LOS ANGELES - You won't get any argument from the University of Arkansas about who the number one team in college football is - as if there is any doubt.
The Razorbacks got to see USC up close and personal Saturday night as the top-ranked Trojans - looking for a third straight national title - rolled up 736 yards total offense and toyed with their visitors en route to a 70-17 victory at The Coliseum.
Matt Leinart passed for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns and Reggie Bush accounted for 211 yards rushing and receiving and 2 touchdowns as USC won its 24th consecutive game by scoring on seven of their first eight possessions of the game with the only stop happening when the second quarter clock ran out.
"They are a great football team," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "They have tremendous weapons and we knew that coming in. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, you put too much emphasis on one player and they will beat you will someone else. It's easy to see why they were national champions last year. They scored 55 on Oklahoma and they can score a lot of points. They are just a super football team."
Arkansas (1-2) did get good games from freshmen tailbacks Darren McFadden (13 carries, 88 yards) and Felix Jones (12 carries for 66 yards rushing and 5 kick returns for 147 yards), but there were not many other bright spots to speak of on the night against USC (2-0).
"I thought both backs - McFadden and Felix Jones - gave us a lift all night," Nutt said. "They are extremely fast. They did a great job with the kickoff returns and it was well blocked. That was one of the few high points that we had."
It was the most points the Razorbacks had given up since 1918 while USC, which downed Hawaii 63-17 in its opener, scored at least 63 in back-to-back games for the first time in 100 years.
USC's 736 yards total offense, (445 passing, 291 rushing) the most ever against an Arkansas team that had 335 yards (223 yards rushing, 112 passing).
Bush ran 76 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game, but Arkansas answered to tie it 7-7 with freshman Felix Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards and Robert Johnson' connected on a 11-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Monk.
But it was all USC - who scored four touchdowns on its first eight plays that covered 256 yards - from that point on and the Trojans rolled to a 42-10 halftime advantage.
"They are extremely difficult to get off the field," Nutt said.
They would lead 28-7 at the end of the opening quarter after Bush caught a 29-yard pass at the 10:53 mark, Dewayne Jarrett hauled in a 24-yard scoring strike as the clock showed exactly nine minutes and then Leinart ran in himself from 17 yards out with four minutes remaining.
Chris Balseiro's 31-yard field goal brought it to 28-10 and momentarily stopped the onslaught, but then Lendale White would run in from 3 yards out and Leinart hit Jarrett from 8 yards away to post the 42-10 halftime lead.
White's 1-yard run with 13:26 remaining in the third quarter kept it going and then Leinart capped his night with a 21-yard yard TD pass to David Kirtman to make it 56-10 with six minutes left.
John David Booty then took over at quarterback for USC and led the Trojans to a score on his first drive, one culminated with a 21 yard pass to freshman wideout Patrick Turner with 14:24 remaining in the game as USC went up 63-10.
Johnson was 8-of-16 passing for 91 yards with a touchdown and an interception before leaving in the second quarter with a back injury.
Redshirt freshman backup Alex Mortensen took over from there and finished the night 4 of 10 passing for 38 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Monk that combined with Balseiro's PAT to make it 63-17.
USC then capped the scoring when quarterback Jimmy Miller tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Michael McDonald after a Mortensen interception.
Arkansas, which came into the game off a 28-24 home loss to Vanderbilt will be trying to even its SEC mark at 1-1 next Saturday when it travels to face Alabama.
"We have just got to pick ourselves up and move forward," Nutt said. "There is a lot of people who would have gotten beat by USC tonight."
USC 70, Arkansas 17
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