Urban Meyer claims Utah would have beaten USC during 2004 season
Urban Meyer had his 2004 Mountain West championship ring on display Saturday morning during FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame show.
Asked about the ring during a segment on the top-15 showdown between Utah and Oregon, Meyer offered up a rather bold claim.
“I’m telling you,” he told Brady Quinn, who quarterbacked Notre Dame in 2004, “if we would have taken a swing at the USC/Reggie Bush/Matt Leinart team, we would’ve got a big ring.”
"This is the 2004 Conference Championship ring… and I'm telling you @Brady_Quinn, if we would've taken a swing at the USC Reggie Bush-Matt Leinart team we would've got a big ring." @CoachUrbanMeyer thinks the 2004 Utah team could've taken @MattLeinartQB's USC team 👀 pic.twitter.com/Dh1Kw1XUUm
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 28, 2023
Quinn immediately balked at the notion.
“We played against them,” Quinn said. “Trust me, you weren’t gonna beat them.”
USC beat Notre Dame 41-10 in Los Angeles that season en route to a national championship. Leinart threw for 3,322 yards and 33 touchdowns against six interceptions while capturing the Heisman Trophy. Bush had 1,417 yards and 13 touchdowns from scrimmage.
The Trojans went 13-0 that season, broke 40 points seven times, won by double digits nine times, and pitched two shutouts. They went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country.
In 2019, to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the sport, ESPN ranked the best 150 college football teams of all time and that 2004 Trojan team was ranked No. 2.
“You and that spread offense against our defense, it wouldn’t have happened,” Leinart said.
Utah was no slouch that year either. The Utes went 12-0 for the first time in program history and, though they didn’t face a ranked team in the regular season, they absolutely smacked the 19th-ranked Pitt Panthers in the Fiesta Bowl, 35-7, to end the year fourth in the AP poll.