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Air Assault!

Again it was a tale of 2 halves as SC and Michigan played a defensive struggle in the first half. SC's only real mistake was the Booty fumble and the defense stepped up and got the ball back. Major props need to go out to the whole offensive line, especially Kyle Williams who put the whole UCLA nightmare behind him and played a flawless game. They gave Booty he time he needed to run a near perfect passing attack in the second half. And he took advantage of it throwing the ball almost every chance he got.

From the LA Times.

"I wasn't going to take the ball out of John David's and Steve's and Dwayne's hands," offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said. "I called [Booty] on the phone and told him, 'We're going to throw the ball every single time.' "

Jarrett got the same message.

"I was like, 'Yeah!' That's what I wanted to hear," said Jarrett, who finished with 11 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Said Smith, who had seven catches for 108 yards: "We knew we could explode if the ball was in the air."

Booty threw touchdown passes to Chris McFoy and Jarrett in the third quarter and to Jarrett and Smith in the fourth. He completed 27 of 45 passes for 391 yards without an interception.

Like I said, an Air Assault.

I don't think Michigan knew what hit them as the SC receivers found ways to catch the ball in tight coverage or found ways get around the coverage for some great catches. On one drive Jarrett had the ball thrown to him a couple of time in or near the end zone almost making a circus like catch similar to the one he made against Notre Dame. There was one questionable call that could have gone either way in regards to Jarrett having pocession when he was down but it wouldn't have mattered. Call it home cooking if you want but he was money in every sense of the word and he will be making a lot of it playing on Sunday's in 2007. Jarrett got a little cute with taunting the Michigan defenders and that made me a little uncomfortable as he could have easily been hit with a couple of unsportsman-like-conduct penalties but that was his only blemish.

Steve Smith and Chris McFoy also had some great catches and did their part in taking it to the Michigan secondary. I for one will be sorry to see Smith and McFoy go as they head out, Smith is Mr. Reliable and McFoy was always a good alternative when he was in the game.

Watching this game reminded me a lot of the 2004 Rose Bowl with Leinart and his 4 TD game. SC had the speed and the defense to stop Michigan. I obviously was not the only one.

Booty's big game sparked memories of the 2004 Rose Bowl when Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart passed for three touchdowns and caught a pass for another against Michigan. The game kick-started Leinart's drive to the 2004 Heisman Trophy and the Trojans' run to the Bowl Championship Series title.

"That looked familiar," said Leinart, who watched the game from the USC sideline. "This will put him on the map and start his Heisman campaign."

USC also conjured memories of the 2004 Rose Bowl by shutting down the Wolverines' high-powered running game and harassing quarterback Chad Henne with a flurry of sacks that helped the Trojans finish 11-2.

Booty's performance did a lot to exorcise some of the demons from the season as he made a name for himself in his own way. I was one of those who criticized Booty after the OSU loss but he continued to improve and the final exam was yesterday and he Aced It! His leadership will be an important factor next season as SC will lose 3 receivers. It will be up to him to work with the new crop of receivers that SC will starting next season. With this big game experience that he now has under his belt it will be a major factor in SC's success next season.