booty said. "In the second
half, I was really able to slow down and get into a rhythm. We
hurt ourselves early, but we just came back and kept playing.
Some people doubted us, but our offensive line and running backs
did a fantastic job tonight."
Making his first career start, Booty completed 24-of-35 passes
for 261 yards without an interception.
"This was a very difficult situation and a tough environment to
play in," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "J.D. handled it
Razorbacks counterpart Robert Johnson went just 12-of-25 for 110
yards with two interceptions. Highly acclaimed true freshman
Mitch Mustain came in late and ran for a score, finishing 4-of-6
for 47 yards with an interception.
Arkansas running back Felix Jones fumbled three times, losing
two that led to USC's first 10 points.
"Felix is distraught," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "He
had a tough game. Felix is not a fumbler. We are going to have
to tell him, 'We believe in Felix Jones.'"
The Razorbacks turned over the ball five times, leading to 30
"We didn't capitalize on the opportunities we had," Johnson
said. "We have to fix the little mistakes. You can't give a
team of that caliber extra opportunities."