USC Dominates, UCLA Collapses

Following a week two bye, both UCLA and USC hit the field Sept. 13 against ranked opponents.

The Trojans took on fifth-ranked Ohio State, in what was the most anticipated game of the young season. After the Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Southern Cal scored five unanswered touchdowns to defeat Ohio State, 35-3, at home.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez led USC with 172 yards and four touchdowns on 17-for-28 passing. Sophomore tailback Joe McKnight rushed for 105 yards on 12 carries.

The Buckeyes offense struggled despite introducing a two-quarterback set with Todd Boeckman and freshman Terrelle Pryor. Boeckman was 14-for-21 for 84 yards and two interceptions, while Pryor threw for 52 yards on 7-for-9 passing and gained 40 yards on 11 carries.

With the victory, USC (2-0) solidified its place atop both polls. Ohio State (1-1) dropped to 13 in the AP Poll, 14 in the Coaches Poll. The top eight spots were identical in both polls: No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Missouri, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Wisconsin.

Over in Provo, Utah, the Bruins did not fair so well against 18th-ranked BYU, who defeated UCLA, 59-0. It was the worst defeat for UCLA since 1929.

The Cougars scored four touchdowns in the first 5:18 of the second quarter and jumped out to a 42-0 lead at halftime. BYU outgained UCLA in total yards, 521-239.

With the loss, UCLA (1-1) dropped out of the AP Top 25 Poll, while BYU moved up four spots to No. 14 (ranked 11 in Coaches Poll).

BYU’s Max Hall threw for 271 yards on 27-for-35 passing. He also had six touchdowns and one interception.

Kobe Bryant to Forego Surgery

Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant decided to forego surgery after doctors told him recovery would take at least 12 weeks.

“I have always felt that I can still focus and play at a high level even through various injuries,” Bryant said in a report posted on the Web site, “When the doctors told me recovery from a procedure could be 12 weeks, I just decided now was not the time to have surgery.”

Bryant added that he did not want to miss any portion of the season due to the finger injury, which he suffered in a game against the New Jersey Nets Feb. 5. The 30-year-old played in all 82 games last season. He averaged 28.3 points per game, leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals.

Training camp starts Sept. 27 for the Lakers, who host the Portland Trail Blazers in the season opener Oct. 28.

Dodger Shortstop May Return

Rafael Furcal may return to the Dodgers’ line-up for the team’s final week of regular season play, according to a report on the team’s Web site. The Dodger shortstop has been on the disabled list since May 5, when he injured his back. Since, he has been rehabbing in Phoenix, but returned to Los Angeles this week, according to team officials. Furcal hit .366 with five homers, 16 RBIs and eight stolen bases in the 32 games he played before the injury.

Closer Takashi Saito was also activated from the Disabled List. Team officials also indicated that Jeff Kent and Brad Penny may also rejoin the team for the final stretch before the playoffs.

Sprint Launches NFL Mobile Live

The National Football League and Sprint launched “NFL Mobile Live,” a free service offered to the mobile company’s customers. Sprint users may listen to the live radio broadcast of every NFL game throughout the season and watch all eight of the Thursday Night Football broadcasts on NFL Network live beginning Nov. 6. Also, fans may select their favorite team, whose game information will appear on the screen first with up-to-the-minute information.