St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

College football: Orange bowl

Tampa's Williams stars for Trojans

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 3, 2003

MIAMI -- Plant graduate Mike Williams put a strong finish on an impressive first season at Southern California in Thursday's Orange Bowl, setting or tying three NCAA freshman records in the Trojans' 38-17 victory.

Williams, a 6-foot-5 receiver who quickly became Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer's favorite target, gave the Trojans their first lead on an 18-yard pass from Palmer on the opening drive of the second half.

The touchdown was Williams' 14th of the season, matching former Florida receiver Jabar Gaffney for the NCAA freshman record. Earlier in the drive, Williams set the national freshman single-season yardage mark, going over 1,200 to eclipse another Gaffney record. Before the quarter ended, Williams had his fifth catch of the night, giving him 80 for the season, breaking that NCAA record held by Marshall's Josh Davis.

The touchdown gave Williams eight straight games with at least one score, and his 14 touchdowns match USC's single-season record held by Johnnie Morton.

PROUD LOCALS: Williams wasn't the only Floridian playing in his home state. USC has another one on its roster, another freshman from the Tampa area in Mike Ross, a reserve safety from St. Petersburg Catholic. Before this season, USC had only two lettermen in its history from Florida.

FAMILIAR FACES: Buccaneers Brian Kelly and Keyshawn Johnson, who wore a white No. 7 John Elway Broncos jersey, were among USC alumni on the sideline, along with NFL players Rodney Peete and Tony Boselli. Another connection is USC's receivers coach Lane Kiffin, the 27-year-old son of Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. The elder Kiffin and USC coach Pete Carroll coached together in college and with the NFL's Bills, Vikings and Jets.

EARLY EXCITEMENT: Southern Cal hadn't played in five weeks. Iowa's last game was two weeks before that, giving the Hawkeyes a 47-day layoff. Both teams shook off the rust with big plays and touchdowns in the first three minutes.

Iowa's C.J. Jones took the opening kickoff down the left sideline for 100 yards and a touchdown. Palmer then threw a 65-yarder to Kareem Kelly on the Trojans' first play. Williams drew pass interference in the end zone, setting up Justin Fargas' 4-yard touchdown run two plays later. It was the 47th straight game in which Kelly caught a pass, breaking the NCAA record he shared with former New Mexico receiver Carl Winston.

THIS AND THAT: Former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier of Bradenton was among three inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame, along with tight end Ozzie Newsome and longtime Miami Herald columnist Edwin Pope. ... Fargas, a transfer from Michigan, is the son of actor Antonio Fargas, best known as Huggy Bear on Starsky & Hutch.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • Gary Shelton: Quiet Coker content to let 24-0 do the talking

  • College football: Fiesta Bowl
  • Eye of the Hurricanes
  • At Miami, football is fun
  • At OSU, football is king
  • Buckeyes must run, prevent big plays
  • The schools

  • College football: Orange Bowl
  • Palmer, Trojans roll in 2nd half
  • Tampa's Williams stars for Trojans

  • College football
  • Rix has inside track as starter
  • Fordham 'Granite' DL Bart dies at 87
  • Gators know improvement is expected

  • NFL
  • Mentor and 'mentee' square off
  • Around the AFC
  • Around the NFC
  • Bengals, Lewis talk

  • College basketball
  • Bulldogs overwhelm Bulls 91-44
  • SEC: Memphis scores final eight to stun Arkansas
  • Defense keeps Duke on target for No. 1

  • Season on the bubble
  • Salikis watch

  • NHL
  • Blackhawks continue on a roll
  • Senators' woes worry small-market Flames

  • NBA
  • Chicago still Jordan's town

  • Running
  • Forget carb-filled bars, runners gaga for goo

  • Parimutuels
  • Crowd flocks to opening

  • Sports on the air
  • In Sunshine dispute, no sign of thaw

  • Outdoors
  • Split personality
  • Outside
  • Freshwater forecast
  • January fishing forecast: North Suncoast
  • January fishing forecast: Pinellas/Hillsborough

  • Preps
  • Injuries don't deter Marion or Wake Forest
  • Second-half rally keys Durant win

  • Rays
  • Rays in Hall of Fame game

  • Bucs
  • Cowboys owe Bucs nothing
  • Kiffin offers defense conditional praise

  • Lightning
  • Tampa Bay special teams are anything but

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts