LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Johnnie Morton set a Pacific-10 career receiving record and caught three touchdown passes from Rob Johnson to lead Southern Cal to a 34-9 victory Saturday over Oregon State.
The Beavers (3-4, 1-3 Pac-10) did not complete a pass in the game, with freshman Rahim Muhammad starting because of injuries to the first- and second- string quarterbacks. Muhammad was 0-for-5 as Oregon State lost to USC (4-3, 3-1) for the 20th consecutive time dating back 26 years.
The heavily favored Trojans led 13-6 at halftime and pulled away on a pair of Johnson-to-Morton touchdown passes in the third quarter.
Morton, a senior, made seven catches for 157 yards and now has 2,560 career receiving yards. That topped the previous conference record of 2,517 yards by Stanford’s Ken Margerum in 1977-80.
Morton, a fleet 6-foot, 190-pounder, snapped a 6-6 tie when he took a short pass from Johnson and scored on a 23-yard play 5:15 into the second quarter.
Johnson, who was 12-of-19 for 196 yards, threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Morton on the second play of the third quarter to stretch the lead to 20-6. Five minutes later, Johnson threw a 37-yarder to Morton for another score.
Oregon State, which last beat USC in 1967 at Corvallis, a 3-0 victory in which the Beavers held the Trojans’ O.J. Simpson in check, was an entirely one-dimensional team in Saturday’s meeting.
Oregon State’s inability to pass allowed the Trojans to focus on stopping the Beavers’ wishbone offense.
The Beavers, able to move the ball with some consistency early in the game, tied the score 6-6 on a 5-yard run by Sedrick Thomas early in the second quarter. Tim Kollas missed the extra point kick, however, hitting the bottom of the crossbar. Oregon State’s other scoring was a 32-yard field goal by Brooke Knight early in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans, after scoring on 1-yard dive by Deon Strother on their first possession, also failed to convert the PAT, as Matt Dickerhoof broke through to block the kick by Mike Salmon.
USC’s final score came on a 13-yard pass from Kyle Wachholtz to DelVaughn Alexander late in the game.
Morton also established a USC career record with 167 receptions, bettering the 163 by John Jackson, who finished his career in 1989. Morton earlier this season set Trojans records with 15 catches against Houston and and 229 yards against Washington State.
Senior quarterback Don Shanklin was expected to start the game for the Beavers, but still was hobbled by an ankle injury.