LOS ANGELES – For the first time since September, Southern California lived up to its preseason hype Saturday night.

John Booty passed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in four weeks, the USC defense was overpowering with nine sacks, and the 13th-ranked Trojans defeated Oregon State 24-3.

The victory was USC’s 21st straight over the Beavers at the Los Angeles Coliseum, dating back to 1960, and raised the Trojans’ record to 21-0 in November games under coach Pete Carroll.

It was also USC’s 31st win in the last 33 games between the schools and avenged a 33-31 loss at Oregon State last year.

USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac-10), a near-unanimous No. 1 pick entering the season, probably needs to win its final three games and get some help to earn at least a share of the conference championship for the sixth straight year. The performance was the Trojans’ best since a 47-14 triumph over Washington State on Sept. 22.

Oregon State had its three-game losing streak snapped.

USC blew the game open by scoring three touchdowns in a 71/2-minute span of the second quarter. The Beavers (5-4, 3-3) played without tailback Yvenson Bernard, the Pac-10’s third-leading rusher with a 101.8-yard per game average.

Booty, playing for the first time since breaking the middle finger on his throwing hand Oct. 6 during the Trojans’ shocking 24-23 loss to 41-point underdog Stanford, completed 19-of-33 passes without being intercepted.

Chauncey Washington gained 60 yards on 12 carries and scored two touchdowns against the nation’s No. 1 team in rushing defense, and Booty was sacked just twice by the national leader in that category as well.

AP-ES-11-03-07 2322EDT


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