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2007 Ultimate National Finals - Championship

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 18, 2007


CFN 2007 Preview - The Ultimate National Championship

CFN's 2007 Annual Ultimate College Football Playoff

National Championship

 

 - Ultimate National Title Seedings & Brackets

East Champion Wisconsin
Orange Bowl

No. 2 Wisconsin 28 ... No.
4 Clemson 21
Finals

No. 2 Wisconsin 24 ... No. 5 Penn State 10
Semifinals
No. 2 Wisconsin 16 ... No. 3 Georgia Tech 13
Third Round
No. 2 Wisconsin 24 ... No. 7 Auburn 14

Second Round
No. 2 Wisconsin 27 ... No. 15 So, Miss 10
First Round
1st Round Bye 

West Champion USC
Rose Bowl
No. 1 USC 31 ... No. 8 Georgia 17
Finals

No. 1 USC 48 ... No. 7 Boston College 17
Semifinals
No. 1 USC 35 ... No. 5 Florida State 31

Third Round  
No. 1 USC 34 ... No. 8 South Florida 0

Second Round
No. 1 USC 28 ... No. 16 Ole Miss 0
First Round
USC 1st Round Bye 

2007 Ultimate National Champion

USC Trojans

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 touchdown.

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 quarter.

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 first half.

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.


Player 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 - USC 301