CFN's 2007 Annual Ultimate
College Football Playoff
Ultimate National Champion
No. 1 West Champion USC 31 ... No. 2 East Champion Wisconsin 16
New Orleans, LA
USC won its third straight Ultimate National Title with an
opportunistic offense, solid defense, and two big punt returns.
Desmond Reed took a second quarter punt 69 yards for a
touchdown, and set up two other scores with long returns to help
out a Trojan attack that never quite found its bearings.
Wisconsin's offense was able to move the ball, but time and
again, the Trojan defense stiffened, forcing three field goals
when the Badgers needed to change the tide of the game with a
Taylor Mehlhaff got Wisconsin on the board first with a 39-yard
kick, but after two straight empty drives, USC was able to take
the lead for good on its best drive of the day, going 79 yards
in 11 plays with John David BOoty finding Travon Patterson for a
six-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead at the end of the first
David Buehler hit a 31-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead on USC's
first drive of the second quarter, and after forcing a three and
out, the Trojans got the big play they needed from Reed to all
but salt the game away.
"I got a few good chances and some great blocking in front
of me," said Reed. "Our team always finds ways to get the
job done in this tournament. This game, the special teams took
care of everyone else."
Down 17-3, the Badgers scored on their next two drives, but the
points came on field goals despite getting down to the Trojan 14
and five on consecutive drives. The final score closed out the
If Wisconsin had any momentum coming out of the locker room, it
was taken away by a 41-yard catch by Patrick Turner that didn't
lead to any points, but helped USC pin down UW on its own four.
Unable to get out of thier own territory, the Badgers had to put
the ball back to Reed, who came through with a 54-yard punt
return to set up a four-yard Chauncey Washington touchdown run
and a 24-9 lead.
Just when it seemed like USC could coast, Wisconsin came up with
its best drive of the game, going 80 yards in 13 plays, with RB
P.J. Hill, who finished with 93 yards, finally getting a little
room to run, pushing the ball down to the one, where QB Tyler
Donovan was able to punch it in to pull within eight.
With neither offense able to take control of the game, it was
once again up to Reed, who fielded a deep punt on the sideline
(with the Badgers trying to kick away from him), took it across
the width of the field, and tore up the left side for a 61-yard
return before being pushed out at the UW five. Two plays later,
Booty found Fred Davis for a score and a 31-16 lead.
Wisconsin would get the ball twice more and
pushed drives to the USC side of the field, only to come up
empty after going for it on fourth down both times.
"It wasn't exactly the prettiest performance," said
USC head coach Pete Carroll. "We did what we needed to do
against a defense that did a great job of keeping us in check.
Getting those big plays from Desmond really made the difference,
and then our defense did the rest."
Booty finished the game with 195 passing yards, while his
counterpart, Donovan, threw for 239.
of the Game - USC RB/PR Desmond Reed took five punts 194
yards and a touchdown, ran three times for 12 yards, and caught
two passes for 19 yards
Fun Stat - Total offensive yards: Wisconsin 409 -